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  • Glory Days Grill co-founder Bob Garner and Glen Burnie/Pasadena managing partner Christina Garner are proud that their restaurant has won numerous awards for community service.
    Photo by Zach Sparks
    Glory Days Grill co-founder Bob Garner and Glen Burnie/Pasadena managing partner Christina Garner are proud that their restaurant has won numerous awards for community service.

For 15 Years, Families Have Made Memories At Glory Days Grill

Zach Sparks
View Bio
March 20, 2018

At Glory Days Grill, mom and dad can enjoy a Reuben or beer-battered fish fillets while watching sports or news, and at the same time, children can munch on a pizza bagel while watching cartoons. The entertainment is one big draw, but families might also visit the restaurant to celebrate a birthday, a youth league victory or a flawless report card. Many just come for the seasonal variety of dinner entrees and craft beer offerings available every day.

Those scenarios are what founders Bob Garner, Jeff Newman and Richard Danker envisioned when they opened their first location in Burke, Virginia, in 1996, and later their Pasadena/Glen Burnie location in 2002. Glory Days Grill is the rare sports-themed restaurant that isn’t geared exclusively toward men but also to women and children.

“We’re like an institution here on Ritchie Highway,” said Garner, a 1975 Northeast High School graduate. “Kids come for wing nights … and years later, they’re grown up and coming in. All of a sudden, they remember us from their glory days and they’re bringing their kids.”

Over the last 15 years, Garner’s own family has risen through the ranks of the family business from entry-level jobs to management. His daughter-in-law, Christina, is managing partner of the Glen Burnie site. His son, Robert Jr., is at the Eldersburg location now but will soon oversee the new Nursey Road restaurant.

Even though Glory Days Grill is represented by 21 company stores and 13 franchise stores (mostly in the Tampa area), Garner said they all maintain that local neighborhood atmosphere.

“You won’t see a Glory Days on main street in Annapolis or downtown Baltimore or Waugh Chapel,” Garner said. “We like to go to middle-class, median-income neighborhoods and keep our prices accessible.”

Since its inception, Glory Days has taken its role in the community seriously. Fourteen times, it has received the Restaurant Neighbor Award, given to a handful of places each year on behalf of the Restaurant Association of Greater Washington. Ten times, it has received the statewide honor, the McCormick Cornerstone Award, which is presented by the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

“We know how important it is to be in the community, so we’re always saying yes,” Garner said. “Sometimes it’s a big yes and sometimes it’s small yes, but it’s a yes.”

Sports teams, schools, churches and other organizations have benefitted from the generosity of Glory Days Grill. Through its Dining for Dollars program, 10 percent of food and beverage sales are donated to participating organizations.

Garner estimates that Glory Days, as a group, gives more than $500,000 back to the community every year. Of the $60,000 raised at the annual golf tournament, $30,000 goes to the Sunshine Foundation, $10,000 to Jill’s House and the remainder to other local charities, but, like all other locations, the Glen Burnie restaurant has freedom to help causes local to its customer base.

“We want each of them to be the mayor of their own town,” Garner said of the Glory Days Grill managers, which are called “head coaches.”

Staff members are also treated like family. When distributing bonus checks to recognize employees for their long tenures, Garner noticed that 12 people have reached the 10- to 15-year mark and 30 have been with the company for more than five years.

Celebrate the 15th anniversary of Glory Days Grill by stopping by 7939 Ritchie Highway. Sunday brunch hours are 9:00am-noon. Right now, the restaurant has March specials for Rachels (oven-roasted turkey with Thousand Island dressing and swiss cheese), Reubens (corned beef with tangy sauerkraut, swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing), fish and chips, Irish nachos, corned beef and cabbage, and shepherd’s pie (Guinness-braised ground beef and corn, baked in a casserole that is topped with mashed potatoes and melted cheeses).

As he looks forward to the next 15 years, Garner hopes to meet more families while the restaurant continues to grow.

“That’s the most rewarding part of it: seeing the evolution,” he said.

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