It's like it never left.
After a 20-some year hiatus, the new Gino's Burgers & Chicken announced Saturday it will (re-)open in Aberdeen this Wednesday, Jan. 23.
The fast-food restaurant, which includes a drive-through, will be one of two stores to open in the first building of the new Corner at Beards Hill shopping center, at Beards Hill Road and West Bel Air Avenue.
Aaron's furniture store also just moved into the new Corner at Beards Hill. Meanwhile, a Chick-fil-A restaurant is preparing to open just up the street.
"The new generation Gino's offers a food concept known as fast casual," a Gino's media release explains. "The meals — burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, wraps and real ice cream shakes — will be prepared to order with fresh ingredients and served to your table. No tipping policy and the staff cleans up!"
Aberdeen franchise owner Darin Ingool said in the release: "Yes[,] the New Gino Giant burger is awaiting all the fans that can't wait to taste the special sauce again!"
The Gino's release also says beer and wine will be offered in the next few weeks. General Manager Bob Beer said their liquor license was approved and he is just waiting for the beer trucks to come in, which should happen within the next two weeks.
The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week and offer "classics and new trendy items as well," according to the media release.
An official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in about a month, Beer said.
A "friends and family night" held Monday drew about 150 people to the restaurant from 2 to 8 p.m., he said. The store has 45 employees.
"Everyone was commenting how good the food was," Beer said, noting milkshakes are made with Edy's ice cream.
People do seem excited about the new Gino's, and "we are getting a lot of calls about inquiries, from Bel Air to Havre de Grace," he said.
Aberdeen will be the fifth location in the Baltimore area to get a franchise of the new restaurant. The others are in Towson, Perry Hall, Glen Burnie and Camden Yards in Baltimore.
The location is also one of three that Gino's hopes to open in Harford County soon
Beer said Ingool may eventually open as many as six in Harford.
The second one would be somewhere in the Bel Air area, he said, but no official plans have been submitted yet.
Gino's was founded in 1957 by two former Baltimore Colts players, Alan Ameche and Gino Marchetti, who later sold the business to Marriott Corporation, which phased out the brand by converting many Gino's stores to Roy Rogers restaurants. By the early 1990s, the Gino's name had disappeared.
The popularity of Gino's restaurants in Baltimore coincided with the region's love affair with the Baltimore Colts in the 1960s and 1970s and early 1980s.
Tom Romano, who is from the Philadelphia area where the Gino's brand was also strong, revived the Gino's name and updated the concept for the restaurants.
The first Gino's Burgers and Chicken restaurant opened in October 2010 in King of Prussia, Pa., where Romano, who was an executive with the original Gino's, has other business interests. The restaurant's namesake, Gino Marchetti, also lives in King of Prussia, which was the location of the former Gino's headquarters.