Monday, September 20, 2010
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 After prohibition was repealed in 1933 The Berghoff was issued Liquor License No. 1.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 stood 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.*
As with most Oktoberfest celebrations, there was live music too. This year The Johnny Wagner Band played everyday from 11:00 until 2:00. The good times, brats and beer flowed - it made for a most excellent Friday.
* From Wikipedia
Posted by Tom Rubin at 3:16 PM