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Burgers Gino's Burgers & Chicken - King of Prussia

Discussion in 'Dining' started by Kevin, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Local Guy Staff Member

    If you grew up in this area back in the 60' & 70's then you likely remember Gino's. They were a regional fast food chain that was known for their burgers such as the Gino Giant which was the first triple decker burger (two patties, 3 roll pieces). The Gino Giant actually predates the McDonald's Big Mac. :cool:

    The chain was started in Baltimore by former Baltimore Colts football players Alan Ameche & Gino Marchetti aloing with their friend Louis Fischer in the mid-1960's. Gino Marchetti lent his name to the chain and has been associated with hamburgers ever since.

    Gino's was also notable in this area since they had co-branded locations offering Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) starting back in 1965. This pre-dated KFC having their own restaurant locations and for many people their first taste of KFC was from buying fried chicken at Gino's.

    In our area immediate area Gino's could be found up & down the 422 corridor and into Philadelphia. There was a Gino's on High St in Pottstown; for me I remember going to Gino's on Main St in Norristown across the street from the Genuardi's. My grandparents lived on Knox St and as kids we would walk up to enjoy burgers, fries and a milkshake. That location had a giant KFC bucket on top of their Gino's sign and for years was the only place to get KFC fried chicken.

    The end of the original Gino's came in 1982 when the Marriott corporation bought the chain with the intention of converting the locations to their Roy Rogers branded chain of restaurants. They weren't interested in Gino's as much as they wanted to the real estate & building.

    A few years back Tom Romano, who was formerly with the original Ginos', contacted Gino Marchetti about bringing the brand back. The result was that on November 14 in 2010 Gino's was brought back to life!

    [​IMG]

    Renovating the former McDonald's site on DeKalb Pike across the street from the King of Prussia Mall, Gino's opened to success thanks to a combination of customers nostalgic for the old chain that they grew up with and new customers enjoying their offerings.

    The weekend after their opening Cindy & I headed down to check it out. The interior is a mixture of a modern fast food outlet with a bit of nostalgia tossed in thanks to photos of the old Gino's on the walls and several large screen monitors playing old videos and additional photos. There is a self-server fountain drink area, complete with coffee and iced tea, and also a condiments bar with offerings from cajun spices to ranch flavoring to dress up the flavor of your burger, fries, & chicken.

    Now at this point it should be noted that the reborn Gino's is not the same as the old Gino's.

    The old Gino's was your traditional fast food model; you ordered at the counter, paid, and stood there while waiting for your order to be gathered before walking to your seat. This is how competitors such as McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's operate. Time has marched on and new competitors use a new hybrid model that is a cross between traditional fast food and casual dining. With this hybrid model your burgers are not pre-made & wrapped sitting under a heating lamp waiting for you to order. Instead you place your order, including being able to specify what condiments you want exactly on your burger, pay, are given a number (or other identifier), and take your seat. Your burger is then prepared individually for your order and is brought to your table by a server. As you are dining the server might also come around to make sure everything is okay with your mean and check to see if you need anything.

    That means a "Gino Giant" your order today is not the same "Gino Giant" you would have eaten in 1975. The same goes for the chicken. Today KFC has their branded restaurants. The chicken from the new Gino's is quite good but is not the same chicken you would've gotten back in 1975. It is a new menu for a new restaurant.

    Cindy & I have visited the King of Prussia location several times since they have opened and have been pleased each time. The burgers are served hot on fresh rolls and have whatever condiments you specify. My preference has been a double-burger with provolone, raw onions, ketchup, and lettuce. Cindy alternates between a single and a double and mixes up her condiments. The fries are natural cut fries that are crispy without being greasy. The shakes nice & thick and the chicken I've tried has a nice crisp coating but some family members would appreciate a bit less black pepper in the coating. They also offer salads but, honestly, who goes to a burger place to eat a salad? ;)

    We have visited at both busy times and slow times and the service has been consistent. The staff have always been pleasant and our orders have been brought to our table within about 5 minutes of taking our seats.

    Since opening the King of Prussia location additional Gino's have also opened in Baltimore (Towson East) near Gino Marchetti and an additional location in Bensalem. Franchise locations are available and there are indications that there are plans for at least a dozen including a return to Philadelphia.

    If you're old enough to remember the original Gino's and are looking at experiencing a flashback to your childhood then you may be a bit disappointed since the new Gino's is not a recreation of the original but rather a modern interpretation of it. On the other hand if you are looking for a place that offers a good burger & fries with a bit of a retro-feel to it then definitely check out the new Gino's.

    Gino's Burgers & Chicken: http://www.ginosgiant.com
     
  2. Kevin

    Kevin Local Guy Staff Member

    Had a chance to head down there this past Sunday.... still good! :D
     
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Local Guy Staff Member

    Aaaaaaggghhhh!!!!! :(

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/Ginos-closes-KoP-location.html

    Gino's closes King of Prussia location​
    POSTED: Monday, July 8, 2013, 10:56 AM​
    Michael Klein, Philly.com​

    Gino’s Burgers & Chicken, the resurrected fast-food brand, said today it had closed the location across from the King of Prussia mall at 611 W. DeKalb Pike in King of Prussia.​

    In a statement, Gino's called the closing the result of "growing pains."​

    This location - which lacked a drive-through - was the first to reopen in October 2010 by CEO Tom Romano, who had worked for the Maryland-based company for decades and was instrumental in reviving it.​

    Gino's rode the first swells of the current burger wave and hoped to attract nostalgists as its customers. Romano said the company plans to re-enter the Philadelphia market with a franchise on the Main Line before the end of the year.​

    Gino’s Burgers & Chicken currently operates five Maryland franchises including a concession at the home of the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards. Gino’s also plans to have a concession at M and T Field, home of the Baltimore Ravens this coming season.​

    More than 20 franchises have been awarded in the Philadelphia and Baltimore markets to date, the company said. A Bensalem franchise location closed in February after only 90 days.​

    The original Gino’s Inc., which started in 1958, was named after Baltimore Colts hall of famer Gino Marchetti. Gino's grew to 360 restaurants from Northern Virginia through upstate New Jersey before being sold to Marriott in 1982.​

     

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