PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local landmark is changing its controversial name.
Chink’s Steaks, located at 6030 Torresdale Avenue, will become Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop as of April 1st.
The current owner, Joe Groh, started working at the cheesesteak shop back in 1979. Then, it was under the operation of its original owner, Sam “Chink” Sherman, who opened the shop in 1949.
When Sherman passed away after an illness in 1997, Groh took over. And while he says he had reservations about the name at that time, “Chink’s was a local institution named after the original owner’s childhood nickname. We did not associate it with the racial slur.”
Groh also added that some customers threatened not to return if he changed the name.
But times have changed, and Groh says it’s important to him that “we no longer inadvertently alienate anyone in the Philly community. We are very excited to move forward under the new name, Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop.”
Joe’s will be open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and while the name may have changed, the beloved eatery’s menu hasn’t – they’ll still be serving up egg creams, floats, burgers, sandwiches and hot dogs, as well as their famous cheesesteaks.