Nearly two weeks shy of its grand opening on LaSalle Road in Towson, Gino’s Burgers & Chicken held a dress rehearsal Tuesday to the delight of dozens of former devotees of the legendary local chow.
Former Baltimore Colts great Artie Donovan held court at tables in the restaurant located near the intersection of LaSalle and Joppa roads.
Other happy guests sat before baskets of onion rings, fries, burgers and chicken. They were the invited guests of St. John Properties, manager of The Shops at Maryland Executive Park.
“Every day people come up and ask when we are going to open – some take their picture outside,” said Laura Miller, a co-owner of the Gino’s along with her husband, Jared, and partners Scott and Leslie Autry. “Today, we had to turn 50 people away who saw the crowd and thought we were having our grand opening.”
That is expected to take place on Aug. 19 or 20, Miller said.
Nearby, former Baltimore Colts cheerleaders Diane Wit and Holly Russell sat with Baltimore historian Gilbert Sandler, who left his offices downtown to venture to the suburbs for a burger and a side of nostalgia.
Gino’s first opened in 1966 and quickly gained a foothold among local carnivores and football fanatics. The restaurant was named after Colt standout and NFL Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti, who played in arguably the greatest NFL game ever — the 1958 championship game, Colts vs. the New York Giants.