Pizza Hut Pete Puppet

Dorri Partain
Northeast News

Putt putt to the Pizza Hut so the kids can take home this bag puppet featuring Pizza Hut Pete for hours of fun long after the pizza is gone.

Pizza Hut had humble beginnings, with the first location in a small brick building in Wichita, Kansas. With a $600 loan from their mother in 1958, brothers Frank and Dan Carney opened their doors to what would became America’s most popular pizza brand. Within a year, through franchising, there were six locations.

Pizza Hut Pete began his years as chief mascot in 1963, as Pizza Hut developed their iconic restaurant buildings. Both the building style and Pete appeared side by side on restaurant drinking glasses, ashtrays, menus, and matchbooks. Diners experienced dark wood paneling, red-checkered tablecloths, glowing red-glass candles, and a jukebox playing all the hits. A 13 inch shrimp pizza was available for $2.60, while the Pizza Supreme was $3.00.

In the 1970’s, Pizza Pete was re-drawn for a more modern look, and was also featured on a bag puppet before being fazed out with a new logo that capitalized on the iconic roof style. A neon Pizza Hut Pete still tosses pizzas on a Pizza Hut sign located in San Antonio, Texas, but it appears it is the last of its kind.

The original Pizza Hut location’s building was moved to the Wichita State University campus and opened as a museum dedicated to the development of the brand in April 2018. The Carney brothers are both graduates of WSU.

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