Joe Groh, 50, who went to work at Chink's when he was 16 and took ownership of the business in 1999, said the first indication that the name would have to be changed came in 2003, when he received a complaint from an Asian American student, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday.
The eatery had been named for its founder, Samuel "Chink" Sherman, who was given the nickname in grade school as a result of his almond shaped eyes.
However, Groh said it was time for the name of the restaurant to change with the times.
"It's a good and dramatic change," said state Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia, who came to the restaurant for the sign changing Monday. "I understand people who want the past to govern the present, but there comes a point when you have to be responsive to changes that exist in the city."
Not all residents were happy with the change.
"I mean, he's ignoring the 10,000 signatures on the petition to keep the name? Now, he's giving in to political correctness," said Robert Quinn, 59.
Eleanor McGonigal, 60, agreed.
"I just think it's ridiculous," she said. "Cracker Barrel hasn't had to change their name. I mean, that could be made into a racist thing."