In sausage news, no changes at the other Ostrowski's

December 19, 2013|Richard Gorelick | The Baltimore Sun

In Baltimore's sausage world, there are two Ostrowski's.

There is Ostrowski's on Washington Street, a 94-year-old Polish sausage shop that was recently purchased from the Ostrowski family by John Reusing, owner of the neighboring tavern Bad Decisions.

Reusing told The Baltimore Sun that he has no intention of changing things at the Fells Point sausage works except to expand the hours in its retail operation.

And then, two blocks north, there is Ostrowski of Bank Street, which has been making and selling sausages  since 1976. If you see Ostrowski products in grocery stores, they're from Ostrowski of Bank Street. The original Ostrowski's, the one on Washington, does not supply grocery stores.  

Ostrowski of Bank Street was opened in 1976 by Victor Ostrowski, whose grandfather founded the original Washington Street sausage works in 1919. This Victor Ostrowski died in 1995, and the Bank Street sausage works, which includes a retail counter, is now owned and operated by his son, Victor Ostrowski, Jr.

Victor Ostrowski, Jr. told The Sun that he had been getting plenty of phone calls after stories about the sale of the original Ostrowski's, the one on Washington Street, started appearing in the media on Tuesday night.

Ostrowski said that his father converted the old Anthony Zamerski grocery store on the corner of Bank and Ann streets into a sausage works. Zamerski was a maker of Polish sausages, too, and Ostrowski started selling not only Ostrowski-recipe sausage but ones adapted from Zamerski recipes, too.

Ostrowski said that it had been hard for his father to leave his family's business.

"My father wanted stuff changed," Ostrowski said. "But [the other family members] were reluctant. He walked away without a nickel."

Ostrowski said his father died, suddenly, in 1995. "I think about him every day," Ostrowski said, "but particularly around the holiday.”

"My father never had a lot of interest in working [in the sausage business]," Ostrowski said. "He wanted to be a dentist. But his grandfather talked him back in."


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