Gino's Resurrection Includes Restaurant on Street Road

Trailblazing burger chain, gone since the 80s, plans September opening, 50 jobs.

The home of the Gino's Giant, the first fast-food triple-decker burger, is back after a near-30-year absence.

And Gino's Burgers and Chicken has Bensalem near the top of its list, bringing its third restaurant and 50 jobs to Street Road later this month.

“We're shooting for Sept. 27,” President and CEO Tom Romano told Patch.

Why Bensalem?

“We are located at 1606 Street Road in Bensalem about a mile from the Parx Casino, between Route 95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, both of which have an exit to Street Road. In addition to an ideal demographic profile, this stretch has a traffic count by the location which we consider a regional draw which is more than double our standard,” said Romano, who joined the original company in the mid 1960s.

The new restaurant, across from Texas Road House, will be company-operated and comprise 2,800 square feet along with an outside patio that will seat more than 100 people, Romano explained. Spokeswoman Peg Varani said it also will feature the new company's first drive-through window which she acknowledged could present a challenge since Gino's touts burgers “hot off the grill.”

"But we're ready for it," she added.

Gino's was founded in 1957 in Baltimore by two former Colts football players, Alan Ameche and Gino Marchetti, and their longtime friend Louis C. Fischer. Several other stores were soon added in Maryland and within a year Gino's Drive-ins expanded to nearby states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

In 1965 Gino’s entered into a co-branding relationship with Col. Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The Gino Giant was added to the menu in 1966. Another successful Gino’s innovation came in 1969 with the concept of inside seating.

To support its growth, Gino’s became a publicly held company having once traded on the New York Stock Exchange. As such, the company became a prime target for takeover, and in 1982 Marriott Corp. acquired Gino's to incorporate into their Roy Rogers brand expansion. At the time of its acquisition, Gino's had more than 500 restaurants and 20,000 employees, according to its website.

The first new location opened in October in King of Prussia, the same town as the original chain's headquarters. After Bensalem, next up are stores in Coatesville and Dresher, Pa., Perryhall, Md. and Voorhees, NJ.

“When Tom Romano called me and asked me to help bring Gino’s back, I thought wow, how cool is that? I thought of all the happy faces that Gino’s created from employees to vendors and most importantly for the millions of customers we served over the years,” NFL Hall of Famer Marchetti writes on the company website.

“Since July 2009, we have been busy at work doing what I like to do best which is to develop the menu and recipes. With the help of our suppliers and a full understanding of what Gino's Burgers & Chicken customers want today we have developed what I believe is a sure formula for success.”

The new restaurants, open from 11 am to 10 pm, serve burgers, chicken sandwiches, hand-cut french fries and hand-spun milkshakes.

Those interested in a job at the Bensalem Gino's need to apply in person at the Street Road facility between 8:30 am and 6:30 pm Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 am to 4 pm Sundays.

larry cohen September 07, 2011 at 05:13 AM
OMG I am gladf you asked. I told EVEYONE before I found out you guys are coming back. I used to work across the street at Pennypack Circle, Philadelphia and a habit I had was every day at lunch I walked across the street and got a black and white milkshake, fries and TWO Gino Giants. THE best burgers EVVVVVVER. To this day NO ONE beats the Gino Giant. As luck would have it I live at Knights and Street Rd. I again can walk to Gino's. I am so happy you guys decided to come back. God bless you and best of luck with your ventures of returning. I LOVVVVVVEEEEE ITTTTT.....
Bensalem Homeowner September 07, 2011 at 02:13 PM
There was a Gino's on Route 130 in Bordentown, New Jersey. Across the street from what used to be the Howard Johnson Restaurant that became The Ground Round. I know the Gino's there closed I think in the 70's or 80's. I missed it, as I too liked the Gino Giant. On a related note, does anyone remember the Jack in the Box Restaurant on Rte. 130 in Burlington, NJ at the corner of High St. diagonally across from the Burlington Diner? Their Breakfast Jack sandwich was pretty good. How about Roy Rogers Restaurants? Their burgers and fries were also good. Glad to see Gino's back, out of nostalgic curiousity I'll go get some Giants and come home and watch The Waltons and feel like I am back in high school in the 70's.
Paul September 08, 2011 at 08:30 PM
I remember the one at Frankford and Unruh in Mayfair.Popular hangout on the week ends in my hot rodding days .. It wa nothing to see muscle cars parked thru out the lot
Cathy peluzzo September 09, 2011 at 04:03 AM
I worked at Ginos on the boulevard at palthorpe street I'n 1976. It was my first job at the age of 16. I loved the sauce they used on the Gino giant. I'm hoping it is the same. I can't wait to visit with my kids.
Dave Fiedler September 13, 2011 at 03:12 PM
I heard about this opening from a friend but had not seen the Patch article until it popped back up this morning while reading another article. The competition with Sonic across the street, which I feel has gone down in quality, will be interesting. Gino's incorporating inside seating will be a plus as many people do not like eating in their car or on the fly. Growing up in Mayfair I recall Gino's at Frankford & Unruh and also near Pennypack Circle. As for Jack in the Box that someone mentioned, the one I know was at Frankford Ave. near Sheffield. I never cared for Jack in the Box all that much. As an aside, it's unfortunate how Marriott bought the Gino's chain and closed it. In the early Nineties Marriott got out of the restaurant business shuttering most Roy Roger's and Bob's Big Boys as well as their signature Hot Shoppes. Another bit of trivia, since Howard Johnson's is mentioned. What doomed HoJo is Marriott buying the chain. They promptly replaced its turnpike and toll road locations with food courts featuring other brands. HoJo held contracts with turnpikes in OH, PA, DE, NJ, MA, etc. that Marriott inherited. Marriott converted most free-standing units to other brands that never really caught on. Out of a few thousand only 3 HoJo franchised restaurants remain in upstate NY & ME. Motels using the HoJo name are licensees. Anyway....it will be nice to see Gino's on Street Rd. I certainly will visit and try a Giant to see if it's as good as I remember it.
George Meissler September 19, 2011 at 07:33 PM
I almost lived at the Gino's on Frankford ave near Pratt street. I can only hope that the giant taste as good as it did back in the sixties. That goes for the shakes also. Wait until my brother finds out there will be one in Vorrhes, NJ
Barbara Kneib September 28, 2011 at 02:51 PM
I wish they would put a Gino's in Suburban Station in Center! i love the Gino Giant. Welcome Back and hurry up and open!
Eileen Gilbert October 10, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Hi Cathy I also worked at Gino's in 1976 at the age of 16. But we worked at the one in Fairless Hills on Rt 1. I remember a guy named Hans and another manager named Howard that worked at the Boulevard. I loved it too and can't wait to bring my kids. also a guy named Bill Mctigue worked at the Boulevard. I cant wait for the one on Street Rd to open!
Tosha Lucas November 29, 2012 at 02:13 PM
We used to have a Gino's in West Oak Lane when I was a young girl. I loved the Gino Giants and the fries. You guys were my first introduction to fast food and I can still taste that sauce you put on the burgers. I can't wait to have one again.


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