Skip to comments.Joey Vento, whose cheesesteak biz was spiced with philanthropy
Posted on 08/25/2011 2:31:40 PM PDT by curth
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.
The 5-foot-5, tattooed, gold chain-laden South Philadelphian was one hardworking multimillionaire.
A generous one, too. In death, the media (particularly print) gave him the accolades usually denied him in life.
He became a minor national celebrity, especially to conservatives, after the infamous "order in English" faux controversy. He was roasted by most local columnists and editorial writers because they are liberal and hated Joey's conservative messages.
Since he left school after the sixth grade, he was an imperfect messenger. Grammar often tripped him up like untied shoelaces, but people seemed to understand him anyway.
I went to Geno's yesterday - a warm, fine morning except for the sadness of the mission - to get some color for this column, and to pay my respects to Joey's widow, Eileen, and son, Geno.
In the interest of full disclosure, when a previous sponsor bailed last year, Joey wrote a check making Geno's Steaks the title sponsor of the Stu Bykofsky Candidates' Comedy Night. His money went to Variety, the charity the show supports, but I had been a Vento fan before that.
Although I don't share most of his political beliefs, and was more amused than convinced by his right-wing, Obama-bashing radio commercials,
(Excerpt) Read more at philly.com ...
lousy steaks, but a great immigrant american. I patronized his shop BECAUSE he was so outspoken and unafraid.
Ron and Kay Rivoli of the Tea Party Express have written an anthem lauding Joey Vento. This author should just suck up his own political views when writing a “tribute”.
Of course they tried to shut him down, this is what commies always do against dissenters.
Agree. Jim and Pats better steak sandwiches, but their french fries “wit” cheese were better :)
Mr. Vento's Viewing and Funeral will be this Saturday, August 27 at St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral, 18th and JFK Parkway (exact address: 1723 Race). Friends can attend the viewing from 9AM to 11:45AM. Mass begins at 12 Noon.
I’m a southern boy who was in Philly back in ‘03 and the guy I was worked with took me there. It was so good and I got to the last bite and there was a hair on my sandwich. It was good.
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