Popular Northeast Philadelphia cheesesteak shop closes

There's problems for a popular cheesesteak shop. Jim's Steaks in Northeast Philadelphia is closed tonight. It shut down due to health violations and the problems don't end there.

FOX 29's Bruce Gordon explains how we helped one employee.

Lunchtime on a Tuesday and Kelly Allen is at home in Germantown watching TV with his 3-year-old son instead of grilling up cheesesteaks.

"Beginning of the month, bills are due," said Allen to FOX 29's Bruce Gordon. "I don't have no job. That's what I work for. I work to feed my family and pay my bills."

Kelly is a cook at Jim's Steaks for more than 20 years a fixture at Cottman and Bustleton in Northeast Philly.
But last Wednesday, just ahead of his night shift he was called and told to stay home.

"One of the other managers told me they shut the store down," said Allen. "The health department."

City inspectors had found numerous food safety and sanitation violations at the restaurant. The report says "the establishment has agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close," until cleared to resume business by the city. The surprise shutdown caught lunchtime customers by surprise. John Klein drove here from Langhorne for a sandwich.

"So now I'm going to do option two. Which I don't really have a plan 2," said Klein, "So I've got to drive back to Langhorne."

Allen told Gordon was owed 37.5 hours of pay-- about 400 bucks-- when the restaurant closed.
He spent the past several days texting his boss, the owner-- Carl Proetto-- begging for his money, with no response.

"I like the company," said Allen. "I like Mr. Carl. I just want to get paid. Just need to get paid."

Gordon tracked down Proetto by phone.
The longtime restaurant owner told him the shop at Bustleton and Cottman-- one of three he runs-- had become too much to handle.

" I just can't go on," he told Gordon, and revealed he will not try to reopen at Cottman and Bustleton.

Then Gordon made arrangements for Allen to get his overdue paycheck and Proetto made the payment late Tuesday afternoon.

"Thanks to you," said Allen to Gordon. "If I wouldn't have called you, don't think I would have gotten paid."