Werner's Restuarant

By Cathy Adams

     Three generations of the Kloetzli family have been serving "comfort food" at Werner's Restaurant on Redwood Street in the heart of "mini-Wall Street" since 1950.

     Werner Kloetzli immigrated from Switzlerland in 1914. He eventually came to Baltimore, worked at the Belvedere and Emerson hotels, and owned a restaurant on Light Street with his brother Walter before opening Werners. In 1993 Ruth Kloetzli and Diane Cook purchased the restaurant from Ruth's parents, "not only to keep it in the family, but to keep it going; it's a Baltimore staple," said Ruth.

     Werner's serves breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday with a menu that offers hearty, simple hot and cold sandwiches and salads. The club sandwiches include old favorites as well as less known combinations like Braunschweiger and American cheese, bologna and Swiss cheese, ham salad and egg salad and bacon.

     The hot turkey sandwich, one of the most popular dishes, comes with real mashed potatoes and a generous ladle of gravy. The breakfast menu features grits, scrapple, creamed chip beef and pancakes for a fortifying start to the day.

     Ruth is in charge of the kitchen and homemade soups are one of her specialties. "I'm a fiend for soups and we sell tons of soup."

     On the lighter side Werner's also offers a health food sandwich, a turkey burger and vegetarian chili as Ruth has seen an increased interest in healthier food, especially with the increase of women customers.

     The Art-Deco interior has not been changed or updated since 1938. The wood booths with graceful chrome curves and counter with fragile looking wood and chrome swiveling seats is in demand as a film set . Scenes from several movies were filmed here, including "Liberty Heights", Barry Levinson's latest movie. "They couldn't build a set that looks like this. But it does require a lot of baby-sitting" to keep the vintage decor in good shape.

     Don't be intimidated by the long lines and high energy noise level at lunch, the employees hustle to make sure that everyone is served quickly and efficiently.

     Werner's Restaurant
231 East Redwood Street
(410) 752-3335
Breakfast $1.65-5.25
Lunch $2.50-6.50

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