Thursday, December 29, 2005

Chicago's Berghoff Restaurant will close its doors in February.

The only constant is change.

Chicago institution closing after more than 100 years; The Berghoff Restaurant shutting down in February (Associated Press).

It's hard not to feel a sense of Chicago's history inside the 107-year-old Berghoff Restaurant, where hand-painted murals depict the 1893 World's Fair and the city's first post-Prohibition liquor license proudly hangs.

But in a few months The Berghoff - one of this food-loving city's oldest and most beloved restaurants - will become history itself, leaving its hordes of devoted patrons crying in their German lager and plates of sauerbraten.

I only went once, way back in 1992, and although the meal was enjoyable, the best part was hitting the afternoon happy hour at the restaurant’s stand-up taproom and oyster bar next door.

It must have been during the brief time that there was a Berghoff microbrewery nearby in Chicago (Ontario Street?), because we drank dollar and a quarter Porter and simply thought it was grand.

One thing’s for sure: Take more than a few trips through Bavaria, and German-style cooking in America is never quite the same.

Here’s a link to a Huber Brewing Company timeline with additional information on the connection between the Berghoff Restaurant and its contract brewer.

Will the brand survive?

Does it really matter?

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