Thursday, October 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Could Rick's Steaks return to the Reading Terminal Market?

RIck Olivieri wants to bring Rick's Steaks back to the Reading Terminal Market. He left the market dramatically in 2008 after a legal battle with management. Market management says the new application is under review but says it already has three cheesesteak providers at this time.

Could Rick's Steaks return to the Reading Terminal Market?

A photo of the old Rick´s Steaks at the Reading Terminal Market
A photo of the old Rick's Steaks at the Reading Terminal Market

Rick Olivieri wants to bring Rick’s Steaks back to the Reading Terminal Market.

You may remember Olivieri publicly fueded with market management in 2007/2008 when the market didn’t renew his lease.

He felt he had been targeted because he was making waves in his role as persident of the Reading Terminal Market Merchant’s Association. One result of the settlement was that Olivieri not be able to return for three years, but that period expired late last year.

Olivieri confirmed earlier that he dropped off an application about three months ago. He got a letter acknowledging receipt from Reading Terminal Market General Manager Paul Steinke thanking him for the application.

"We have not taken any action on it at this time,” Steinke said this afternoon of Olivieri’s application. As to whether Rick’s would be brought back, Steinke said “I would never say never. We do have three vendors who offer cheesesteaks so that isn’t our highest priority.” Currently, Spataro’s, By George and Carmen’s all sell steaks at the market. Steinke said the market probably has “50 to 75” applications received in the last 24-36 months.

Olivieri says he has no hard feelings with the market management and that when he stops in to shop “Merchants tell me people are still asking for Rick’s Steaks.”

"We can let bygones be bygones. We’ve all moved on from that time,” Steinke said of the drama.

After leaving the Reading Terminal, Rick’s Steaks opened in the food court at the Bellevue and later moved to The Shops at Liberty Place and Lincoln Financial Field. The Liberty Place spot closed Dec. 31. Olivieri’s father Herbert opened the shop at the Terminal in 1982 and Rick took over in 1995 and changed the name from Olivieri’s Prince of Steaks to Rick’s Steaks.

Rick is a grandson of Pat Olivieri who founded Pat’s King of Steaks in 1930. Pat’s brother Harry’s grandson Frank Olivieri, Jr. now runs Pat’s.

In 2006, Frank and Pat’s sued Rick and Rick’s accusing trademark infringement and asserting that Rick’s cannot use a crown logo or reference Pat’s Steaks in any fashion. The suit settled the next year.

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Molly Eichel
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