Back in April, a hallowed 64-year-old cheesesteak institution in Philadelphia changed its name from "Chink's Steaks" to "Joe's Steaks," because the former is a racist term for individuals of Asian decent and the latter is not. Folks in the neighborhood lost their minds; how could "Chink's Steaks" be racist when it wasn't even racist? The original owner had "almond-shaped eyes" (like a person of Asian descent) so everyone called him "Chink" — what's racist about that?
Now, a few months later, the Philadelphia Daily News has checked in with Joe Groh, the longtime employee of the shop at 6030 Torresdale Avenue, who bought the business from the Samuel "Chink" Sherman's widow in 1999. Turns out people do not want to buy hot meat sandwiches from some schmuck named Joe—only from an old steak-slinger with almond-shaped eyes named "Chink."
Everything looks the same, but the cherubic Groh senses something has changed. His business was down 10 percent in June and 15 percent last month.
Also, says Groh, people keep painting "Chink's" on the sidewalk in front of the shop. Not in a racist way. Just in a way like, if there was a house in your neighborhood that used to be owned by a family who "looked Jewish" (but weren't) and then that family sold it and another family moved in, you would keep writing "JEW HOUSE" on that house's sidewalk because that's what it is — the Jew House. Not racist!
Now Groh claims he is considering moving the business to a new neighborhood, though that seems unlikely, given that it would deprive him of hilarious interactions like this one described in the story:
A little old lady, maybe 75, comes in with her son and daughter. She says to Groh, "You make me sick," orders a cheesesteak, sits down, eats it, then walks out telling him, "You still make me sick."