August 24th, 2011
01:58 AM ET
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The owner of a south Philadelphia cheesesteak shop who once instructed customers to order only in English has died, according to to relatives.

Joey Vento had a heart attack at home and died Tuesday on the way to the hospital, said Joseph Perno, his nephew and manager of the shop.

"Things are a little somber tonight," Perno told CNN affiliate KYW behind the grill at Geno's. "But he's in our hearts."

Vento founded Geno's in 1966 in Philadelphia, where it sits across the street from another cheesesteak shop, Pat's King of Steaks.

Read Philly cheesesteak shop owner who told customers to order in English dies

Previously - Get your Philly cheesesteak on – in Bahrain

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. William

    Omg I hope they speak English in heaven........

    September 4, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  2. Multi-Tasking @ Work

    sad...he was a legend of the Philly Cheesesteaks. R.I.P

    August 25, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  3. unclefcr

    watch the video, I swear it's Mario

    August 25, 2011 at 3:08 am |
  4. unclefcr

    uhh, was that Mario Battali at the end of the line?

    August 25, 2011 at 3:06 am |
  5. cmanning1000

    Dead at 71? He must have eaten too many cheesesteaks.

    August 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
  6. Darkguardian1314

    The only thing I want to say on it is that also happens the other way.
    Job openings require that the applicant be "bilingual". I had applied for jobs that said that and I told them I spoke some French and they told me no it "had" to be Spanish. That translates to only Hispanics need apply because they are most likely to speak the language; even though it's not required to do your job. It's a closed shop.

    Just like the flag, a common language binds the country together. Yes, hang on to your heritage but also be part of America.

    August 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  7. jillmarie

    I agree with his sentiments- it pains me when customers of mine have been in this country for decades, 30 plus years even- and don't speak a word of English. That's not for me to judge, but at least bring a translator or even a book that helps you rephrase words from your language to ours.
    He seems like he was well liked, and will be missed, RIP.

    August 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  8. Jinzo Defiler

    This guy was a true American. He stood up for what he believed in. RIP to a true American

    August 24, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  9. RichardHead

    " This is America. When ordering,Please speak English ". Well said Joey,Well said. RIP.

    August 24, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • IHEG@RH


      August 24, 2011 at 9:14 am |
  10. IHEG

    Wow, how sad, I have seen this guy on the travel channel and food network and he was a true character whom I am sure will be missed.

    August 24, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  11. Santa Claus

    A true master passes on.

    One has to wonder if he will be buried with Onions, Peppers and the Wizz

    August 24, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • Ms. Grammar


      August 24, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
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