The rat that everyone has learned to love will soon be retiring as Chuck E. Cheese’s mascot, according to media reports.
According to SFBay.ca, the restaurant chain’s parent company, CEC Entertainment Inc., plans to replace the iconic mouse with an “electric-guitar playing rock star.”
Here’s more from the report:
The 35-year-old symbol of pizza, games and annoyed parents started off as a New Jersey rat who was a bit of a wise guy and sometimes touted a cigar. The chain first opened in San Jose in 1977.
According to ShowBizPizza.com, a Chuck E. Cheese fan site, the chain was originally going to be called Rick Rat’s Pizza, but a PR agency — thankfully — thought a rat was not the best thing to highlight when starting a pizza company.
CEC Entertainment, based in Irving, Texas, is having a hard time winning sales back in its 500-pizza-restaurant chain. The image change is part of its efforts to revive Chuck E. Cheese.
In May, revenue dropped 4.2 percent in the first quarter and the company lowered its outlook for the year.
The only Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in the Tri-Cities is located at 39839 Mowry School Rd. in Newark.