The Berghoff, a 107-year-old German dining institution in downtown Chicago, will shut down for good Feb. 28.
Route 66 enthusiast David Clark, aka The Windy City Warrior, says The Berghoff is on westbound Route 66, about two blocks from the Mother Road’s start.
Here are stories from Reuters, AP, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business about the impending closing. The restaurant was such a Windy City staple, that when Prohibition ended in 1933, the Berghoff received Liquor License No. 1.
Here is The Berghoff’s Web site.
Here’s some reaction to the announcement:
Peter Schauer, 65, has been coming to The Berghoff weekly since emigrating from Germany in 1962.
“It really reminds you of the old country. It is solid,” he said, pounding his fist on the oak bar and sipping a dark red beer. “I don’t believe in some of these modern joints, but I feel better when I come here, I can breathe here.”
While The Berghoff has long been a gathering spot for downtown workers, it’s also a favorite among visitors to the city– especially during the holidays. A line thick with tourists stood under the restaurant’s bright red neon sign Wednesday evening, waiting for a seat in the dining room decked with glistening Christmas decorations.
“I’m just stunned that it’s closing,” said John McGuire, 67, of St. Louis, who said he visited The Berghoff’s bar every weekend while studying at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1950s and 60s.
“I couldn’t afford to eat here, but I’d save my money to buy beer because it was such a famous place,” he said.
It’s a sad day.