Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Middle of the night edition

I am definitely a night owl, much more so than a morning person. So today’s Ask Joan was started just before midnight on Monday night. Hopefully, it will make good Tuesday morning reading for you – unless you’re a “latecomer” as well!

What’s inside

1. An ornament from Gee Bee’s
2. Where is Gino’s in Towson?
3. Following up on downtown hotel

1. When I put my Christmas decorations away I look at price tag stickers (if there are any,) on the boxes. When they have the store name printed it brings back memories. One such sticker said Bee Gees. I can’t quite place it. Can anyone help? Thanks.
– Ann Dietz

I told Ann that I think her ornament must have been from Gee Bee’s. That was a discount store that used to be in the West Manchester Mall, at the end where Kohl’s is now. In between, that spot was Value City. We shopped or do shop at ALL those incarnations! (If you haven’t read the yet, there are a ton of West Manchester Mall memories here.)

2. Do you know where the Gino’s in Towson is located? I may try to visit it soon. My wife likes to shop at Wegmans in Towson.
– Richard Contres

Richard and his wife Audrey are loyal readers and good friends of Only in York County – and of Gino’s! In fact, that’s their family, our family, and a friendly Gino’s employee in the photo above, taken during the Only in York County meetup there in March 2011.

I was able to help them out; the restaurant’s exact address is 8600 LaSalle Rd, Towson, MD, 21286. It’s a little further south than the Wegmans, which I think is closer to what’s considered the Hunt Valley area.

If anyone is headed down, don’t leave me out! You know I love Gino’s! 🙂

3. This day-after-Christmas edition of Ask Joan included a question from Beverly Landis, seeking the name of a hotel formerly at North George Street and North Avenue in York, which was managed by her parents and grandparents.

I had MANY loyal readers able to help Beverly out, and popular vote would suggest that the name of this establishment was the Union Hotel (in some cases, also called the Northern Central Hotel). Many thanks to all who helped out, including Edward Roche Sr., Betsy Baird, Gus Arinsberg, Alan Beaverson and Janet Sutton. Janet, by the way, adds, “I think it was owned by a man named Johnny Gill and I think he was a retired boxer. This was about 1950.”

I also had one anonymous commenter tell me that it was the Union Hotel – and that they put caraway seed in their sauerkraut, answering another previous Ask Joan question, this one from Sally Starko. (“A German chef I used to work with told me to do that,” said this commenter!)

Other hotel names mentioned as being in the area of the Union Hotel were the Hotel Penn (remembered by Ira Keech, whose sister worked there in the ’50s) and the Washington House, right up the road from the Union Hotel, remembered by Betsy Baird. Thanks to all who helped solve this mystery – I’m glad we now have an answer for Beverly!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!

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