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Image: Chink's Steak Shop: Philadelphia Institution Changing Controversial Name

Chink's Steak Shop: Philadelphia Institution Changing Controversial Name

By Newsmax Wires   |   Friday, 29 Mar 2013 09:23 AM

Chink's, a Philadelphia steak shop that's stood in its location for nearly 65 years has given in to public pressure and will change its name.

Joe Groh, the owner of the historic cheesesteak shop in Northeast Philly says he's changing Chink's controversial name.

"It is very important to me, my family and the entire staff that we no longer inadvertently alienate anyone in the Philly community," Groh said, according to food blog Foobooz. "We are very excited to move forward under the new name, Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop.”

Chink's Steaks owner Joe Groh says he'll change the name to Joe's Steaks & Soda Shop on April 1. For years, civil rights groups have protested the current name because of its reference to a racial slur.

Groh says it's time to "get with the times."

The shop in northeast Philadelphia opened in 1949 and was named for founder Sam "Chink" Sherman, who died in 1997. His widow told the Philadelphia Daily News in 2004 he was given the nickname by neighborhood kids because his eyes appeared slanty.

"My husband and I built our business on great sandwiches and super cleanliness. We worked seven days a week and 15 hours a day for 50 years. We employed many people in all of these years and remain friends with most of them," Milly Sherman wrote. " I met my husband when I was 15 and never knew him as anything but "Chink," a nickname he acquired at the age of 7 because he had almond-shaped eyes. What right does this 21-year-old woman, or anyone else, have to dispute his name, which is even inscribed on his grave?  We sold food, not racism, and we employed people of every origin. My husband was the last person to care if someone was African-American, Asian, Italian, Irish or Jewish, because he had friends who were all of these. ... May I apologize for all the children who at age 7 in 1930 at James Blaine Elementary gave my husband his nickname. They didn't realize they were hurting anyone."

Asian-American groups have long petitioned for a change. Several years ago, however, thousands of people signed a petition in favor of keeping the original name.

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