Pat's King of Steaks
|Pat's King of Steaks|
Pat's Steaks at dusk.
|Current owner(s)||Frank Olivieri, Jr.|
|Food type||North American cuisine|
|Street address||1237 East Passyunk Avenue|
|Website||Pat's King of Steaks website|
Pat's King of Steaks (also known as Pat's Steaks) is a Philadelphia restaurant specializing in cheesesteaks, and located at the intersection of South 9th Street, Wharton Street and East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia, directly across the street from rival Geno's Steaks. It was founded in 1930 by the Olivieri brothers, who are credited with the creation of the Philly Cheesesteak.
In 1933, as the family relates the story, the brothers were working their stand when they decided to try something different for lunch. Pat Olivieri sent Harry Olivieri to the market for some inexpensive steak. The brothers thinly sliced the steak, then grilled it along with some chopped onions. The aroma attracted a cabdriver who was a regular customer; he asked to try the dish which the brothers called a steak sandwich. Pat sold him the sandwich for ten cents.
Soon afterwards, at the advice of the aforementioned cabdriver, the brothers started selling steak sandwiches instead of hot dogs. By 1940, they had saved enough to rent space to open a restaurant at the same spot where they had their stand. The two brothers worked at the restaurant for 15 to 18 hours a day for the next few decades while the restaurant was open 24 hours a day. Harry worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard during World War II before returning to the restaurant.
After pulling back from expansion and franchising efforts in the 1980s, the business was divided up by the Olivieri family. Harry and his son kept the original location, today run by Harry's grandson, Frank Jr. Pat's son Herbert opened "Olivieri's Prince of Steaks", later to be the source of a family dispute (see below).
A sign explains how to order; the customer asks for what variety of sandwich he/she wants and then says "wit" or "wit-out" (i.e. whether the customer wants the sandwich with or without onions), a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Philadelphia accent.
Olivieri family feud
Pat's King of Steaks is the original shop opened by Pasquale "Pat" Olivieri and his brother, Harry. Harry's grandson, Frank, owns Pat's. Pat's grandson, Rick, owned Rick's Original Philly Steaks at Reading Terminal Market, which closed in October 2008.
Pat's son, Herbert (Rick's father), expanded the business by opening franchises of Pat's King of Steaks. In the 1980s, the Olivieris split up the business. Harry and Frank Sr. kept the original location, Herbert ("King" Pat's son) opened Olivieri's Prince of Steaks in Reading Terminal Market. Herbert's son Rick renamed it "Rick's" in the mid-1990s, still using the crown logo and mentioning his grandfather, Pat Olivieri.
In October 2006, Pat's sued Rick's, alleging trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition, based on the use of the crown logo and the name "Pat Olivieri".
The suit was settled in August 2007. Terms were not disclosed. Frank Olivieri Jr. said he was "...happy with the settlement and I'm sure my cousin Rick is as well." Rick Olivieri told reporters "It's an agreement we can both live with. Everybody is happy."
- "NPR Interview with Frank Olivieri "Harry Olivieri, Philly Cheesesteak King, Dies"".
- "New York Times, "Harry Olivieri, 90, Co-Inventor of Cheese Steak in Philadelphia, Dies" July 22, 2006 retrieved July 25, 2006". The New York Times. July 22, 2006. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Pat's King of Steaks official website.".
- Sims, Gayle Ronan (July 22, 2006). "Obituary: Harry M. Olivieri / Philadelphia cheesesteak's co-creator". Philadelphia Inquirer
- "Food Fight".
- Pettit, Mason (narrator) (2008-03-12). Steak Paradise (Television production). Prometheus Entertainment for The Travel Channel. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
- "Cousins Feud in Philly Cheesesteak Suit". The Washington Post. October 19, 2006. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "A fratricidal way about sandwiches". The Economist. October 26, 2006.
- "Two Cousins Have a Philly Cheesesteak Legal Food Fight".
- "S. Phila. cousins settle steak legacy".[dead link]
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