Although he wasn't old enough to ever see a Baltimore Colts football game or the original Gino's restaurant in Glen Burnie, Adam Plunka felt making the trip from Pikesville with two arms full of sports memorabilia was worth the trip.
Plunka, 22, came with a friend to the grand opening of Gino's Burgers and Chicken on Thursday to meet some of the football legends his father admired.
"My father was a Colts fan, but he had to work," Plunka said.
But he wasn't returning home to his father empty-handed. Plunka had a Colts helmet, already autographed by Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas, and waited for autographs from Tom Matte, Lenny Moore, Stan White and Gino Marchetti, after whom the restaurant is named.
Gino's Burgers and Chicken announced earlier this year it would be reopening in Glen Burnie decades after the original location closed and, after a few setbacks, the restaurant opened its doors full time in September.
So Thursday was a day for reunited celebration as franchise owner Karen Foreman and Gino's CEO Tom Romano cut the ribbon on the restaurant that once called Glen Burnie home.
"We lost the Colts, then eventually we got the Ravens," Foreman said, relating the journey of Gino's to that of Baltimore's football teams. "We're back, and we've transitioned in a way that the football team has."
The building itself has undergone several renovations by various occupants, and Foreman insists the menu has changed only for the better.
"We have fresh produce coming in, and we brought back the Gino's Giant [cheeseburger] at a price point that our customers will like," Foreman said.
More than 300 Glen Burnie locals and fans from across Maryland showed up because, as the old jingle says, "Everybody goes to Gino's!"