The Chink’s Steaks Controversy Hits DC

Oh brother. The Chink’s Steaks controversy just got picked up by the Washington Post.

So here’s the backstory for all of us who aren’t caught up in the foodie minutae… Chink’s Steaks was founded in Northeast Philly back in the 1950s by Samuel Sherman, who was nicknamed “Chink” as a child after his supposedly slanted eyes. Then in 2004, Asian-American groups started boycotting the restaurant:

Asian American groups began lobbying Groh to change the name in 2004, after 21-year-old Susannah Park, who is Korean American, heard about the small eatery from friends. When she called to ask why it is called “Chink’s,” she said she was told: “Because the owner had slanty eyes.”

Park, now a 25-year-old college student, grew up in Clarksburg, W.Va., the adopted daughter of white parents. “I had all kinds of experiences with that word,” Park said. “Growing up in West Virginia was traumatic… . Imagine being one of the only Asian American kids in a town that’s almost all white.”

Park’s campaign to get the name changed was unsuccessful. In fact, it elicited a backlash when neighborhood residents began a petition drive to support the restaurant. Philadelphia magazine in its “Best of Philly” edition mocked Park and called her effort “the worst complaint” of 2004.

The comment board for the story is especially vitrolic.

Asian Groups Fight to Change Eatery’s Name [WaPo]
Chink’s Steaks [MenuPages]
Chink’s Steaks [Official Site]

[Image via Holly Eats]


The Chink’s Steaks Controversy Hits DC