Homesick Eagles fans, rejoice — Hell’s Kitchen hospitality alum Evan Stein is back on 9th Avenue with authentic Philadelphia cuisine at his new venture, Olde City Cheesesteak & Brew.

Named for the Old City neighborhood in the City of Brotherly Love, there’s no doubt of the eatery’s roots — the bread for the signature sandwich is even brought in daily from Philly. Olde City also boasts craft cocktails, dozens of beers on tap, organic wines and plenty of seating to catch the Eagles at next Sunday’s Super Bowl. But Stein wisely added that he will be offering “all of the New York franchise games — we’ll still be showing all of those!” 

Olde City Evan Stein
Evan Stein returns to 9th Avenue with Olde City Cheesesteak & Brews. Photo: Naty Caez

It’s a triumphant, Rocky-esque return for the restaurateur, who previously opened Midtown’s Shorty’s Cheesesteaks after selling his successful advertising sales business in 2006. 

“I went to Lehigh [University] for undergrad, graduated in ‘93 and came right to the city,” Evan said. “I had an internet advertising company, and I sold it during the internet boom. I made some money and did some traveling.” When he returned, he realized that he wanted to open a New York City restaurant. “You could get almost any kind of cuisine in Manhattan, but you couldn’t get a good Philly cheesesteak. I had this idea to open up an authentic Philly cheesesteak shop, and it took on a life of its own.”

Olde City Cheesesteak
Stein ships in fresh bread from Philly daily to make his signature cheesesteak, which is available until 2am. Photo: Naty Caez

After successfully building the brand with a passionate community of New York-based Eagles fans, he kept expanding, eventually operating five locations around the city until “things derailed.” “I had a falling out with my partner — we just didn’t see eye to eye,” said Evan. He left Shorty’s in 2019, and the restaurant has since moved over to W44th and 9th as a takeout-only spot. 

The fall-out was “a nightmare” for Evan. But after three years, he was able to regain access to two of his former Shorty’s spaces: in Hell’s Kitchen and the Flatiron. Evan partnered with Aurify Brands, the team behind franchises Melt Shop and Little Beet — “I went to rival high schools with one of the cofounders,” the Newton Square, PA, native said — to rebuild his cheesesteak empire one sandwich at a time. 

They opened Olde City’s Flatiron outpost first, and after signing a lease on the original 9th Avenue Shorty’s space in 2022 and gritting through the requisite supply chain and liquor license delays, finally geared up to open Olde City Midtown. 

The original Shorty’s concept — cheesesteaks, beer and sports — has remained intact, but Evan is excited about getting the chance to tweak and expand his original menu for a new crowd. In addition to later kitchen hours and new dishes, like the pretzels delivered fresh from Staten Island’s Philly Pretzel Factory — “He’s from Philly,” explained Evan — there is an entirely reworked beverage program.

“It’s much more of an upscale cocktail menu,” said Evan. “Before, we just had cheap beers and alcohol, but now we have organic wines, the beers are very crafty and we do fresh juices and house-made syrups for our cocktails.” For a taste of Pennsylvania, Yuengling is on tap.

Evan is proud of the new menu items, but it’s the Hell’s Kitchen community that he’s the most excited about regaining. “This was my home,” he said. “I spent 16 years of my life in this space, and it took a lot of soul-searching to see if I wanted to get back in this business. But I just knew how special the concept is, and I believe in it so much.” 

Sports and cheesesteak fans once again have a place to gather on 9th Avenue. Photo: Naty Caez

His former Shorty’s staff believe in it too. “We’ve gotten so many text messages from old employees who want to bartend,” said Evan, adding that his director of operations and many of the kitchen staff from Shorty’s were on board for the space’s new chapter. Shorty’s regulars have come back too — “We’ve seen people over at our Madison Avenue location tell us, ‘Oh my God, you’re back,’ and now they’re excited to see us here,” said Evan. “It’s really a reunion.” 

And as old friends plan to gather on 9th Avenue for the upcoming Super Bowl, Evan says they’ll host Hell’s Kitchen fans with a DJ and plenty of beer to cheer on the team. “I’m not very religious, but God works in mysterious ways,” he joked. “The Phillies were in the World Series earlier this year and that put Olde City Flatiron on the map, and now this — the timing couldn’t be better.” 

Evan Stein
There are new craft beers, organic wines and a revamped cocktail program at the sports bar. Photo: Naty Caez

With an eye on the future, the team is working on a third Olde City location in Chelsea, and plans to eventually bring authentic Philly cheesesteaks all over the city and beyond. “I want to bring Olde City to the East Side, West Side, all over,” said Evan. “You can take this concept into any cool food scene, and any town near a college campus because the food really is good,” He added, “My investors always tease me because I’m very passionate about food, but we really have the best cheesesteaks!”

For now, however, Evan is simply excited to be back in Hell’s Kitchen, where his hospitality career began. “I’m very proud and it’s a good redemption story,” he said. “It’s really surreal being back in this space.

“When I opened this restaurant I was 34 years old and now I’m 50. I can’t hang the way I used to,” he laughed. “But I love being in this neighborhood and I know it like the back of my hand — I’m so happy to be back.” 

Olde City Cheesesteak & Brew is located at 576 9th Avenue between W41st and W42nd Street and is open every day from 11am to 2am.

Join the Conversation


  1. As a native and staunch New Yorker, I put my sport-bias aside and wish nothing but the best to Evan and his team. It’s a shame he’s crowded by scaffolding and such but I can’t wait to come visit. If there’s one thing I like about Philly, it’s their hoagies and cheesesteaks!

  2. Thrilled that Olde City is back in the neighborhood on 9th Avenue. Truly the best cheesesteaks outside Philly with a great atmosphere to boot. (Though the roast pork special is the best thing on the menu in my opinion).

  3. Hooray! I’ve been wondering what was going on with the Shorty’s/Olde City spaces. Thanks for this update! Best of luck to Evan and the team. Looking forward to a veggie combo and some cheese fries…

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