When you think of the characters that represent Philadelphia, you might picture Gritty, the Phillie Phanatic, or a Benjamin Franklin impersonator looting a Wawa after the Super Bowl. Now, there's a new mascot presiding over the city of brotherly love. As The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Geno's Steaks is now home to Whizzy—a giant, anthropomorphic cheesesteak with a perpetual smile.
Geno's, known for its cheesesteaks and glowing neon facade, is a Philly institution. The restaurant's new mascot is the product of more than eight months of redesigns. His name, an homage to Geno's classic steak sandwich with Cheez Whiz, also went through a several iterations, including "Whiz Head," before the name Whizzy became official.
Geno's Steaks unveiled Whizzy to the world on Monday, October 21. The costumed character has all the elements of a Geno's cheesesteak, with a body consisting a long roll stuffed with cheese, onions, and thinly sliced rib-eye. But unlike the fare you'd normally fine at Geno's, this cheesesteak also has limbs and a face—and barely fits inside the kitchen.
The mascot's debut kicked off Geno's "week of giving." On Tuesday, Whizzy and Geno's owner Geno Vento will deliver a $1500 check to Easterseals, a nonprofit dedicated to children and adults with disabilities, and on Thursday, they will give a check in the same amount to the Engine 10 fire station in South Philly. Geno's will also hand out free coupons and cheesesteaks in honor of the week.
Pat's King of Steaks, Geno's competitor across the street, tells The Inquirer they have no plans to come up with a rival mascot as of yet.