Geno’s Steaks Has Removed Its “Speak English” Sign

Has Geno Vento gone against his father's dying wish to keep the infamous English-only sign?

Geno's Steaks

Photo | Jeff Fusco

It was Joey Vento’s dying wish.

The late Geno’s Steaks owner told his son he wanted nothing more than to keep his controversial “Speak English” sign in the window of his business – the sign that made him famous, he said.

But he died in 2011. And now, under the ownership of Vento’s son, Geno Vento (named after the business, not vice versa), Geno’s Steaks has reportedly removed the sign, which once sparked a discrimination complaint.

Since ownership has switched, other controversial signage has been taken down, like the “Americans don’t press # 2” sign – a reference to phone service messages – and the steak shop has hired a PR and marketing team.

A call to the shop’s publicist went unanswered this morning. In 2013, a spokeswoman for the shop’s PR agency told Philadelphia magazine that the agency was pushing for the removal of the sign.

Geno, who is openly gay, has been toeing the line between building on the business’s national reputation (he added franchises in Xfinity Live and the Philadelphia International Airport, opening this month) and respecting the wishes of his father – the man who once placed a Confederate flag sticker outside the steak shop and was like a “dictator” to work with, Geno told Philadelphia magazine last year.

None of it’s bad business for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who paid Geno’s Steaks a visit in September (surprise, surprise) to order 10 cheesesteaks, all wiz, half witout.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.