Reporting Ron Matz
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—He was one of the greatest players to ever wear a Baltimore Colts uniform and was part of two championship teams. Gino Marchetti returned to Baltimore this weekend. One of his legendary restaurants has opened in Towson.
As Ron Matz reports, hundreds of people turned out to meet and greet number 89, once the most feared defensive end in the National Football League.
Marchetti will be 86 in January. He was greeted by hundreds of adoring fans at his Towson restaurant, where he signed just about anything that came his way.
“It feels good,” said Marchetti, Baltimore Colts legend. “I think the best thing about it is I get to see old photos like this. It brings back a lot of memories. It’s like a reunion.”
Those memories are vivid for Lynda and Thomas Davenport, who joined another big crowd at Gino’s on Monday.
“I love Gino’s,” said Lynda Davenport, of Catonsville. “I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl on Harford Road. Every Sunday after church this would be a dinner spot for us. Kentucky Fried Chicken and Gino’s Giant. That was the best.”
“The Gino’s I used to go to was the one on Cold Spring Lane,” said Thomas Davenport. “What I remember most about Gino’s was the Gino Giant, and I’m hoping today the Giant here tastes like the one that was on Cold Spring Lane. That was in the 70s.”
Colts legends Artie Donovan and Jim Mutscheller joined Marchetti for the big day–a trip back in time that has produced a fast food frenzy.
“I still remember the great Gino Giant and fried chicken,” said Harry Moore, of Mt. Washington. ”I’d like it fried it again today, now that it’s finally back in town.”
Gino’s plans to open 25 more restaurants next year in Pennsylvania and Maryland, including one in Perry Hall where the memories will keep on coming.
“I’m glad they came back,” said Thomas Davenport. “I’m hoping they’ll open one in Westview or Catonsville or in the city because I think that would be a good thing.”
The first Gino’s opened in Baltimore in 1957.
“The memories are really good. My father is no longer living, so I can just think about that and how good it was back then and the fun we used to have growing up and going to Gino’s,” Linda Davenport said.
Gino Marchetti was part of the Baltimore Colts championship teams in 1958 and 1959 and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.