Category Archive 'Berghoff’s'

29 Dec 2005

Chicago’s Oldest Restaurant Closing After More than 100 Years

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ABC Chicago’s John Garcia, writing in English-as-a-second-language, reports:

Chicago’s oldest restaurant is closing after more than 100 years in business. The Berghoff will serve its last meal February 28.

The federal government is in the process of acquiring a lot of the buildings in the block around Berghoff’s using meant (sic: should be “eminent”) domain, but they say they wouldn’t dare to touch this restaurant, because it’s too much an important institution in Chicago.

Mayor Daley issued a statement Wednesday saying the Berghoff family has been a very important part of Chicago history, and he says he speaks for many Chicagoans in saying he is sad to see the restaurant close.

The Berghoff is more than just a restaurant, it’s part of Chicago history. The news comes three months after the announcement that Marshall Field’s stores will be renamed Macy’s. Some Chicagoans are worried the city is losing some of the character that makes it so unique…

Chicago author and historian Studs Terkel calls it an important link to Chicago’s past.

“Berghoff seems to be one of the connecting links to the early Chicago that still (sic: ?) healthy good and meant what it said — good food and service,” said Terkel.

The history of Berghoff’s began in 1898 when founder Herman Joseph Berghoff opened the place looking for a way to showcase his authentic Dortmunder-style beer. It went for a nickel a glass back then.

Berghoff survived the prohibition by selling food, and when it was over Berghoff got the city’s first liquor license. It hangs in the restaurant to this day


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