It’s a sad day for Chicago. The Berghoff Restaurant, a Chicago landmark for generations, will close:
Chicago will lose another commercial and cultural icon when the 107-year-old Berghoff Restaurant, a Loop landmark, serves its last schnitzel on Feb. 28.
Herman Berghoff, the 70-year-old grandson of the restaurant’s founder, and his wife, Jan Berghoff, 68, are retiring. Herman Berghoff, who’s been working at the German-style restaurant since 1952, owns the building at 17 W. Adams St. and will lease it to his daughter Carlyn Berghoff’s catering company.
She plans to reopen the bar this spring under a slightly different name but convert the elegant dining room to a private banquet hall, thus ending the reign of one of Chicago’s oldest and most fattening restaurants.
“It’s hard to believe,” said Rich Melman, head of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, a Chicago-based restaurant company, who recalls first eating at The Berghoff 45 years ago. “I feel such a personal loss for Chicago. It’s like losing the Cubs or something.”
Some of my earliest memories are of eating at The Berghoff. Every year or so we’d drive up to Chicago from St. Louis, stay a few days in a hotel, shop at Marshall Fields, and eat at some of the many great ethnic restaurants including The Berghoff (another was Klas in Cicero). First Marshall Fields and now The Berghoff are to be no more.
In honor of this sad event this week I’ll post a few Berghoff recipes I’ve collected over the years.
Berghoff Sour Cocktail
1 jigger high malt beer such as Beck’s or Heineken’s
1 jigger bourbon
1 dash of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
- Fill the blender with ice and add all the ingredients.
- Blend at high speed.
- Strain into cocktail glass.
2 oz. bacon, minced
1 oz. butter
½ pint scalded half-and-half
1 lb. spinach, cooked and chopped
- Saute the bacon until crisp.
- Add the butter and sufficient flour to make a smooth roux.
- Add the scalded half-and-half and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Combine the sauce with the spinach and mix thoroughly.
- Serve immediately.
Ragout a la Deutsch
1 3/4 lb. sirloin, cut into ¼ oz. strips
2 Tbsp. butter
¼ lb. green pepper, diced
¼ lb. onion, diced
¼ lb. mushrooms, sliced
½ pint brown gravy
½ cup dry white wine
5 oz. jar pimientos
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Heat 1 Tbsp. butter in skillet and add beef.
- Saute until brown.
- Saute vegetables in remaining butter and add to beef.
- add gravy, wine, and pimentos. Season with salt, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes or until done.
That cocktail recipe reads like a bartending atrocity: it abuses both good beer and good bourbon in a single drink. Does it really work?
I will try the creamed spinach tonight! Sad times in Chicago! with the Berghoff closing. I also have been going there for 40 years. First lunch at the Italian Village or The Berghoff then the Shubert for a play! Oh welll!l
Greetings fellow Berghoff lovers!
There is a link to this post at The Berghoff Memorial Blog. If you would like it removed, please let me know.
The Berghoff Memorial Blog is a place to share stories and memories of this beloved eatery. The Berghoff may be gone, but it will never be forgotten.
Cheers and auf wiedersehen.
I am looking for the recipe for their great Brown Gravy that coated your whole plate. We can finally get their bottled root beer.
PLEASE WRITE BACK IF ANY INFO ,I WAS ALWAYS TOLD MY GRANDFATHER WAS THE SON OF THE ORIGINAL FOUNDER, HIS NAME IS CLEARANCE BERGHOFF IN GODFREY ILL. MY FATHER WAS WHILLIAM JOESPH BERGHOFF MY FATHER WAS BORN 4-17-1935 THANK YOU VERY MUCH KENNETH JAMES BERGHOFF..
The creamed spinach recipe is missing nutmeg, Small, but crucial ingredient.