Business Language
Geno's English Only Matt Rourke/AP Photo

Joseph Vento, owner of Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia, displays a sign during a recess of a Commission on Human Relations hearing in Philadelphia, Friday, Dec. 14, 2007.

October 13, 2016

'English only' sign gone from Geno's Steaks

Controversial language requirement no longer greeting customers, report says

A sign telling customers to order in English at South Philadelphia's Geno's Steaks is gone.

BillyPenn reported that as of Wednesday night, the sign, which greeted customers with a language requirement for 10 years, was no longer sitting in the glass window where hungry residents and tourists pay for their cheesesteaks.

The late Geno's owner Joey Vento put the sign up in 2006 due to concerns over immigration reform. It read: “This is AMERICA. When ordering, speak English.”


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When Vento died in 2011, his dying wish for his son Geno Vento, who took over the business, was for him to let the sign remain.

In 2009, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations ruled against a complaint that argued the sign was discriminatory, according to the Inquirer.

An employee confirmed to the newspaper Tuesday that the sign had been taken down. Geno Vento did not immediately respond to a request for comment to BillyPenn, and neither did a publicist to the Inquirer.