Who We Are

We’ve been calling Michigan City Home for over 30 years!

Swingbelly’s History

Come in…Get Your Belly Out!

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!

Our Team

Swingbelly's general manager MJ Werner


It all started back when I was 9. I came up from Florida for the summer to help at the restaurant. Every summer since then I have been back here working. In 2014 dream finally came true when I was informed about Swingbelly’s NEW location. Without hesitating I said yes! I’m looking forward to serving all of my customers with a friendly greeting and a smile

Swingbelly's kitchen manager Bret Palmer


Bret joined the Swingbelly’s team in 1986. He was hired on as a cook and became the kitchen manager in 1990. Bret takes care of all day to day operations along with creating all the house-made soups and daily features. He enjoys being able to share his passion for food with our many loyal customers.

Swingbelly's waitress Dana Burnham


I am a waitress at Swingbellys and have been for about 12 years. When I was 15, and really needing a job, I went and applied at Swingbellys and was hired on the spot. Having worked here so long it has become to feel more like a family to me.

Swingbelly's hostess Natalie Palmer


Natalie started at Swingbelly’s as a hostess in 1991. She is currently the office manager as well as the daytime floor supervisor. Even though she has held many different positions, serving is the one she loves most because she can connect with customers and get to know them better. Bret and Natalie, met at Swingbelly’s in 1991 and later married in 1997.

Swingbelly’s News    Michigan City

Our New Location

Events    Michigan City

Monday’s special:
$5.00 Burgers with a purchase of a Beverage


Friendly staff, great selection of craft beers, and the best onion rings I’ve had in a long time. From burgers to soups salads to sandwiches and everything else in between, every meal is like a special occasion. Outdoor dining too, family friendly atmosphere with kids menu, or if you want to head to the bar and watch golf that’s great too.

Gayle B.

Unbelievably good hamburgers; $5.00 on Monday. Awesome skinny fries; cooked perfectly, I must say. All of us had a burger of one type or another. Every belly was pleased and full. Great service, also. We will be back…. and soon.

JD Robby