A well-known Philadelphia steak shop will be getting a new and less controversial moniker. The restaurant heretofore known as Chink’s will become Joe’s Steaks and Soda Shop on Monday.
The restaurant was named for founder Sam “Chinks” Sherman. But Sherman’s nickname is also an offensive term for Chinese.
Current owner Joe Groh bought the business on Torresdale Avenue from Sherman a decade ago, about when advocates began to protest the name.
It was time for the change, he said, though making a break with tradition was a difficult decision. It was also an unwelcome surprise to at least one regular customer.
“He’s like, ‘Couldn’t you say Joe’s chinks? Couldn’t you say Joe’s formerly Chinks. You can’t take it away,'” Groh recounted.
Groh’s reply: “You enjoy the same sandwich from the same owner from the same waitress. Everything’s the same but the name.”
Groh says many customers have been more supportive. But there has been a run on Chink’s T-shirts.