Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop
|Current owner(s)||Joe Groh|
|Previous owner(s)||Samuel Sherman|
|Food type||Cheesesteaks and other sandwiches|
|Street address||6030 Torresdale Avenue (flagship location)|
|Other locations||1 W Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123|
Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop, formerly named Chink's Steaks, is a cheesesteak restaurant founded in 1949 in Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The restaurant's former name was controversial to some, which led to the owner changing it. A second restaurant location opened in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia in 2015. In addition to its cheesesteak sandwich specialty, the company purveys other types of sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, and other foods.
In 1949, Samuel "Chink" Sherman opened Chink's Steaks. Sherman, who was Jewish, was nicknamed "chink" because his eyes were almond-shaped. Sherman died in 1997. In 1999, long time employee, Joe Groh, purchased the restaurant from Sherman's family.
In 2013, Groh changed the name of the restaurant to Joe's Steaks due to controversy from its former use of the ethnic slur "chink". Groh did not change the name earlier because he wanted to "honor the wishes of some of the regular customers who were opposed to any kind of change, big or small", and because the name was a tradition. Some of the restaurant's customers from the neighborhood actually opposed the name change, and some even badgered Joe about the matter. Some people also left negative comments about the name change on various social media websites and on online restaurant review sites. The restaurant realized a loss of profits after some customers boycotted the restaurant due to the name change.
Groh expanded to a second location in Fishtown which opened on April 1, 2015.
Fare and atmosphere
Joe's Steaks specializes in cheesesteak sandwiches, and also serves other types of sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages, hand-cut fries, sodas, milkshakes and sundaes. The company also purveys a vegan cheesesteak sandwich. The original location on Torresdale Avenue has a 1950s diner style, with wooden booths that have small jukeboxes (which are no longer operational), a lunch counter and soda fountain. It has seating for about thirty customers. The Fishtown neighborhood location is larger, and also has outdoor seating.
Erin O'Neill of NJ.com rated Joe's Steaks as "10 Philly cheesesteaks worth crossing the bridge for".
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- List of submarine sandwich restaurants
- Erace, Adam (2013-09-20). "Where to eat the best Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
- Birch, T. (2015). Discovering Vintage Philadelphia. Discovering Vintage. Globe Pequot Press. p. 108–110. ISBN 978-1-4930-1400-2. Search this book on
- Nichols, Rick (14 July 2009). "What's in a name? Chink's finds spotlight uncomfortable". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
- Dusten Carlson (2013-08-06). "Chink's Steaks Opts For Less Offensive Name, Sales Plummet". The Inquisitr News. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
- Joel Mathis (2015-03-30). "New Joe's Steaks Wouldn't Be Possible With Racist Old Name". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
- Mathis, Joel (August 6, 2013). "Eat at Joe's: Show Your Support For a Less Racist Cheesesteak - News - Philadelphia Magazine". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
- Kenneth Hilario (24 March 2015). "Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop will be opening a second location in Fishtown". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
- "Menus" (PDF). Joe's Steaks. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- Erin O'Neill (2016-03-24). "10 Philly cheesesteaks worth crossing the bridge for". NJ.com. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
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