When Gino's Burgers and Chicken opened this morning in Towson, diners started lining up at 9:30 a.m. in anticipation of their first Gino's meal in decades. The official opening was at 11 a.m.
Jennifer Grill of Baldwin arrived before 10 and had just one reason for being there, "I'm getting a Gino Giant," she said. "I don't care how many calories it is. I've got my stretch pants on."
Ragina Averella, who works at a nearby AAA office, said she did crunches the night before so she could get a Gino Giant for lunch.
Tim Mazz, who drove from Harford County, wasn't necessarily worried about his weight, though he admitted, "I'm here for the Gino Giant." The Edgewood resident is a collector of Gino's memorabilia. He's got coffee stirrers, a Gino's puzzle, and lots of tin ashtrays (those are vintage).
Other people showed up at the fast-food franchise on East Joppa Road with their own memories, one guy wearing a Colts T-shirt and another with an old menu.
Even several Baltimore County patrol cars showed up. I guess in case the middle-age Gino Giant lovers got out of hand.
There was a ribbon-cutting. Unfortunately, the restaurant's namesake, NFL Colts great Gino Marchetti, couldn't be there. He had been hospitalized recently for pneumonia. Up until two days ago, he was still hoping to attend, said Peg Varani, a Gino's corporate spokeswoman. "He'll be here" in the future, she promised.
I'm looking forward to going back soon for my own Gino Giant.
Photo by me