Update (7:29 p.m. Wednesday): The article has been edited to give the correct opening date for Gino's, which is Aug. 17—next Wednesday—not Aug. 18, as previously reported. "I said so many dates prior it was killing us," franchisee Scott Autry said.
Your Gino's Giant is coming right up.
The new Towson location for Gino's Burgers and Chicken is set to host its grand opening at 11 a.m. Aug. 17.
And not a day sooner, franchisee Scott Autry said. He wants the first official burger off the grill to come with a side order of fanfare.
"We don't want to bother or take away from anyone who wants to be the first to grab a Gino's Giant," Autry said.
Much of the new restaurant was finished during a Tuesday test run as Autry hosted neighboring businesses and local officials.
"Everybody's very positive and excited about Gino's opening," he said. "I'm glad to be able to bring something back that has so many fond memories."
None of those memories belong to Autry, however. He was 4 when the last of the franchises closed, but bringing the chain back to Maryland is very personal for him.
"My memory of Gino's is that I wouldn't exist without Gino's," he said. Autry's parents met and got married while they worked there.
County Councilman David Marks attended the small party on Tuesday and told Patch that the legendary Gino's Giant "tastes like a Big Mac, but creamier."
"It was great and the food was wonderful and I think it's going to be a big asset to the area," Marks said, adding that his Perry Hall constituents had been asking when a new restaurant might open there.
Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, moved to the area 23 years ago, long after the chain's heyday. Hafford said she didn't know what to expect as she dove into the Gino's Giant.
"It was so funny, because there were so many people you could tell as young people used to go there a lot," she said. "They were like a bunch of adults in Disney World. They were so happy to be there for a hamburger."
Gino's, named for the Baltimore Colts legend Gino Marchetti, opened in Dundalk in 1957 and closed its last location in Pasadena in 1991.
The new Gino's opened its first new location in 2010 in King of Prussia, Pa., with many familiar menu items, including milkshakes, fries and, of course, the Gino's Giant.
The Towson restaurant, located in Maryland Executive Park on East Joppa Road, is the first of the rebooted chain to open in Maryland. Autry is looking at other locations in Baltimore County, Harford County, Howard County and others, but said no leases had yet been signed.
"We were offered tons of locations," he said. "We chose Towson specifically because we wanted to bring it back to where it started."