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ROUTE 66 STATUE! There's a gopher on top of the new restaurant called Topo in Gilbert

Posted at 3:11 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 18:26:04-05

PHOENIX — There's a gopher in Gilbert!

The city woke up to a big surprise on Wednesday, when a 7-foot, two-ton, larger-than-life statue debuted over the main street in the heart of downtown Gilbert. Welcome to Topo!

Watch the video to see this gopher up close!

Joe Johnston, the owner of Joe's Real BBQ, decided to create a fun, fast-casual restaurant right next door to his well-known BBQ joint.

Johnston comes from farming family, and decided that the pesky little gopher was the animal to bring this new concept to life. Patrons can grab a burrito on the run, or sit and enjoy a prickly pear soft serve.

The gopher was built by the same people who designed structures for the San Francisco Zoo and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Constructed in Tucson, it arrived in Gilbert at 11 p.m. Tuesday and was up and assembled by midnight -- ready for his debut at sunrise!

The eyes glow independently and will change color every 30 minutes. Johnston says he plans to change the color for major holidays as well -- like red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July!