||Hollywood Diner: Charm city's celebrity diner
The Hollywood Diner is one of the few places you'll find in Baltimore that celebrities have graced with their presence for over two decades. This place was put on the map in films such as Barry Levinson's " Diner " and " Liberty Heights ." Furthermore, the Hollywood Diner served up delicious dishes in " Sleepless in Seattle " and Chris Rock's " Head of State ."
"The more movies that are filmed here, helps bring business up," said Josh Howard, Hollywood Diner owner.
Celebrities like Meg Ryan and Paul Reiser must have enjoyed the ambiance of the Hollywood Diner as well as the large menu selection. The head chef had a five-star restaurant in New York City and recently transferred from the Double-T Diner.
"We have a little bit of everything and the food is excellent," said Howard.
Many customers would agree. In particular, John Giarratano said, "I like the roast beef club because it's a large sandwich made with fresh ingredients."
Howard started working at the Hollywood Diner four years ago. He is actively involved with the Chesapeake Center for Youth Development, a non-profit organization that works with disadvantaged youth ages eight to 21 years old. The Hollywood Diner is used as a training tool for out of school teenagers, who wish to get a taste of what's involved in running a successful restaurant business.
"They do everything from washing dishes and doing food prep to waiting tables and learning customer service techniques," said Howard.
The Hollywood Diner employees receive a $5 stipend for each hour they work. The goal is that the program will give the teenagers the training necessary to find a job in customer service, retail sales or restaurant services within six months. Most of them work under thirty hours per week at the Diner, while attending GED classes.
"We want to help the disadvantaged youth to become positive members of society," said Howard.
Currently, the Hollywood Diner is looking for new ways to bring in more customers. Each day they open at 6:30 and close at 2:30p.m. One option is to have the diner open longer hours. However, this would require Howard to hire more adults and add security guards. Before going this route, first he wants to increase the youths' customer service training so customers will come back on a regular basis. He also plans on adding televisions in each corner of the restaurant to play the movie " Diner " throughout the day.
Hopefully these measures will increase the Hollywood Diner have more business and draw more celebrities to charm city.
400 East Saratoga Street