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August 01, 2022

Jim's Steaks fundraiser to help employees put out of work after South Street fire

Owner Ken Silver said he expects it will take 'months and months' to rebuild the business

Donations Fires

The Jim’s South St. Employee Relief Fund will support workers at the cheesesteak shop that caught fire last week, requiring an extensive rebuild of the interior of the business.

Days after a two-alarm fire ripped through Jim's Steaks at Fourth and South streets, the cheesesteak shop is raising money to support staff members who will be unable to work during its recovery.

The long-running restaurant created a GoFundMe campaign to help its 33 staff members navigate the period it will take to get the business back up and running. 

"Your donation to the Jim’s South St. Employee Relief Fund will be distributed to the 33 members of our staff, providing necessary financial assistance for their families during this challenging time," the restaurant said. "Please help those who have served you with pleasure and pride, whose financial stability turned upside-down in a matter of hours."

The fire that broke out Friday morning at the four-story building required more than 125 firefighters to get the blaze under control. There were no injuries reported.

Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Adam Thiel shared concerns about the structural stability of the building, but Jim's Steaks owner Ken Silver said this weekend that it appears the property will survive. City records indicate the building was constructed around 1900.

Silver, who celebrated the shop's 46th anniversary last month, suggested that restoring the building could be a lengthy process.

"We will rebuild. Insurance will cover sticks and bricks," the restaurant wrote on Facebook. "However, it won't cover the lost income for our amazing crew for the months and months we will be closed."

Thank you for the outpouring of love in light of the fire that gutted our shop on Friday. We will rebuild. Insurance...

Posted by Jim's South Street on Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Art Deco storefront at Jim's South Street dates back to 1976, when Silver and his father opened the cheesesteak shop. The original Jim's Steak chain was founded in 1939 on North 62nd Street in West Philadelphia. The South Street restaurant became a separate entity in 2011, while another Jim's Steaks in Springfield, Delaware County has operated since 1999.

An investigation into the cause of the fire remains ongoing with the Fire Marshal's Office.

As of Monday morning, the Jim's South St. Employee Relief Fund had raised more than $11,000.