May 8, 2024 - News

Pat's Steaks reopens with chicken cheesesteak on menu

Pat's King of Steaks sign in South Philly

Photo: Mike D'Onofrio/Axios

Pat's King of Steaks is back to slinging cheesesteaks in its longtime home after months of renovations.

Why it matters: The 94-year-old business is a South Philly institution credited with inventing the cheesesteak in 1930 and drawing millions of hungry patrons a year to its griddles.

State of play: Pat's reopened its takeout windows at the corner of 9th and Wharton streets at 6am.

  • New on the menu are chicken cheesesteaks ($15+) — a first — and breakfast sammies on rolls from Aversa's Bakery ($10+).

What to expect: The entirety of the 1800s building was completely gutted and redone, adding a new kitchen and second-floor offices.

  • Regulars will notice part of the facade was updated, and the takeout counter was raised and extended. But there's still only outdoor seating, and the recipe and prices remain the same.

Reality check: Philadelphians haven't been without their Pat's fix. The business continued to crank out steaks, hot dogs and other staples from a food truck parked near its building during the renovations.

What they're saying: "The anchor store/restaurant that put Philadelphia on the map — because nobody knew where Philadelphia was until Pat's started making steak sandwiches and cheesesteaks — is renovated and ready for another 200 years of service," third-generation owner Frank Olivieri tells Axios.

New breakfast sandwiches from Pat's Steaks
Pat's Steaks has gotten into the breakfast sandwich game. Photo: Courtesy of Pat's Steaks/Gab Bonghi

Zoom out: The reopening of Pat's comes a week after Jim's Steaks on South Street began taking orders again nearly two years after a devastating fire.

What we're watching: Pat's has added — and removed — new menu items throughout the year based on customer interest, including hamburgers, Olivieri says. The chicken cheesesteak is no different.

  • "If it disappears off the menu because of lack of interest, it happens," he said.

📸 1 cool thing: Historic photos of customers that hung on the exterior of the building will return as crews put the finishing touches on renovations.

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