At 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Philadelphia-born comedian Kevin Hart sent out a Tweet which read, in part, "Meet me on 4th & south at 2:30pm Philadelphia. ... I'm giving out free cheesesteaks with my man Ice Cube at Jim's [Steaks]."

A slew of Philadelphians listened, turning the South Street corner into a star-gazing hot spot. About 50 people were already lined up outside the steak shop by 2 p.m. That number grew quickly.

When Hart and Cube — the legendary NWA rapper who has ventured into films (like Friday) and Coors Light commercials — arrived shortly after the Tweeted-invitation time, they waded through a sea of camera phone-wielding fans, got behind the counter and handed out an estimated 150 cheesesteaks to a sea of star-struck admirers.

That it was a promotional event tied to their upcoming film Ride Along was apparent by the posters being distributed outside. That didn't seem to register to the hungry fans who entered the shop in groups of six snapping selfies, sharing fawning compliments and snatching up cheesesteaks that'd normally set them back $8.60 plus tax.

"Getcha cheesesteaks on," proclaimed a Dodgers-hat adorned Cube before stopping to pose with one fan lining up a selfie +2.

Hart, who's made a habit of local in-person appearances and donating computers to a financially strapped school district, said he was just happy to be home.

"Bottom line: It's about Philadelphia," Hart declared upon entering the building. "I'm home! When I'm in my city, I do what I do best: Connect with the people."


Text by Brian Hickey