PHILADELPHIA – A City Council member jumped into the debate over a sign at one of Philadelphia's best-known cheesesteak joints that reads: "This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING 'SPEAK ENGLISH."'
During the council's meeting Thursday, Councilman Jim Kenney asked Geno's Cheesesteaks owner Joseph Vento to take the small sign down. The English-only ordering sign has irritated some activists in the diverse neighborhood of South Philadelphia and drawn national attention.
"It's such an iconic institution and business, one that is that visible for many of our residents, for the region and the world," Kenney said.
Vento, whose grandparents struggled to learn English after immigrating from Sicily in the 1920s, said his staff is glad to help non-native speakers order in English and no one has been turned away because of a language barrier.
"I don't see much of a big deal about learning to say Cheez Whiz," he told ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" on Friday.