Michele K. Short / HBO
I know, I know: I should watch Mare of Easttown-especially since I grew up in suburban Philadelphia. (Montco, not Delco.) But despite never having fired up the HBO show, I've still ascertained the gist of it: It's about Wawa, right? Yes, reviews would have me believe that it's a "crime drama," but every headline I've seen talks about Kate Winslet's newfound love of America's greatest convenience store chain. Frankly, as a former Shorti Italian Hoagie connoisseur myself, the series is worthwhile television for that publicity alone.
And this week, Wawa themselves are embracing just how important the chain is to the show. To honor the opening of Wawa's newest location in Delaware County-a.k.a. Delco, the setting for Mare of Easttown-the company is declaring tomorrow "Mare of Easttown Day."
Along with the usual grand opening promotions like freebies and a ribbon cutting ceremony, Thursday, June 10 will also be marked with the one-week release of a limited-edition Mare of Easttown Spicy Cheesesteak, available exclusively at Delco's 42 Wawa locations. The sandwich will be served on a six-inch Shorti roll with beefsteak, cheddar cheese sauce, and spicy cherry pepper relish, "as a nod to how spicy the show is," Wawa explains. Grab one of these hoagies quickly: They'll be leaving the famed Wawa ordering touchscreens in Delco after June 17.
"We are honored to be featured in local creator's Brad Ingelsby's HBO show, Mare of Easttown, that kept you on the edge of your seat week-after-week and made Delaware County, including Wawa, proud," Cathy Pulos, Wawa's chief operations officer of store operations and a Delco native herself, said in the announcement. "We couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate then bringing our local friends and neighbors to our quite timely Delco store opening to enjoy the specialty hoagie, talk about the show and of course give back to the leading pediatric institute, CHOP." (Per that last item, Wawa is making a $10,000 donation to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to produce resources that help parents identify mental health issues in their children.)
Though the cheesesteak will be available across Delco, those who attend the actual grand opening at 418 W. Baltimore Pike in Upper Darby will have the chance to score other stuff. Starting at 8 a.m., the first 100 customers will get a Wawa Delco shirt; at 8:45 a.m., the store will host a "ceremonial ordering and debut of the 'Mare of Easttown Spicy Cheesesteak' by Honorary Guest Detective Christine Bleiler, Kate Winslet's very own source of inspiration for her detective role;" and all customers will receive free coffee.
Additionally, Wawa explains that "customers can follow @Wawa on social media channels during the promotion window of June 10 to 13 to share their favorite Mare of Easttown moment for a chance to win a Delco celebration fan kit with the limited-edition Wawa Delco t-shirt and a $25 Wawa gift card to enjoy the Mare of Easttown hoagie." My advice though, if you win the gift card, go with an Italian hoagie instead. That's the best thing Wawa makes. Or maybe that's just a Montco thing?