Heavily armed guards protect Philly cheese steak eatery in crime-ridden ‘City of Brotherly Love’

Philly cheese steaks and heavily armed security are what you will find at Jim’s West Steaks & Hoagies in the “City of Brotherly Love” as violent crime grips the Democrat-led stronghold.

(Video Credit: 6abc Philadelphia)

The popular eatery has reopened for business after hiring AR-15-toting guards to protect customers and they aren’t the only establishment doing so in West Philadelphia.

A video showed a long line of people stretching around the block on Sunday at the Philly cheese steak eatery while armed security guards patrolled the area. Many of them are former military and police officers who find themselves in high demand given the current state of affairs in the city. Philadelphia is looking more and more like a third-world hellhole by the day with murders, robberies, assaults, and zombified homeless drug addicts roving the streets.

“The violence has spiked,” co-owner Cortez Johnson told WPVI in an interview referring to the surge in murders that have occurred, many in an area close to the newly reopened eatery.

“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,” Johnson commented.

According to WPVI, the guards are on duty during business hours from Thursday to Sunday each week.

“Our lines are down the block, so while you’re standing here in line, connecting with other people you may not know, we have security right here just to keep you guys safe,” Saul Landers, the chief financial officer of Jim’s West, told the media outlet in an interview.

“If you want to secure your business and you want to make sure everyone is safe, you have to spend that extra money,” he commented.

The owner of Presidential Protection Services, Kevon Darden, noted that his security personnel all have a “military, police and law enforcement background.”

“It’s not just myself, it’s usually other agents who are sworn and certified by the state of Pennsylvania to do security work when they’re off duty,” he explained to WPVI.

“I’m here to protect you,” Darden stated. “I’m not here to cause any trouble or be that guy with a rifle.”

Some customers welcomed the idea of armed security to protect them.

“Safety and good food is always a plus,” Nitah Dunham remarked to WPVI.

Another customer named Mario Maiale said he’s “not a big fan of guns, but I get it. If it deters it [crime], I can’t complain.”

But there are those who think it goes too far and makes Philadelphia look bad. A nearby gas station hired armed security to protect its customers as well.

“It’s a little overkill. Even if you have an armed guard, OK. But, walking around with a machine gun, it’s not family-friendly,” a customer named William King added, obviously not getting that a rifle is not a machine gun.

In 2015, the hoagie joint was hit by armed robbers who stole $215 in cash from the register and customers, according to the Philly Voice. No one was hurt that day.

The business closed down in 2019 but it’s back now.

“The original Jim’s West Steaks & Hoagies, which first opened in 1939, reopened earlier this month in West Philadelphia after a change of ownership and a legal battle over the right to use the ‘Jim’s West’ name,” The Messenger reported.

Kensington, which is a neighborhood that is just a little over eight miles from the eatery is known as “ground zero” for Philadelphia’s drug epidemic and has become an open-air drug market. Politicians are now trying to crack down on the area but those efforts are a little too little, a little too late after what they have allowed to flourish.

Many of these drug addicts have been forced to turn to crime in order to survive and sustain their habits. Establishments are turning to armed security to handle the Mad Max scenario themselves these days.

“Homicides were down 20% in Philadelphia since last year, which saw the second-highest murder rate in city history after 2021, according to police. However, eight of those slayings took place within a 10-block radius of Jim’s West Steaks & Hoagies, statistics from the city controller’s office showed,” the New York Post reported.

A lot of the out-of-control crime is thanks to Democratic District Attorney Larry Krasner, a self-described “progressive prosecutor,” who seems to care more about the criminals than their victims.

His failure to crack down on criminals led to his impeachment in 2022 for “dereliction of duty.” He has remained in office after his trial was indefinitely postponed.

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