All in the Family

The landmark Annapolis deli, Chick and Ruth’s, turns 50.

By Amy Mulvihill - June 2015

All in the Family

The landmark Annapolis deli, Chick and Ruth’s, turns 50.

By Amy Mulvihill - June 2015

Chick and Ruth Levitt pose outside their restaurant in Annapolis. -Photography by Mike Morgan

Ted Levitt freely admits he has no work-life balance, but that’s mostly because, as the second-generation owner of Chick and Ruth’s Delly in Annapolis, he has never needed one. For as long as he can remember, work and family have always been inextricably intertwined.

It all started a half-century ago, in the summer of 1965, when his parents, Chick and Ruth Levitt, moved from Baltimore to Annapolis to open an eatery on Main Street. Ted, then just 8 years old, would stand on a milk crate in the back and slice meat. By the time he was 11, he was working the grill with his mom while his dad manned the register. Even then, he knew the business was his future. “All I wanted to do is work with my dad,” says Levitt, who, at age 58, continues to work six days a week. “I didn’t know how much work it was, but it didn’t matter because I already loved being here.”

He isn’t the only one. Chick and Ruth’s has secured its spot in Annapolis’ cultural firmament with its from-scratch soups, sandwiches, platters, and pies—not to mention its unpretentious, friendly vibe. “People want an experience. It’s like when you go into Cheers,” says Levitt, who spent two years at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America before returning to assume greater responsibility as his parents’ health declined. (His mother died in 1986; his father in 1995.)

In fact, so unifying is the humble deli’s appeal that every Maryland governor since Marvin Mandel has come in for breakfast the morning after their inauguration, prompting his parents to begin the tradition of naming menu items after Maryland politicos. (The Hogan’s Hero, named for Gov. Larry Hogan, is a cheese steak with American cheese and grilled onions.)

Joined in work and life by his wife Beth since 1981, Levitt sees no end in sight, even though the couple’s two grown children, Scott and Lauren, are pursing other careers. He says: “As long as I’m working, I’ll be here.”





You May Also Like


On The Town

Asian-American Community Celebrates Past and Present With New Festival

Enjoy eats, drinks, and performances in Baltimore's historic Chinatown.

In Good Taste

Open & Shut: La Calle; Tiki Lee's; Shark Week Specials

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

Food & Drink

Review: Lupa

Columbia’s Lupa offers a fitting homage to Roman cuisine.


Food & Drink

Pure Imagination

The Charmery owners David and Laura Alima give us the scoop on their growing ice cream business.

In Good Taste

Writer Renee Brooks Catacalos Discusses Benefits of Chesapeake Cuisine

Author of The Chesapeake Table to talk about the joys of local food and what makes eating in Baltimore so special.

Food & Drink

Review: Hungry Andy's

Hungry Andy’s in Fells Point serves pit beef and more.

Chick and Ruth Levitt pose outside their restaurant in Annapolis. -Photography by Mike Morgan

Connect With Us

Most Read


Baltimore Police Mounted Unit to Add Horses and State-of-the-Art Stable: City officials broke ground on $2.5 million stable at B&O Railroad Museum.

Gundalow Juice Stops Production to Focus on Catering Services: CEO and founder Dana Sicko discusses the next chapter with Gundalow Gourmet.

Maryland Film Festival's Jed Dietz to Retire: Dietz shepherded the growth of the festival and the launch of the Parkway Theatre.

Are the Orioles and Adam Jones Headed For a Bad Breakup?: Fan favorite benched again last night as forgettable season nears end.

Governor Larry Hogan Tops Ben Jealous by 22 Points in New Poll: More than half of likely voters say they support the incumbent Republican governor.