In 1966, the brash-talking, straight-from-the-hip, Philly-to-the-core Joey Vento opened the equally colorful Geno’s Steaks in Philadelphia and built a Philly cheesesteak institution from the dilapidated ground up.
On Tuesday, Joey died at 71 of a massive heart attack, but his big hearted, deep-pocketed legacy lives on at The Rum Barrel, the southernmost spot for all things authentically Philly–including Joey’s spirit.
On Thursday, August 25, through Friday, August 26, The Rum Barrel will donate 50 percent of all proceeds from our signature Philly cheesesteaks sales to Joey’s foundation, which donated generously to the American Cancer Society and Philadelphia policemen killed in the line of duty.
“We don’t have that many great personalities in Philly and Joey Vento was one of them. He was larger than life and he was giving. The Earth literally shook the day Joey passed,” said Rum Barrel owner Pat Croce, referring to the earthquake that rocked the East Coast Tuesday.
Joey was the kind of man, who after 9/11, held a 3-day fundraising marathon and raised $120,000, who often tracked down and sent checks to unemployed families or terminally ill children after reading about them in the newspaper. This is what we honor this week.
“I read story after story about the hundreds of thousands of dollars Joey Vento raised and donated out of his own pocket, many times anonymously, to complete strangers in need,” said Rum Barrel General Manager JC Picco. “It’s a privilege to honor a man who helped so many.”
The Philly cheesesteaks are available at The Rum Barrel’s restaurant and via the Key West Food-To-Go delivery service by calling (305) 292-7862 to order.