photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer
Three weeks after losing his job at a downtown Hagerstown diner, Ernie Eichelberger opened his own diner-style restaurant.
That was 50 years ago and he's been cooking ever since.
Ernie & Kitty's Restaurant opened on the corner of Potomac and Baltimore streets on Feb. 17, 1949. Since then, people have sipped coffee at the counter or traded jokes and the news of the day from the white and chrome tables.
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Eichelberger, 78, says good food and hard work have been the secrets to his success.
The food is mostly breakfast fare. The menu, displayed on a cardboard sign over the counter, lists home fries and eggs for $1.85, and bacon, hotcakes and eggs for $2.45. Ham and eggs, at $2.85, is the most expensive item on the menu.