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Then and Now: Ameche's Drive-In

A weekly post featuring historic places in Lutherville-Timonium and how they've stood the test of time.

Then and Now: Ameche's Drive-In

Wikipedia needs to brush on Lutherville-Timonium’s history. The York and Timonium Road location of yesteryear’s Ameche’s Drive-In was not listed on their website, but the Dundalk, Pikesville, Towson and Glen Burnie locations were.

So Patch fixed it, because there was definitely an Ameche’s on the southeastern corner of that intersection, in the 1960s.

Chip Noon, 66, remembers being a teenager at Ameche’s, the drive-in, fast-food burger joint of Timonium.

“What I remember most were the bright lights of the place. This warm orange glow, lots of colors, lots of activity,” said Noon, who now lives in New Hampshire, but who grew up in Lutherville. “It was always pretty busy.”

Noon continued, “You pulled into the parking space, called your order over the speaker, and they came out with a tray that you hooked over your window or door. It was daring, at 16 years old. My parents didn't like me to go there. They were worried it attracted the wrong crowd.”

How could the wrong crowd hang out at a wholesome burger joint with the slogan, “Meetcha at Ameches”?

Ameche’s was started up by the Baltimore Colts’ fullback Alan Ameche, who played for the Colts from 1955 to 1960. Ameche gained fame when he scored the winning touchdown in the 1958 NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants, often called "The Greatest Game Ever Played."

“The restaurants were known for ‘no charge’ carry out service,” states Wikipedia's Ameche's Drive-In page. The "Powerhouse” hamburger and the “Cheerleader” hot ham and Swiss cheese sandwich, with mustard, were served up right to your car.

“Gino's was at the corner of Bellona and York, and Pellington's was in the mall at the corner of Ridgely and York,” Noon remembered. “Something about York Road and former Colts football players?”

The Colts’ legacy lives on. We are getting ready to see the re-emergence of Gino’s today.

Yes, the “Gino Giant” and the “Sirloiner,” a couple of big burgers that put a Big Mac to shame, are coming back, this time to Towson.

According to the Baltimore Sun's February 22 article, Gino Marchetti, the Baltimore Colt’s defensive end from 1953 to 1966, is re-launching Gino’s Burgers & Chicken, after the franchise closed in 1991. He and Ameche originally launched Gino’s in 1957.

Alan Ameche passed away in 1988, and Nationwide Nissan took over his drive-in corner in 2004, and is there today. Gino Marchetti, who by our calculations is 85 years old, is going strong and still looking to grind fresh beef each morning for a day of burgers.

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