"I've wanted a Big Boy for years after my first trip to Burning Man," says Charlie Puma, owner of Enzo's End Pizzeria, 3424 East Colfax.
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Burning Man, an annual week-long art and dance festival held every year in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, commences with a ritual burning of a wooden life-size effigy, but Puma, who fulfilled his wish, has no intention of setting Big Boy ablaze. Instead, the statuesque, overalls-garbed Bob's Big Boy restaurant chain mascot holding an elevated double-cheeseburger in his hand, now stands pudgy and proud on Enzo's rooftop -- after a makeover. "People bring crazy art projects to Burning Man, and that was the inspiration for creating a pizza sculpture from a Big Boy," says Puma, who spotted the Big Boy statue on Craigslist.
"I drove straight to Indiana and loaded him on my small trailer and drove him back to Denver, while getting plenty of amazed looks on the way," recalls Puma, who spent two weeks fixing Big Boy -- now Big Enzo -- up. "He was a little faded and worn and needed some patching."
Weighing nearly 300 pounds, Big Enzo is six feet seven inches tall and busts out an 81-inch waistline. According to Puma, the iconic statue was born in the early '60s and spent close to thirty years hanging out in front of a hamburger joint in Hammond, Indiana. When it closed, he was adopted by a candy store down the street, where he spent two decades as "Candy Andy."
And now, thanks to a coat of fresh paint and some fiberglass work, Big Enzo's big hand is propped with a thin-crusted pie. "He's welcoming everyone cruising up Colfax to stop in for a pizza," says Puma. "We're closed on Tuesday and open at 4:30 every other day, but Big Enzo is available for viewing anytime."