Philly restaurant Chink's changes offensive name

Owner Joe Groh felt the time had come, but some customers are accusing him of caving to political correctness.

By Jonathan Berr Apr 2, 2013 5:59PM

Glass of soda at Chink's Steaks in Philadelphia, Pa. (© Chink's Steaks via Facebook, more than six decades, residents of Philadelphia's Wyomissing neighborhood only associated Chink's Steaks with one thing: the artery-clogging sandwiches made famous by the City of Brotherly Love. 


Then in 2004, an Asian-American student complained to owner Joe Groh that the name was offensive. Nine years later, Groh decided the time had come to change it.

As The Philadelphia Inquirer and other local media organizations reported, Chink's is changing its name to Joe's Steak and Soda Shop. Some of the restaurant's customers are not pleased with the change, accusing Groh of caving to political correctness. About 10,000 of them signed a petition urging Groh to keep the Chink's name. 

For what its worth, "Chink" was the off-color nickname bestowed upon the shop's original owner, Samuel Sherman, because of his "almond eyes." Sherman wasn't Asian. Groh bought the shop from Sherman's widow in 1999.


"It was a tough decision," Groh told MSN in an interview. "I mulled that over for a few years."


Customers who are upset about the name change will eventually realize that everything else about the shop, such as the staff and the sandwiches, is still the same, he said.

Groh's move earned him praise from Pennsylvania state Sen. Mark Cohen, who told the Inquirer, "I understand people who want the past to govern the present, but there comes a point when you have to be responsive to changes that exist in the city."

Even big companies, though, have to be sensitive to cultural considerations. Lego was forced to withdraw a Star Wars toy set depicting Jabba the Hut's palace after Turkish Muslims raised objections because it looked like a mosque, according to the U.K.'s Mail.

--Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter at @jdberr.

More on moneyNOW

Apr 2, 2013 7:38PM
Sooo, if it was called "Cracker's" would it still be offensive?
Apr 2, 2013 7:47PM
Oh please, i am so sick of all this political correctness crap! That was the name of the store if someone doesn't like it tough shi@ don't go in! That was the name of the store for over 60 years someone is always going to be offended over something the hell with them
Apr 2, 2013 7:46PM
Apr 2, 2013 7:52PM
Everyone needs to lighten up with this whole political correctness nonsense.  As a society, we are being muzzled and soon your right to free speech will be GONE!  Maybe it is offensive to some but everyone is offended one way or another EVERY DAY.  If you're offended by the name then exercise your right to NOT GO THERE.  What's next -  telling you how to think, how to feel, what to believe, what to eat, and what to call your business.  How about MINDING your own business - How's that!

Apr 2, 2013 7:51PM
Really at this point, I for one don't give a $h!t what any minority, majority, religious group, political group, etc.. thinks about any of this. Name your sports franchise, restaurant, or any other private entity whatever you want to. Then let the individual decide whether or not to patronize it. There are limitless choices out there for all people to enjoy. Stop trying to make everyone of them conform to every possible interest group or ethnicity. No one is forcing anyone to frequent these places.
Apr 2, 2013 7:43PM

" Political Correctness" A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.


Jay's potato chips from Chicago used to known as "Japs" until Dec. 7 1941

Apr 2, 2013 7:22PM
Well as long as another minority is happy his work is done.
Apr 2, 2013 8:07PM
Can we all just have a big boo f'ing hoo for the offended?  We've become a nation of stupid whiners.  "I'm offended" has become the whine of the century.  Grow some skin, crybabies.
Can I still say "The brick had a chink in it"?
I'm offended ... Waaaaaaaa waaaaaaaa waaaaaaaa ...

Apr 2, 2013 7:57PM
Enough of this political correctness already! Sheesh!
Apr 2, 2013 7:41PM
 I think 'P.C.' is offensive enough that I might just throw out my old computer and buy a mac instead!
Apr 2, 2013 8:10PM
What about chink in the armor? Is that Chinese bacon?
Apr 2, 2013 8:10PM
Gimme a break!!! PC is totally BS...
Apr 2, 2013 8:15PM
Apr 2, 2013 8:18PM
I want a set of 4 of those pint glasses before they get rid of them.
Apr 2, 2013 7:44PM
They could have just changed the name to chopsticks!
Apr 2, 2013 8:14PM
If I lived there, I wouldn't go anymore.  I hate P.C.
Apr 2, 2013 7:58PM
I hear he's going to change the name to 'Tube Steaks'.
Apr 2, 2013 7:58PM
Clink - as in two glasses tapping would be better
Apr 2, 2013 8:09PM
Really come on it is not like he named it **** and served dog meat as a meal.
Apr 2, 2013 8:02PM
Not that the complaint didn't have some merit, but I'm getting so sick of all the PC BS.
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