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November 18, 2010

More about Gino's

sextonThis photo, which is bringing me close to tears, is from Jim Sexton. He says, "It's of me and my dad, taken around 1968. We were enjoying hamburgers and shakes at the Gino's near Eastern Ave and Stemmer's Run Road in Essex.  Coincidentally, I went to work for Gino's, located on Back River Neck Rd, while in high school. Gino's rocks!"

There were things I wanted to include in the Gino's piece, but that didn't quite go with the story flow.

When I spoke with Tom Romano, the CEO of Gino's Burger & Chicken, Gino Marchetti happened to be there, too. Not such a fluke. That morning, Marchetti had been at the store for hours,  breading chicken. It's a new chicken recipe for the new Gino's -- in the old days, you'd get Kentucky Fried Chicken. This kind of co-branding was one of many notable Gino's innovations, both on and off the grill. Romano, who rose through the ranks of the old Gino's from manager trainee to chief operations officer, credits a corporate culture that rewarded innovation -- and that, he said, came from Marchetti.


Marchetti told Baltimore Sun sports reporter Mike Klingaman that he had been working the grill for almost two hours just a few days ago. He likes being behind the line with the "kids" -- he'll tease them as he's teaching them. They've taken to calling him "Coach," just like the old days, when Colts fans became accustomed to seeing Marchetti behind the line at their neighborhood store.

So far, the new Gino's Burgers & Chicken has exceeded, nearly doubled, all of Romano's sales goals. The only problem so far appears to be the parking lot can't handle the crowds. Marchetti told Klingaman, "Some people waited over an hour to get served....I wouldn't wait an hour for the biggest lobster tail in Maryland."

A few clarifications:

The Gino's founding date I gave in the article - 1959 -- refers to the entry of Marchetti into an already existing restaurant operation founded in 1957.

The relocation of Gino's corporate office to King of Prussia happened in 1968. 

photo courtesy Jim Sexton




please enjoy the following pentimento

Romano rose through the ranks of Gino's and he credits Romano says that the Gino's

When the old Gino's was acquire
Posted by Richard Gorelick at 9:42 AM | | Comments (3)


Richard, I think HAL's flux capacitor went kerflooey at the end.

Owl Meat,
Just becaues you don't understand Richard's secret code at the end, doesn't mean that others don't!

I myself have hugely fond memories of going to Gino's for my ultimate treat, a big orange soda. I'm sure I liked the food too, but I will always remember the soda with the finely crushed ice.

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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