Over 70 years after its opening, Joe Groh, the owner of Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop, recently announced on Facebook that the business’s original shop at 6030 Torresdale Ave. will be closing on Saturday, Sept. 3, with all services being maintained at its Fishtown site.
Having been operating on shortened hours and staff for the better part of the past two years, Groh expressed appreciation for the support of the restaurant’s team members, neighbors and customers during that time.
“For more than six decades we have been serving the finest cheesesteaks in Philadelphia right here on Torresdale Avenue,” Groh said. “Unfortunately, the time has come for us to continue that legacy exclusively at our flagship location in Fishtown which we opened in 2015.”
Joe’s was originally founded in 1949 by Samuel Sherman before Groh, who has worked at the shop since 1979, purchased it in 1999 following Sherman’s death two years prior. The shop had been a source of controversy due to its original name – Chink’s – being a slur for those of Asian descent. Following years of public pressure, Groh changed the name to Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop in 2013.
Specializing in cheesesteaks while also serving other items such as hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and sausage, Joe’s opened its Fishtown shop at 1 W. Girard Ave. back on April 1, 2015. Groh said that upon closing the Torresdale Avenue location, the restaurant will now be pivoting toward other business opportunities to help further expand the brand beyond Fishtown and Northeast Philly.
“For now, I will be focusing on exciting new revenue streams, like the incredibly popular Goldbelly partnership that gives us the ability to ship our steaks nationwide — and actually taking a day or two off each week in order to spend more time with my adorable grandchildren,” Groh said.