"Everybody Goes to Gino's"
|Founded||1957 (Dundalk, Maryland)|
|Defunct||1982 (Revived in 2010)|
|Headquarters||King of Prussia, Pennsylvania|
Number of locations
|Gino Marchetti (Chain's namesake),
Tom Romano (C.O.O. in 1982)
|Products||Fast food (including Hamburgers, French fries, and Fried chicken)|
Gino's Hamburgers was a fast-food restaurant chain founded in Baltimore, Maryland, by Baltimore Colts defensive end Gino Marchetti and running back Alan Ameche, along with their close friend Louis Fischer, in 1957. A new group of restaurants under the Gino's name involving some of the principals of the original chain was started in 2010.
The first Gino's was opened in Dundalk, Maryland, just outside Baltimore; it got its official name in 1959 when the owners invited on Colts' captain Gino Marchetti to become a partner. In 1967 Gino's merged with Tops Drive Inn, a chain of 18 drive-in restaurants located in the Washington, D.C., area; most Tops locations were rebranded as Gino's. In the early 1970s, the company attempted to expand from its East Coast base into the midwest, however these locations only operated a short period. For one location, it purchased Orchestra Hall in Detroit and planned to demolish the structure to construct a restaurant. When the plan became public, it led to a grass-roots campaign to save and restore the abandoned structure.
The chain had 359 company-owned locations when Marriott Corporation acquired it in 1982. Marriott discontinued the brand and converted locations to its Roy Rogers Restaurants chain. The last Gino's, located in Pasadena, Maryland and owned independently from Marriott, closed in 1986.
Gino's also operated the Rustler Steak House chain, which was sold by Marriott shortly after its purchase of Gino's.
The restaurant was known for high-quality hamburgers such as the Sirloiner, which was made from sirloin steak (and was originally a staple of Tops Drive Inn), and the Gino Giant, which predated and later competed with the Big Mac. The company held the franchise for Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Mid-Atlantic states. The company's jingle, played during radio advertisements in the early years was "Everybody goes to Gino's, ‘cause Gino's is the place to go!"
The original menu included french fries made fresh in each restaurant. One of the last menu changes included burgers made from fresh ground beef each morning, unique in the fast food industry at the time.
The company also became known for its philanthropic efforts. The executives of the company supported many educational, cultural, recreational, and athletic programs. This made the community and the company tied with the common goal of trying to help the youth.
Gino's Burgers and Chicken (2010)
Marchetti, Romano, and Fischer have opened several new Gino's restaurants. Marchetti and Fischer will be serving as consultants. The new restaurants plan to serve burgers, chicken sandwiches, hand-cut french fries and hand-spun milkshakes. Initially, the chain plans to open locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
In charge is Tom Romano, who worked for 20 years with the company, and was C.O.O. in 1982 when the chain was sold. "It's apparent there's a need for better burgers out there", said Romano, citing the success of such chains as Five Guys, and Gino's Burgers and Chicken has placed itself upscale of the earlier Gino's. Gino's plans to make its burgers to order from fresh beef.
Their first location opened in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, the same town as the original chain's headquarters, on October 25, 2010. Plans were announced in Spring 2011 for franchise expansion into Baltimore. On August 17, 2011, a second Gino's location opened in Towson, Maryland. Another Gino's opened in Bensalem, Pennsylvania on October 11, 2011.
On January 22, 2013, Gino's Burgers and Chicken opened in Aberdeen, Maryland, however the Bensalem location closed around the same time. Later, on July 9, 2013, the King of Prussia location closed, effectively leaving the Philadelphia market. The location at Perry Hall, Maryland, which opened on March 5, 2012, closed on December 8, 2013. The Aberdeen location closed on March 27, 2016, leaving only the Towson and Glen Burnie locations.
- Ameche's Drive-in – a former a fast-food restaurant chain based in Baltimore, Maryland
- Chicken George – a former fast food restaurant chain founded in Baltimore, Maryland
- List of defunct fast-food restaurant chains
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