A classic Philadelphia cheesesteak restaurant is changing its name after almost seven decades from "Chink's" because of fear of causing racial offense.

Chink's Steaks has been renowned for its girth-busting meat and melted cheese sandwiches since it was opened by Samuel "Chink" Sherman in 1949, according to a history on the eatery's website.

Sherman gave what was at first just a sandwich shop his own nickname and after he died in 1997, his protege Joe Groh kept on the tradition.

Only recently, Groh told CBS television, have people started to complain about the potential for seeing the name as a racist term for Chinese.

"We did not associate it with the racial slur," he said, but change is needed so that "we no longer inadvertently alienate anyone in the Philly community."

The website says the new name will be "Joe's Steaks and Soda Shop."

[File photo via Agence France-Presse]