Joey Vento, the owner of Philadelphia cheesesteak institution Geno's Steaks, died this afternoon of a massive heart attack. Vento was diagnosed with colon/rectal cancer earlier this year, but kept up his daily visits to the shop. The 71-year-old even made a trip up to the shop this morning to discuss a recent renovation with longtime friend Domenic Chiavaroli.
Geno's Steaks made the national news in June 2006, when Joey Vento posted two small signs that read, "This is America: When Ordering, Please Speak English." A Philadelphia court ruled in 2008 that the signs did not constitute customer discrimination.