PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was just seven years ago that KYW was broadcasting a blow-by-blow commentary on a simmering conflict that could only consume the City of Brotherly Love.
It was a knock-down-drag-out battle over a cheesesteak – or a whole stand full of them — at the landmark Reading Terminal Market. It involved the movers and shakers of the city as well as the titans of commerce. The donnybrook revolved around one single cheesesteak vendor who was about to get the boot from his familiar spot in the sprawling marketplace.
Rick Oliveri isn’t just your average “pop-up” steak slinger. He’s descended from steak sandwich royalty — Pat “The King of Steaks.”
And Rick was also the mouthpiece for the merchants. That made him a pain in the tush for market management. He thought it also put a target on his back. Mayors, Councilmen and lesser political functionaries had jostled local bankers at Rick’s to get a dose of shaved steak on a roll wit’ or wit’out the cheese wiz.
But royal blood aside and with no shortage of steak shops at the Reading Terminal Market or in the Market street corridor, Rick, to the moans of many KYW listeners, packed his grills and spatulas and left the castle.