PHOTO: Joe’s Steaks
(Photo by Joe’s Steaks)
By Rebecca Leber
Philly residents apparently preferred a neighborhood restaurant when it was named after a racial slur. For 64 years, the sign “Chink’s Steaks” hung overhead the steak shop, but in March the owner Joe Groh decided it was finally time to drop it in favor of “Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop.” The original name came from the founder of the steak shop, Sam Sherman, who was called “chink” as a kid because he had “almond eyes.”
The name-change has drawn particular fury from locals, who insisted the old name was never racist, but a term of endearment.
According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Groh has seen 10 percent and 15 percent drop in sales the past two months and repeated bouts of vandalism with “Chink’s” painted on the sidewalk and window. In March, an online petition to keep the old name drew 10,000 signatures.
Despite the outrage, Groh has defended the decision, although he has given some thought to moving locations.
“It’s 2013,” he said. “It was time to do it.”