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NEWS
December 14, 2007 | By Gene D’Alessandro, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lunch hour at Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia bought out a boisterous bunch of supporters who defended owner Joey Vento, who would be defending himself and his infamous "speak English" sign this afternoon before the city's Commission on Human Relations. "We think this city is raking Joey over the coals," said retiree Nick Skolsky from Media, who came via a half-full motorcoach organized by radio host Dom Giordano of WPHT (1210 AM). In the background, a few aging cheerleader wannabes chanted, "We want Joey!
NEWS
March 20, 2008 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
A city agency yesterday dismissed a discrimination complaint against Geno's Steaks for its speak-English sign, halting a case that thrust shop owner Joey Vento into the national spotlight of the contentious immigration debate. A split three-member panel of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations ruled that a sign in the South Philadelphia cheesesteak shop did not convey a message that service would be refused to non-English speakers. "The bottom line is that I didn't do anything wrong," said Vento, 68, who maintained that the sign was a political statement and that no customers were ever turned away.
NEWS
August 23, 2011 | By MORGAN ZALOT and ROBERT MORAN, and Philadelphia Inquirer
South Philly legend Joey Vento, who opened Geno's Steaks at 9th and Passyunk in 1966, died today of a massive heart attack. Vento was 71. "We're a little tragic here right now," Vento's nephew Joseph Perno, manager at Geno's, said tonight. "We're doing fine. So far, so good. " Vento was a controversial figure, perhaps known best for signs at his steak shop requiring customers to order in English that prompted a lawsuit in 2006. Geno's Steaks also had a longstanding feud with Pat's King of Steaks, which claims to have invented the cheesesteak in 1933.
NEWS
August 25, 2011 | BY GLORIA CAMPISI, campisg@phillynews.com 215-854-5935
BEFORE JUNE 2006, most people knew Joey Vento mainly for the rivalry of his Geno's Steaks with across-the-street competition Pat's King of Steaks. Then it was reported that, in a South Philadelphia neighborhood where Mexican immigrants were settling, a controversial sign had gone up at Geno's window: "This is AMERICA. WHEN ORDERING SPEAK ENGLISH. " An international controversy arose after the Philadelphia Human Relations Commision accused Vento, the grandson of Italian immigrants, of discrimination.
NEWS
August 24, 2011 | By Robert Moran and Nathan Gorenstein, Inquirer Staff Writers
Joey Vento, the impresario of cheesesteaks whose "speak English" sign at his South Philly sandwich shop made him famous to some, infamous to others, died Tuesday of a heart attack. A multimillionaire who started with little more than the change in his pocket, Vento, 71, built his Geno's Steaks into an institution nearly as well known as the Liberty Bell. His arrival on the national stage came via a 2006 controversy, when he erected signs that advised his customers at Ninth and Passyunk that if they wanted to eat, they better order in English.
NEWS
August 28, 2011 | By Rick Nichols, Inquirer Columnist
Cheesesteak virgins find out the hard way when they order wrong at the take-out windows of South Philly. The protocol is to order "Whiz wit," meaning, of course, Cheez Whiz with onions. Or, say, "American wit-out," meaning, well, you can figure it out. Mess up, and you're in trouble. At Pat's Steaks below the Italian Market, stern instructions are posted, warning that violators will be sent to the end of the line for screwing up. It's part of the late-night street ritual where Passyunk Avenue angles into Federal Street; like the curbside chants - fading nowadays - of the fishmongers and produce hucksters north on Ninth.
NEWS
June 16, 2006 | By LINDA S. WALLACE
TEN YEARS AGO, after taking some time off from my career, I spent a summer wandering the streets of Philadelphia directing lost tourists away from the hidden danger zones. Helping visitors to Philadelphia is a tough job - but somebody has to do it. We'd built all these hotel rooms when Ed Rendell was mayor. If the tourists decided to stay home, I figured, my taxes were going to go up. So one day a week, off I went on tourist patrol. Wearing my best smile, I'd venture about town looking for people who either were holding maps upside down or frozen in fear.
NEWS
June 14, 2006 | By Daniel Rubin INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Talk about a cheesesteak with legs. Readers from Manila to Mankato, Minn., have now read about Geno's Steaks' English-only signs. The China Daily filed the story under "Odd News" on its Web site. The Record, in Kitchener, Ontario, chose the headline "Philly Cheesesteak Restaurant: Yo, Speak English, Will Youse?" News that third-generation American Joey Vento wants his Philadelphia customers to order in English has pushed the international hot buttons of immigration, identity and indigestion.
NEWS
June 18, 2006 | Arthur Caplan
Arthur Caplan is chairman of the department of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Yo. Whassup? Has youse heard dat Geno's Steaks in Sout Philly got a sign up dat sez you gotta order in English to get a steak? Dat's right - if youse ain't sayin "wit wiz" or "widout," den you ain't no Merican and shunt get a cheesesteak, much less a hoagie. Well, dat sign shd stay. Dey din take down the sign at Chink's Steaks, an dey shun take diss one down needa.
NEWS
June 20, 2006
CONGRATULATIONS to Joseph Vento of Geno's Steaks, a true American who has the backbone to take a stand and say what much of the general public and many spineless politicians really think but are too cowardly to speak up about. And Signe Wilkinson's attempt at mocking "South Philly Cheesesteaks" would be lame if it weren't so pathetic. Phooey for phony cartoonists! Hooray for the English language! Applause for Joseph Vento! Ketan Ben Caesar, Philadelphia
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NEWS
January 26, 2013
A New Jersey police officer who was beaten by a drunken Flyers fan last year outside Geno's Steaks filed suit Thursday against his attacker and the South Philadelphia bar that served the assailant. Neal Auricchio, 31, had come to Philadelphia on Jan. 2, 2012, for the NHL Winter Classic between the Flyers and the New York Rangers. After the game, Auricchio, in a Rangers jersey, was attacked while waiting in line with a friend outside the South Philadelphia sandwich shop. He suffered a concussion and doctors used a titanium plate to rebuild his face.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Sam Wood, PHILLY.COM
A NEW JERSEY police officer who was viciously beaten by a drunken Flyers fan last year outside Geno's Steaks filed suit Thursday against his attacker and the South Philly bar that served the attacker. Neal Auricchio, 31, an officer for the Woodbridge Police Department, was off-duty when he came to the city on Jan. 2, 2012 to attend the NHL Winter Classic that pitted the Flyers against the Rangers. After the game, the Iraq War veteran and a friend - who both were wearing Rangers jerseys - drove to the South Philly restaurant for a celebratory cheesesteak.
SPORTS
October 15, 2012 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Shaun White's cab was navigating the narrow streets of South Philadelphia on Friday night when the driver pointed out that Geno's Steaks was just ahead. "Where is it? I can't see it," White joked about the brightly lit steak shop. This was the snowboarder's first trip to Philadelphia - or at least he was pretty sure it was. After his flight from California, White couldn't decide between Pat's or Geno's, so he chose both. White, who has emerged as the face of extreme sports over the last decade, has won a pair of Olympic gold medals and is one of the world's elite in both snowboarding and skateboarding.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2012 | BY LAUREN McCUTCHEON, Daily News Staff Writer
BRAISED PORK belly with congee and sweet soy. Yellowfin tuna tartare layered with red curry, avocado and coconut broth. Squash flan adorned with brussels sprouts leaves, radish and spiced seeds. Rabbit rillette crowned with red plum, pistachio, black pepper gastrique and clover. If you had to guess where you could nibble such haute dishes in Philly, you'd likely assume Rittenhouse Square. Maybe Old City. Or Society Hill. Chestnut Hill . . . Manayunk? No, no, no, no and nope. Those menu items, plus groceries and takeout fare that include curried fleur de sel, lemon thyme meringues, sugarplum sorbet, tiny madeleine cakes - not to mention delicate cappuccinos lovingly prepared with locally roasted beans - are up for grabs along East Passyunk Avenue.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2012 | By Dan Gross
GENO VENTO , son of Joey Vento, the late founder of Geno's Steaks, says he's not selling the South Philadelphia landmark after which he was named. Yesterday we mentioned rumors that he wanted out. After unsuccessful attempts at reaching Geno, he left us a voice-mail saying "the restaurant is not up for sale. " Speaking of steaks . . . Pat's King of Steaks, across the street from Geno's, ranks 26th on Gogobot.com's list of top-50 Foodie Faves nationwide. The travel site also picked Philadelphia as No. 2 on its Destination Hot List above such international cities as Montreal, Buenos Aires and Dublin.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2012 | By Dan Gross
JOEY VENTO is gone but a new movie helps make sure he is not forgotten. The late Geno's Steaks owner appears in "Swooped," a comedy that screens at the Trocadero (1003 Arch) on March 18. Vento, who died in August, plays himself, selling a cheesesteak to one of the main characters. A few scenes take place at Geno's. Directors Joe Gariffo and ShaunPaul Costello say proceeds from the screening will go to fund their next film, "The Independents," which is a hockey comedy to shoot in town this Spring.
NEWS
November 2, 2011 | By Tom Barnes, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
HARRISBURG - Even in death, Philadelphia cheesesteak king Joey Vento is causing controversy. On Tuesday, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler) proposed a resolution honoring Vento, owner of Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia, who died in August. Vento was perhaps best known for the sign at Geno's that read: "This is America. When ordering, please speak English. " The sign sparked a national controversy in 2006. Metcalfe supports a bill to make English the "official language" of Pennsylvania and considers Vento a hero for his actions.
NEWS
November 2, 2011 | By Reity O’Brien, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The aroma of fried onions hung in the air Wednesday as the Fraternal Order of Police dedicated a plaque in front of Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia, memorializing Joey Vento, the controversial cheesesteak magnate and philanthropist, who died Aug. 23. FOP chaplain Joseph Cella gave the invocation at the ceremony, similar to those given for officers who die in the line of duty. "It seems quite appropriate in our Catholic, Christian faith, which Joey was raised in, that this, the day we commemorate all souls, we would recognize Joey," Cella said.
NEWS
August 28, 2011 | By Rick Nichols, Inquirer Columnist
Cheesesteak virgins find out the hard way when they order wrong at the take-out windows of South Philly. The protocol is to order "Whiz wit," meaning, of course, Cheez Whiz with onions. Or, say, "American wit-out," meaning, well, you can figure it out. Mess up, and you're in trouble. At Pat's Steaks below the Italian Market, stern instructions are posted, warning that violators will be sent to the end of the line for screwing up. It's part of the late-night street ritual where Passyunk Avenue angles into Federal Street; like the curbside chants - fading nowadays - of the fishmongers and produce hucksters north on Ninth.
NEWS
August 25, 2011
THE LOW POINT of Joey Vento's career probably was facing trumped-up charges that dragged him before the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. He was accused of discrimination, but no matter how high the kangaroos in the court jumped, they couldn't produce anyone who was discriminated against at his neon-loaded, nurse-clean sandwich shop. At the time of the hearing, Joey told me CHR "violated numerous civil rights of me . " The high point of Joey Vento's career was showing up at Geno's before daybreak to prepare his iconic sandwich shop for the day's business.
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