“We were business competitors but we were friends,” Pat’s King of Steaks owner Frank Olivieri, Jr. said of Joey Vento this afternoon.
Vento, the philanthropic Geno’s Steaks owner, died Tuesday at 71.
“He was the hardest working guy in cheesesteaks. He has a fabulous store over there,” Olivieri said, blaming the media for the perception of an intense rivalry between the catty-corner shops. Olivieri acknowledged there was a more fierce competition when his father had owned Pat’s.
Meanwhile, funeral information for Vento has been released. A funeral mass will be held at Noon Saturday at the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul (18th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway) with a viewing starting at 9 a.m.

This post has been updated.