Controversial ‘Speak English’ Sign No Longer Up At Geno’s Steaks

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It caused a stir for a decade, but now it’s no longer up at a popular South Philadelphia cheesesteak shop.

Geno’s Steaks this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary. For the last 10 years, the sign at the window read, “This is America: When ordering, please speak English.”

But this morning that sign is no longer posted. Why that is, it’s not clear right now.

No comment from staff at Geno’s this morning. We’re still waiting to hear back from current owner Geno Vento.

His father, Joey Vento, decided to post the sign in 2006. Controversy followed, some complained that the sign was discrimination.

Vento maintained he didn’t turn people away.

The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations ruled that it was not discrimination in 2008 and the sign stayed. It didn’t go anywhere even after Joey Vento died in 2011

As for reaction, a neighbor who has lived around here for three decades, says he knew Joey Vento and the sign should stay up.

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