Gino's Hamburgers

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Gino's Burgers and Chicken
FormerlyGino's Hamburgers
IndustryFast food
Founded1957; 65 years ago (1957) in Dundalk, Maryland as Gino's Hamburgers
Defunct1982; 40 years ago (1982) (revived in 2010 as Gino's Burgers and Chicken)
FateAcquisition by Marriott Corporation
HeadquartersKing of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Gino Marchetti (chain's namesake),
Karen Foreman,CEO
ProductsFast 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 friends Joe Campanella and 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 Joe Campanella, Louis Fisher, and Alan Ameche invited 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.[1] In the early 1970s, the company attempted to expand from its Mid-Atlantic 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.[2]

Gino's also expanded in to Massachusetts and Connecticut. There it had difficulties because Gino Marchetti was a relative unknown in the region. Additionally, people confused them with the Papa Gino's pizza chain that was based in Massachusetts. These locations were eventually closed and many now house other chains, especially Burger King. Gino's also converted some to fish restaurants, but these too failed.

Another notable facet of Gino's was fried chicken. In the mid-Atlantic area, it was the franchisee of KFC which was cobranded with Gino's hamburgers. In New England, another company was the KFC franchisee. Gino's still sold chicken but it was made with a different seasoning that the KFC one.

The chain had 359 company-owned locations when the Marriott Corporation acquired it in 1982.[3] Marriott discontinued the brand and converted locations to its Roy Rogers Restaurants chain.[4] The last Gino's, located in Pasadena, Maryland and owned independently from Marriott, closed in 1986.

Gino's also purchased and operated the Rustler Steak House chain started by Joe Campanella, which was sold by Marriott shortly after its purchase of Gino's.

The restaurant was known for hamburgers such as the Sirloiner, which was made from sirloin steak (and was originally a staple of Tops Drive Inn), the Jumbo Gino, which was very similar to the Whopper 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!"[5]

The company also became known for its philanthropic efforts.[6]

Gino's Burgers and Chicken (2010)[edit]

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.[7]

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.[8]

Their first location opened in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, the same town as the original chain's headquarters, on October 25, 2010.[9] 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.

A Gino's Burgers and Chicken opened in Oriole Park at Camden Yards at the start of the Orioles season in 2012, but closed by the end of the 2014 season.[10]

On January 22, 2013, Gino's Burgers and Chicken opened in Aberdeen, Maryland,[11] however the Bensalem location closed around the same time.[12] Later, on July 9, 2013, the King of Prussia location closed, effectively leaving the Philadelphia market.[13] The location at Perry Hall, Maryland, which opened on March 5, 2012,[14] closed on December 8, 2013.[15] The Aberdeen location closed on March 27, 2016,[16] leaving only the Towson and Glen Burnie locations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnson II, William Page (Summer 2007). "Tops Drive Inn" (PDF). The Fare Facs Gazette (Historic Fairfax City Inc.).
  2. ^ "Orchestra Hall (Paradise Theatre), Detroit Michigan". Historic Structures (blog). March 25, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  3. ^ Knight, Jerry (January 5, 1982). "Marriott Corp. Makes Bid For Gino's". Washington Post.
  4. ^ "The Marriott Timeline". Marriott International. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Gino's jingle". Gino's Burgers and Chicken. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  6. ^ "Gino's philosophy" (PDF). Gino's Burgers and Chicken. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 11, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  7. ^ Basch, Michelle (February 26, 2010). "Beloved local fast food joint is making a comeback". WTOP-FM Sports. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011.
  8. ^ Klein, Michael (December 20, 2009). "Gino's Hamburgers to make a comeback". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "Gino's Burgers & Chicken Opens Today!". Gino's Burgers and Chicken. October 25, 2010. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2014 – via BlogSpot.
  10. ^ Gorelick, Richard (April 7, 2015). "Gino's and Stuggy's out at Oriole Park". The Baltimore Sun.
  11. ^ Zumer, Bryna (January 22, 2013). "Gino's Giants arrive in Aberdeen Wednesday". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  12. ^ Klein, Michael (February 8, 2013). "Gino's Burgers closes its Bensalem location". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  13. ^ Klein, Michael (July 8, 2013). "Gino's closes King of Prussia location". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  14. ^ Kimball, Emily (March 1, 2012). "Perry Hall Gino's Menu: Preview the Prices". Patch Network.
  15. ^ "Gino's Burgers & Chicken". Foursquare.
  16. ^ "Gino's Aberdeen Press Release" – via Facebook.[dead link]

External links[edit]