Originally known as the Washington Hotel when built in the late 1700s, the inn was destroyed by fire sometime in 1914. The late well-known hex sign painter, Johnny Ott, bought the building in the late 1930s and ran it as a country bar, restaurant, and hotel. Many times he could be found there in an enclosed side porch studio where he painted his hex signs, furniture, anything he could pretty much get his hands on.
After Ott’s death in 1964, the Peters brothers of Lenhartsville operated the hotel until hex sign artist Donald Greth purchased it in 1966. He and his wife operated it until the middle of June, 1971, when it was purchased by Deitsch Eck Hotel and Restaurant Inc, a subsidiary of the PA Dutch Folk Culture Society (PADFCS), a nonprofit organization.
The restaurant became known simply as the Deitsch Eck (Dutch Corner). The second and third floor hotel rooms were renovated and made into apartments.
In the early 1990s there were plans by the PADFCS to relocate the museum complex and artifacts to the Kutztown University Heritage Center, a place that was created to keep the memories of the PA Dutch way of life alive. The group had no intentions on continuing to operate the restaurant, and Steve Stetzler, an area resident, former employee of the Deitsch Eck, and graduate of Penn State’s Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management program, was asked to manage the business. In 1997 the PADFCS sold the restaurant and apartments to Stetzler, and to this day he remains the current chef and owner.
The Deitsch Eck Restaurant is located at 87 Penn St, or the intersection of Old Route 22 and Route 143 in Lenhartsville, PA. Interstate 78, Exit 35. 25 minutes north of Reading, 25 minutes west of Allentown.