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.

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.

Mary Anne Noon-Childers July 16, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Very good Chip, but it was "Mr. 15" at York & Bellona. Gino's was on York Rd south of Washington Ave (where the Acme used to be) and across from the fairgrounds. My memory is better than yours!
Mary Anne Noon-Childers July 16, 2011 at 03:50 PM
I am happy to live near the first new Gino's in King of Prussia. It is better than 5 guys or Cheeburger Cheeburger!
Joanna Franklin Bell July 16, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Mary Anne -- thank you! I should have confirmed that before I committed it to print. I had a feeling you were right!
Charles Noon July 16, 2011 at 07:50 PM
Oh great, Mary Anne! Now Joanna is never going to believe a thing I write! Thanks...But yes, now I remember Mr. 15. That was a marvel....15 cent hamburgers!
Linda Kelly July 17, 2011 at 03:19 AM
I'm really confused! Ameche's was not in Timonium. It was located at Loch Raven Blvd. and Taylor Ave. That was Hillendale. The Powerhouse was awesome!
Joanna Franklin Bell July 17, 2011 at 01:56 PM
Hi Linda -- yes, there was a Towson location at Loch Raven and Taylor -- otherwise known as Hillendale. But my research confirmed there was also a location on the corner of Timonium and York Roads.
brian parrish July 17, 2011 at 08:10 PM
i remember the loch raven and taylor drive in but no other it seems to me that it closed in 1967or 68 the hip set met up and 'hung out there" and it was one of the first places i hear of that you could buy drugs
Kathy Hoatson July 17, 2011 at 09:34 PM
There was an Ameche's on the corner of York and East Timonium Rd where the Nissan dealership is now. There was curb service where you placed your order over the speaker and it was brought out to your car on a tray that they attached to your car window. Before it was an Ameche's it was the Peacock Inn where you could order huge milkshakes and food items. My parents would take me there in the 50's when we first moved here to Towson from the city. It to was an amazing place to visit.
Joanne D. Smith July 25, 2011 at 01:21 PM
I grew up in Lutherville from the 1950's-1960's and remember that there was a drive-in hamburger place where food was brought out to your car....called the Peacock Inn.It ws located on the northeast corner of timonium and York roads, where the Nationwide car dealer is now located. My sisters and I remember how "cool" it was for our cousin to drive us up to "the Peacock Inn"....I still see the turquoisy-blue" colors of the place! I also remember the "Mister 15" hamburger place at the corners of York & Bellona(margate) where there's a Kia dealership now... Thanks to Joanna, I was also given the name of the homemade candy store on York Rd. near Margate, across from Watson's, where my sisters and I would visit on our way home the bus stop at Lutherville school....thanks for that info, Joanna.... There was a Gino's at York & Ware Ave. near the now-closed Towson Catholic High, where we girls would go after school. Joanne Davidson Smith
C. P. Esser August 02, 2011 at 04:46 PM
I thought there was a White Coffee Pot Jr. at the corner of York and Bellona. I remember going there in the late 60's early 70's.
Joanna Franklin Bell August 02, 2011 at 04:50 PM
There sure was, C.P.! Here's the article on that one: http://timonium.patch.com/articles/then-and-now-the-maple-rest-tea-room
Sue Diffenderffer August 10, 2011 at 06:08 PM
I thought that was Champs on the corner. it was where we went after basketball games at Dulaney.
Brett November 11, 2011 at 11:32 PM
To settle some confusion.I recently bought an old Ameches matchbook and the following locations were listed. 5800 reisterstown rd., loch raven and taylor, 5807 Harford rd., 2085 York rd., 5th Ave and Richie hwy., 7710 Wise ave., and an Ameche's take home at 3519 Dolfield ave. (7) total. I'm always looking for vintage Ameche's and Colts items.
susan mink December 31, 2012 at 03:46 AM
The Peacock came after Ameche's left - Mr Fifteen was at York and Bellona, followed by a White Coffee Pot Jr.


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