In the News: A sign for Gee Whiz

Tribeca resident Anna Mutoh has a story in The Times about a memorial etched in honor of Peter Panayiotou, the owner of Gee Whiz who died in April of the coronavirus, and his son Chris, who reopened the restaurant in August.

The creator of the memorial, welded into the metal edge of the sidewalk in front of the corner restaurant, is a mystery — to this day Chris has no idea who did it. But when David Morales, the concierge from 295 Greenwich, showed it to him this summer, it helped him move forward. “This is a sign,” he told Mutoh. “We’re going to reopen no matter what. No matter what. This is what Dad would want.”

Mutoh’s feature goes back to Peter’s emigration from Cyprus and the founding of Gee Whiz in 1989 with Andy Koutsoudakis, the owner of Tribeca’s Kitchen who also died from the virus. And it follows his son Chris’ struggles to deal with his father’s death and then reopen the restaurant, as he thought he father would have.




  1. Thank you Tribeca Citizen for featuring this story. I would love to ask for any reader to please notify me if you know who the mystey welder is. Thank you! Anna

  2. After reading this very touching story I wondered why the NYT didn’t include a photo of the welded sign. I’m glad that a Google search led me here.

  3. This is such a beautiful story. I read the piece in the Times by Anna just now as well. The beauty out of the tragic. Omens are a force. Whoever the mystery welder is, thank you.