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Joe’s Steaks And Soda Shop

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‘if I Could Cook Every Single Steak We Serve I Would’ Says Groh

Ya Gotta Try Joe’s Steaks Soda Shop

Success on Frankford Avenue has translated to increased sales on Torresdale Avenue, which is now open seven days a week. Its sometimes busy enough that Groh transfers employees from Fishtown a move that causes additional distress among the disgruntled Wissinoming clientele.

I dont want her to make my milkshake, one customer recently griped, pointing at a Latina staffer. Dont let him touch my cheesesteak, another said, nodding his head toward a black grill cook.

But Groh defends his workers, and asks people who make those kinds of comments to leave the premises.

And at the Fishtown corner, where there are vegan and gluten-free options alongside the classics, Joes Steaks is rocking. It sells an average of 300 to 400 sandwiches on a weekend day, with numbers spiking up to 750 or more on a busy Saturday night.

Which has Groh again thinking of expanding.

I would love to, he said on Friday, noting hes looked at several potential spaces already. I think its time. I would actively love to open a new one this year.

Where will the next Joes-not-Chinks Steaks be? Old City is a possibility, but Groh is willing to wait as long as he needs for the right location. At least he doesnt have to worry about being turned away because of the name.

Want some more? Explore other Philly food and drink scene stories.

Samuel ‘chink’ Sherman Outside His Cheesesteak Shop On Torresdale Avenue

Many Philadelphians applauded the move, which had been a long time coming. A decade earlier, several Asian American groups had organized a concerted effort to force the removal of the Chinks name. The Philadelphia Bar Association even adopted a public resolution criticizing it.

Back then, Groh wasnt ready. Hed worked at the shop since he was 16 years old, and had taken over operations in 1997. But hed been very close with the stores previous owner, Samuel Sherman, whose own appearance Sherman apparently had almond-shaped eyes was the source of the nickname. So even though Groh actually ended up in court over it once or twice, he stood his ground on keeping the Chinks name.

But as time passed, Groh, now 55, came to a new conclusion. Not only was having a racial slur as a brand name morally unacceptable, he realized, it was also bad business.

Nowadays, sales are booming at Joes Steaks second location at the corner of Frankford and Girard, but when Groh first went searching for real estate in Fishtown, he was turned away repeatedly.

One of his first attempted leases was the space thats now home to Kensington Quarters, Groh recounted. After a good preliminary visit, he got a call from the landlord.

Wait, youre from Chinks? the building owner told him. Forget it. I dont want my place associated with that name.

Joe Groh At His Fishtown Shop

After running into that situation multiple times, Groh decided it might be a good time to hire a PR firm. He rang one upand promptly got turned down.

No way, were not working with a business called Chinks, public relations pro Kylie Flett remembers saying. Eventually, however, she did take Groh on as a client, and helped him spearhead the name change. Which brought the wrath of the aggrieved Northeast Philly originalists down on her head, too someone even wrote letters to her alma mater La Salle, imploring the university to revoke her degree.

Despite the continued backlash, which Groh estimates is perpetrated by around 20 percent of customers at the Wissinoming shop, Joes Steaks remains busy at both locations.

After all, the steaks themselves have never changed. Theyre made with high-quality fresh ribeye thats been hand-trimmed, so theres no chance of biting into chewy gristle. The meat is only very lightly chopped as it frizzles on the grill We dont have to chop it up fine to hide things and then cheese is laid over the top, before the package is slid inside a soft Liscios bun.

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Joe Groh Hold’s A Joe’s Steaks Cheesesteak

File under no good deed goes unpunished: For the past five years, not a day has passed where a customer didnt give Joe Groh grief for changing his shops name to something that wasnt a racist slur.

It happened this past Friday. Hey Joe, a man shouted out, between bites of cheesesteak in a booth at the Torresdale Avenue spot, Donald Trump just called.

Oh really, Groh tossed back, ready for banter from his place behind the grill. Whatd he say?

He said you oughta change the name back to Chinks!

Thats friendlier than some. Like the little old women who, every time she comes in, tells Groh, You make me sick! in a voice that drips with octogenarian venom. Then theres the customers like the woman who ordered a sandwich, glanced at it, then pushed it away, saying, This isnt a Chinks steak! before walking out the door.

These complaints are a daily occurrence at Joes Steaks in Northeast Philly, said Groh, who now also runs a second outpost in Fishtown. They get even more mad when I tell them it was my decision.

It was April 1, 2013, when Groh swapped the sign reading Chinks which had hung above the iconic cheesesteak joint since it opened in 1949 for one that said Joes.

Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop 6030 Torresdale Ave Philadelphia

The last Cheesesteak in Philly at Joe

Are you in the mood for some American food? Well, what better place than Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop right here in Philadelphia! Besides being known for having excellent American food, other cuisines they offer include Steakhouse, Caterers, Sandwiches, and American.

Looking for Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop prices? Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop has an average price range between $4.00 and $11.00 per person.

When compared to other restaurants, Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop is inexpensive, quite a deal in fact!

Depending on the American food, a variety of factors such as geographic location, specialties, whether or not it is a chain can influence the type of menu items available. Here at Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop, you’ll have options for Specials, Sundaes, Sandwiches, Milkshake Flavors, and Eggs Creams and more. From there, you can expect to choose from some of the best menu items like:

  • Thirsty Thursdays

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Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop

Front entrance to Joe’s Steak on Torresdale
Restaurant information
1949 72 years ago
Owner
6030 Torresdale Avenue
City
1 W Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Website .com

Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop, formerly named Chink’s Steaks, is a cheesesteak restaurant founded in 1949 in Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Controversy over the restaurant’s former name led to the owner renaming it. A second restaurant location opened in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia in 2015. In addition to its cheesesteak sandwich specialty, the company sells other types of sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, and other foods.

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