Berghoff Restaurant – 17 W. Adams St. Chicago, Il 312-427-3170 Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11 till – Sat. 11:30 till 4. Dinner Mon-Sat. 4 to 9 PM Closed Sundays
Q Tips say: Go and enjoy! Hearty servings. Mr. Q ordered: Rueben Sandwich – Sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing, grilled rye bread with homemade chips and a pickle and the Mr. ordered his favorite beer, I had a diet root beer soda. Our friends had: the Pastrami sandwiches and a salad. I had the Caesar salad with baked salmon. The salmon was good but the Caesar Salad was not the way I like it but still ok. Had a great time. Mrs. Q says: When you go pay attention to the photos on the walls and the stained glass windows, etc. Great ambiance. Going for lunch? Make sure you make a reservation since many of the locals do enjoy spending their lunch hours at Berghoff.
Mrs. Q says: Thank goodness things have changed! See some of the history of Berghoff below.
A Piece of Chicago History:
The Berghoff story begins with Herman Joseph Berghoff. It’s the quintessential American success story of an immigrant who built a hugely successful business that has stayed in one family for more than a century.
Herman left his native Dortmund, Germany, at age 17 and landed penniless in Brooklyn in 1870. Barely 12 years later he founded his namesake brewery in Fort Wayne, IN. The beer was well-received, inspiring Herman to open a café in Chicago to showcase Berghoff’s Dortmunder-style beer. It sold for a nickel a glass, a dime for a stein, and sandwiches were offered for free.
The bar remained open even through Prohibition by selling near-beer and Bergo soda pop and became a full-service restaurant that still carries the Berghoff name. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933 the city issued liquor license No. 1 to the Berghoff and has done so each year ever since.
Some traditions have died hard at the Berghoff. Long after most restaurants ended the practice, the Berghoff maintained a separate men-only bar. The segregation ended in 1969, when seven members of the National Organization for Women sat at the bar and demanded service. Not long after, feminist Gloria Steinem came in for a much-publicized drink.
In December 2005 third-generation Herman Berghoff and his wife, Jan, announced that after 107 years of operation the Berghoff would close in 2006. In the final days long lines snaked outside the building as customers waited for a last meal at their beloved restaurant. Jan and Herman’s daughter Carlyn Berghoff bought the Berghoff’s assets from her parents and moved her catering business, Artistic Events by Carlyn Berghoff, into the 17 W. Adams location. Eventually, she decided to carry on her family’s traditions, as well as her own, and renamed her company the Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group. Today, the Berghoff still serves classic Berghoff dishes along with modern cuisine. In addition to the restaurant, Carlyn also runs the Berghoff Bar and lower-level Berghoff Café.