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The Berghoff Restaurant, Chicago

The Berghoff restaurant, at 17 West Adams Street, near the center of the Chicago Loop, was opened in 1898 by Herman Joseph Berghoff and has become a Chicago landmark.

Herman Berghoff immigrated to America from Dortmund, Germany in 1870. Herman and his three brothers, Henry, Hubert and Gustav, started brewing Berghoff's Beer in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1887. Herman wanted to expand the market for the family's beer and to do so he sold beer at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.

The beer was well received which inspired Herman to open a cafe to showcase Berghoff's Dortmunder-style beer which it sold for a nickel. Sandwiches were offered for free. The bar remained open even through the prohibition period by selling a near beer (which is now sold as Berghoff's Root Beer) and Bergo Soda Pop and became a full service restaurant. After prohibition was repealed in 1933 The Berghoff was issued Liquor License No. 1. Long after most restaurants ended the practice, the Berghoff maintained a separate men's only bar. The segregation ended in 1969, when seven members of the National Organization for Women sat at the bar and demanded service.

For much of its history, the Berghoff waiters would purchase the meals they were serving from the kitchen and then deliver them to the customer, keeping the amount the customer paid for the meals.

On December 28, 2005 it was announced by Herman Berghoff, 70, and his wife Jan Berghoff that after 107 years of operation, The Berghoff would close on February 28, 2006. Herman and Jan are the third generation of Berghoffs to own the restaurant.

The restaurant's basement cafe reopened on April 18, 2006 during weekday lunch hours only, and is run by Carlyn Berghoff, Herman and Jan's daughter. She also reopened the Berghoff's bar on May 23, 2006, under the new name "17/West at The Berghoff." Carlyn Berghoff has converted the dining room of the restaurant into a private banquet hall called "The Century Room." The Berghoff Cafe at O'Hare Airport also remains open. Berghoff beer, which is served almost exclusively at the establishment, is currently owned by Joseph Huber Brewing Company.

As of sometime in 2007, The Berghoff has been reopened with a somewhat changed menu.


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Coordinates: 41°52′45″N 87°37′42″W / 41.8793°N 87.6284°W / 41.8793; -87.6284



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