Our History


It all started in 1983 when Mark A. Werner, who was then a newbie to the restaurant industry, saw the potential in an old laundromat located at South Lake Avenue (Stop 2). After many successful years and many satisfied customers, it was time to get even closer to the waters of Lake Michigan.

In 2002 Mark, along side longtime friends and employees Bret and Natalie Palmer, relocated Swingbelly’s to another transformed building, this time a historic train station located at 100 Washington Street. The original brick and hardwood floors of the station made a setting for the nautically inspired decor. Our loyal customers loved the new location and are the reason Swingbelly’s became even more successful.

The summer of 2014 Swingbelly’s had one last move, to a newly renovated restaurant formally known as “Ye Olde Bennys.” With this move Mark brought new vision and young talent, his son M.J. (Mark Justin). With M.J.'s fresh ideas and Mark’s experienced restaurant knowledge, the father and son team was unstoppable in the creation of the new and “improved” Swingbelly’s. With it’s first ever bar and hard liquor service M.J. created a unique blend of craft/specialty beers and wines, old time favorites, and specialized mixed drinks. We hope you enjoy your time here with us!