Some of the most notable Cheesesteak shop owners in Philly came together last night to celebrate René Kobeitri, owner of Rim Cafe at 9th and Federal Streets birthday as well as his newly acquired citizenship in the USA.
René, a Master Chef chocolatier, Caramelier moved to Philadelphia from France in 2005, where he founded his popular dessert place Rim Café in the famed Italian Market, and eventually met the love of his life Belle. Their cafe is like Cheers, every knows your name. You might walk in as a stranger, but when you leave your family. It’s that kind of place.
Every year René celebrates his birthday with a giant party in front of his cafe, located right down the street from his friends Geno Vento Geno’s Cheesesteaks and Frank Olivieri, Pat’s Steak, you can find them hanging out at the cafe on any given night, along with their other good friend Tony Luke, Jr. (r) (People always think these Cheese steak guys are competitors, little known fact they were so close they all once lived as neighbors at Dockside a few years back. It was always a fun time there.)
According to NBC10,
Geno Vento, owner of Geno’s, told NBC10 the idea began during a birthday dinner with Rene Kobeitri, owner of Rim Cafe. “I said this year, ‘I want to make it big,’” Kobeitri said. “Make a big party for everyone so why not bring everyone together and have a couple thousand people?”
The idea was put into action as several chefs put together a stretch of tables more than two blocks long, blocking 9th Street in South Philadelphia.
“One of the friends at the table said, ‘Why not a big cheesesteak?’ And his motor started going and before you know it, we’re making a 500-foot cheesesteak,” Vento said. Using hundreds of rolls, hundreds of pounds of meat and cheese that fell like rain, the chefs went to work, creating a variety of flavors. “A ravioli cheesesteak, marinara cheesesteak, a Spanish cheesesteak,” Vento said.
The chefs also made pretzels, including a pretzel roll with onions on top and a stout beer mixed with cream cheese spread in the middle.
- Chef Mike Peacock owner of G’Day Gourmet – Australian cheesesteak
- Chef Michael Sarian owner of Curly’s Comfort Food in Levittown – Cuban cheesesteak
- Chef Michael Strauss owner of Mike’s BBQ – Vietnamese cheesesteak
- Chef Christina Martinez from South Philly Barbacoa – Mexican Cheesesteak
- Chef Mike McKinley from Yakitori Boy – Japanese cheesesteak
- Chef Dian Widjojo owner of Hardena Restaurant in South Philly – Indonesian cheesesteak
- Chef Pat Romano Jr owner of We Are Inn in Philipsburg, PA – Pennsylvania Dutch cheesesteak
- Chef Joe Tarantino owner of Tarantino’s Restaurants (Atltanta area) – Rattlesnake cheesesteak (not real rattlesnake, but it will have a bite in taste)
- Vern Herestofa – Greek cheesesteak
- Chef Evan Seplow owner of Sandwich Corner Market in South Philly (coming soon) – Chinese cheesesteak
- Chef Jason Green owner of Jay’s Steak & Hoagie Joint & his kitchen manager Jason Wilkinson will be doing two 10 foot sections! Their Beer Dip cheesesteak! Beer Cream Cheese Dip spread on the inside of their pretzel roll with chopped steak & deep fried onions on top! The 2nd 10 ft will be Jay’s Favorite cheesesteak! Served with ribeye, fried onions, hot pepper relish, garlic & extra Provolone cheese
- Anthony Covatta & Luciano Russo from DaVinci SalZa Calabrese sauce! Making a Marinara & Alfredo cheesesteak
- Jeff Belonger Founder of MyPhillyAlive & Social Media Strategist will be making the “Fat Bastard” cheesesteak! Ribeye, pepperoni, caramelized onions & Provolone cheese! (My Philly Alive)
It might not have broken any official records, but it was a great celebration connecting the community, and celebrating a man who loves his community. Happy Birthday and Congratulations to you René Kobeitri !!!