‘Pete’s Grille’ Ownership Bringing Back ‘Werner’s Restaurant’ Downtown

| October 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

Ray Crum, owner of Pete’s Grille in Waverly, is bringing back the renowned Werner’s Restaurant to its original location in Downtown. Crum signed a lease at 225 E. Redwood St. with the new local investment group of Kemp Byrnes and Brad Byrnes of Byrnes & Associates, Inc. and Dave Gupta. The trio acquired 225 and 233 E. Redwood last year.

Werner’s Restaurant was a popular dining establishment that first opened in 1950 by Werner Kloetzli. It was chosen for the filming of numerous movies and television shows – including The Wire, Liberty Heights, Ladder 49, Tin Men, Avalon, and House of Cards – due to its distinctive chrome and maple art deco interior.

Werner’s Restaurant closed in 2012.

The menu will contain breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrées with an emphasis on large plate items such as egg omelet platters and full stack pancakes, jumbo hamburgers, crispy chicken sandwiches, tuna melts, deli sandwiches, homemade meat loaf, and a full array of store-made dessert items. There will also be dinner specials.

The new space will accommodate approximately 80 diners inside of the restaurant and 20 outside.

The new concept has received preliminary approval for a Class B, seven-day beer, wine, and liquor license which will include outdoor seating and entertainment.

“The reopening of Werner’s Restaurant by this highly-seasoned and successful entrepreneur represents a critical piece of the puzzle in our make-over and re-tenanting strategy at these two iconic assets, while also elevating occupancy at the Vickers Exchange to 100%,” said Brad Byrnes, president of Byrnes & Associates, in a press release. “Popular restaurants inject energy and excitement into real estate projects and, based on the long-term embrace and support of the community to the Pete’s Grille concept, we are confident that this is the perfect use and operator.”    

“Werner’s is a Baltimore Landmark. As someone who has lived here his whole life, I’m excited to be a part of its next chapter. We will keep in place the traditions of the menu, quality of food and excellent service. We welcome everyone to come in for great meals, friendly conversations and classic cocktails,” said Crum in a press release.

Last year, the new ownership group initiated a comprehensive $5-million redevelopment and strategy at 225 and 233 E. Redwood Street. It also rebranded the assets to Vickers Exchange and Redwood Exchange, which recently led to the signing of 21 new office leases at the two buildings. The renovation and repositioning program consisted of transforming the upper floors of Redwood Exchange into multi-tenant office space. The ground floors of both buildings will be leased to restaurant and retail users. 

“Our vision for Historic Redwood Street to become the Main Street of Downtown continues to move forward ahead of plan,” said Byrnes. “We consider the 200 block of Redwood Street a microcosm of everything great about downtown Baltimore including one-of-a-kind architecture, great history and the perfect mix of theater, office space, apartments, hotels and restaurants. The recent leasing activity we completed at these two assets will bring new employees and visitors to this area every day, and recreate a pedestrian-friendly environment that has been missing of late.”

Rendering from Heath Design Group

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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