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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

West Philly Cheesesteak Restaurant Reopened With Armed Guards to Protect Customers


Philly Magazine says the uber-popular Jim's West Philly cheesesteak restaurant has reopened after closing in 2019. The franchise has reportedly been a popular staple in the Philadelphia community for decades. However, the new owners have taken additional measures to ensure their customers' safety. Per the New York Post, co-owner Cortez Johnson told WPVI that the business employed armed guards at its West Philadelphia location because "The violence has spiked." Johnson continued, "You want people to feel safe and be safe. So when they come out and eat, they don't have to worry about no type of harm." According to the York Dispatch, Philadelphia had 504 homicides last year. Philadelphia's Officer of The Controller reports that the city has had 321 homicides this year. African Americans make up 79% of the city's gun violence victims, and most of the franchise's customers are Black.


The armed guards who carry AR-15s reportedly monitor the restaurant Thursday-Sunday. Jim's West's customers spoke to ABC Philadelphia about their feelings about the famous eatery coming back; one customer said, "I'm so excited; the food has always been good. In my opinion, the best cheesesteak in town." Another customer said, "Their lines are down the block, so while you're standing here in line connecting with other people that you may not know, we got to keep security right here just to keep you guys safe." According to the New York Post, the establishment has been robbed before, and "Philly's famous cheesesteak joints have sometimes been the scene of violent disputes among customers. In 2021, a football argument between a Giants fan and an Eagles fan who were waiting at Pat's King of Steaks escalated into a deadly shooting."

While some customers don't feel that arming Jim's West with security guards who tote AR-15s sends the best message, most people are ecstatic that their favorite food spot has reopened for business!

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