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Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 3:59 PM

Joey Vento, the owner of the longtime Philly cheesesteak joint known as Geno's Steaks ( review), died last night of a massive heart attack.  He was 71.  Mr. Vento [edited to remove incorrect reference to Jim's Steaks] opened Geno's in 1966 at the corner of 9th and Passyunk, across the street from Philadephia's most famous purveyor (and possibly the inventor) of the cheesesteak, Pat's Steaks ( review).

Mr. Vento was probably as famous locally for his outspoken politics as he was for the sandwiches he served.  Those sandwiches were, and still are, old-school classics (by which we mean the meat is not hacked up into hash and piled to overflowing in the Italian roll).  We send our condolences to the friends and family of Joey Vento.


There is some misinformation here (and in NBC Philadelphia's story). Joey Vento's father did not start Jim's on South Street in the 1940's. Jim's Steaks started in 1939 in West Philadelphia by Jim Pearlingi. It opened on South Street in 1976 and there was no Vento involved. Joey Vento's father might have had another steak shop named Jim's, but it is not the Jim's that is well known.
Posted by CheeseWit on Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 2:27 PM

The place wont be the same, he was a true Philly Icon. He will be sadly missed.
Posted by CajunKing on Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 3:32 PM

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