Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing!

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Junior Burger
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/01/25 14:16:36 (permalink)
I am going to miss that eatery. When I am in Chicago, I normally stay at the Palmer House. Simply, because it's so close to Berghoff's. I really like my German Food and were seeing less and less of them.
#31
tjr
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/01/26 00:56:59 (permalink)
Ditto. Even tho the food wasn't as good the last time we were there, may have just been an off nite, I always felt good about going there in a way that I don't feel going to some uppity trendy spot.

Wonder if Huber will continue brewing the beer? I kinda like the Red. And for Mr. Chip's son, who liked the root beer, Huber makes that as Blumer's brand. I've not had it, so don't know how it compares to Sprecher or Schell's.
#32
V960
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/01/31 09:42:36 (permalink)
I'm sitting here w/ a Berghoff coffee cup I bought at Fish Eddys on Broadway @ 72nd many years ago. They had it in the clearance bin for a quarter. Still have a bottle of Berghoff bourbon that will have to last a LONG time now. Gonna miss the place...the bar is good but a sit down in the dining room was special.
#33
funks
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/02/06 12:22:23 (permalink)
Thought this group might be interested in reading about my own pilgrimage to The Berghoff for a final meal there over the weekend.

It's posted on my blog at:
http://serenadeingreen.blogspot.com/

permalink:
http://serenadeingreen.blogspot.com/2006/02/last-supper-at-berghoff.html

I still can't believe they're going to be gone in a matter of days.

I was thinking about setting up a "Berghoff Memorial Blog" or something where people could go to share stories, memories, outrage, etc.

Do you think that's worth doing?

cheers
#34
mr chips
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/02/07 21:56:27 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by funks

Thought this group might be interested in reading about my own pilgrimage to The Berghoff for a final meal there over the weekend.

It's posted on my blog at:
http://serenadeingreen.blogspot.com/

permalink:
http://serenadeingreen.blogspot.com/2006/02/last-supper-at-berghoff.html

I still can't believe they're going to be gone in a matter of days.

I was thinking about setting up a "Berghoff Memorial Blog" or something where people could go to share stories, memories, outrage, etc.

Do you think that's worth doing?

cheers
Yes
#35
Tim C
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/02/20 20:35:33 (permalink)
So all right campers, let's stop mourning & find a solution. What must one do in Chicago to get this kind of food? I don't want to have to trek up to Milwaukee for Karl Ratsch the next time I'm in Chi-town. (sp?)
#36
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/02/20 23:24:30 (permalink)
I had a very nice dinner the other night that came served with some very interesting information. I don't want to say the name of the restaurant or the type of cuisine served lest this come back to the individual who provided the dirt. I will say this, the gentleman was a sous chef (that fact has been confirmed) at The Berghoff. He left The Berghoff on good terms in order to start his own place. He has maintained strong relationships with many of his ex-coworkers who are still employed at The Berghoff.

According to this source, The Beghoff is not actually closing at all! This entire charade is being played out in an attempt to bust the union! According to him, they will in fact close down the main room for one year, retaining the bar and the downstairs dining areas. At the completion of the year, they will be able to reopen without being forced to run a union shop.

If all that wasn't cynical enough, the timing of the announcement and the fake closing was deliberately planned so that there would be huge crowds waiting in line to get their "last meal" in January and February, traditionally two of the slowest months in a restaurant's year. The owners are making enough money in these few normally quiet months to sustain them through the entire year until they reopen.

After those last two paragraphs, this may sound contradictory to some, but I hate gossip. This information though, came from a reliable enough source, who was close to the inner workings of The Berghoff until very recently.

Did all of us, who waited out in the cold, in fact get our last taste of Berghoff glory or was it all just a scam? I guess we'll just have to wait out the year to see what happens. Keep your eyes on Adams Street in spring of '07.

Buddy
#37
kland01s
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/02/21 08:17:04 (permalink)
There is a auction of Berghoff memorabilia at The Berghoff on March 4, 2006.

http://www.auctionconsultants.net/images/auctions/berghoffad.pdf
#38
tjr
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/02/22 01:33:38 (permalink)
Buddy, you may be right. There was an Associated Press story in the Louisville business section (slow news day or is the Berghoff that big a deal?) discussing the closing. It said that the next generation of Berghoffs will be renting the building to use for their catering company. So it's pretty easy to see how it might go: Catering, then using the restaurant for private parties, then reopening the restaurant "by popular demand" without the assistance of the union.

Could be too cynical, will just have to wait and see.
#39
funks
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/02/25 11:21:47 (permalink)
The Berghoff Memorial Blog is now live...

feel free to submit stories, memories, and photos for inclusion.

long live The Berghoff!

http://berghoffmemorial.blogspot.com/
#40
BernieG
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/21 13:00:24 (permalink)
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060419-084422-1111r

Landmark Chicago German restaurant reopens

CHICAGO, April 19 (UPI) -- The Berghoff, the 107-year-old Chicago restaurant that closed in February when owners Herman and Jan Berghoff retired, was reopened by their daughter Carlyn.

Little about the new Berghoff Cafe, which opened quietly Tuesday, was different from the old. "It's a mystery to me why they ever closed," said longtime Berghoff customer Arthur Raphael, 66.

The main difference, one not overlooked by customers, seemed to be the absence of its longtime unionized workers, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The old Berghoff was one of the few Chicago restaurants to still employ union cooks and servers, leading some to wonder whether the closing had more to do with rising employee costs.

"We had to do it the way we did it," Carlyn Berghoff said. She moved her catering firm into the leased space that will now accommodate private events.

But the Culinary Institute of America graduate and a 20-year catering veteran is keeping three of her parents' trademark dishes -- wiener schnitzel, sauerbraten and schlachtplatte.

"We want to get the crowds back," she said.

© Copyright 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved
#41
tjr
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/21 16:13:32 (permalink)
Told ya so! In a way I hope business doesn't turn out so good. Wonder how menu prices will be? Used to be pretty cheap for Chicago.
#42
mr chips
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/22 00:34:54 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by tjr

Told ya so! In a way I hope business doesn't turn out so good. Wonder how menu prices will be? Used to be pretty cheap for Chicago.
Sigh!
#43
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/24 15:15:00 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

I had a very nice dinner the other night that came served with some very interesting information. I don't want to say the name of the restaurant or the type of cuisine served lest this come back to the individual who provided the dirt. I will say this, the gentleman was a sous chef (that fact has been confirmed) at The Berghoff. He left The Berghoff on good terms in order to start his own place. He has maintained strong relationships with many of his ex-coworkers who are still employed at The Berghoff.

According to this source, The Beghoff is not actually closing at all! This entire charade is being played out in an attempt to bust the union! According to him, they will in fact close down the main room for one year, retaining the bar and the downstairs dining areas. At the completion of the year, they will be able to reopen without being forced to run a union shop.

If all that wasn't cynical enough, the timing of the announcement and the fake closing was deliberately planned so that there would be huge crowds waiting in line to get their "last meal" in January and February, traditionally two of the slowest months in a restaurant's year. The owners are making enough money in these few normally quiet months to sustain them through the entire year until they reopen.

After those last two paragraphs, this may sound contradictory to some, but I hate gossip. This information though, came from a reliable enough source, who was close to the inner workings of The Berghoff until very recently.

Did all of us, who waited out in the cold, in fact get our last taste of Berghoff glory or was it all just a scam? I guess we'll just have to wait out the year to see what happens. Keep your eyes on Adams Street in spring of '07.

Buddy
Guess it took less time than originally thought. I'm not one to serve up a heaping hepling of "I told ya so", but...

Buddy
#44
QFan
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/26 19:02:33 (permalink)
I haven't been to the "B" in years, although I do have fond memories of visits there in my earlier years (as stated in my post above). With all the sentiments from Berghoff fans over the past few months, I'm surprised there was virtually nothing said about the beer. Berghoff's famous house-brand beer once was brewed in Ft Wayne, IN and in more recent years was brewed for them by a small brewery in the German-roots community of Monroe, WI. Oh my, no visit to the "B" was complete without a stein or two of those wonderful suds!!!
QFan
Bonita Springs, FL
#45
tjr
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/29 01:41:54 (permalink)
It appears that the restaurant's closing (and reopening too for that matter) has had little to do with the supply of Berghof beer. Most of the big midwest liquor stores have had it for the past several years. In fact I'd guess that bergie is Huber's biggest selling brand. Probably doesn't get shipped as far as Florida, tho.
#46
garryd451
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/30 17:15:35 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by mr chips

quote:
Originally posted by tjr

Told ya so! In a way I hope business doesn't turn out so good. Wonder how menu prices will be? Used to be pretty cheap for Chicago.
Sigh!



I would think a non union Berghoff's would be paying lower wages and lower bebefits, so the prices should be cheaper at a non union Berghoff's
#47
Ort. Carlton.
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/30 18:35:39 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by tjr
Most of the big midwest liquor stores have had it (Berghoff Beer) for the past several years. In fact I'd guess that bergie is Huber's biggest selling brand. Probably doesn't get shipped as far as Florida, tho.


TJR,
Berghoff likely IS Huber's largest-selling brand, especially since Huber divested themselves of all their Augsburger brands sometime back only to watch them disappear in the various G. Heileman fiascos of the last 15-20 years after Russ Cleary left as Heileman's C. E. O.
I've seen Berghoff brands sporadically in Georgia, brewed by both Huber and by Heileman over time, so Florida distribution is entirely possible. Check out some of the bigger supermarkets and liquor stores in the Tampa/St. Pete area; it might be available in that market but not statewide. In my 26 years of sporadic can collecting and beer drinking (primarily of independent brands), I've seen far stranger things occur....
Untoastedly, Ort. Carlton in Significantly Beerified (But Momentarily Berghoff-less) Athens, Georgia.
P. S. I could only wish that Huber would reacquire the rights to brew Augsburger, again begin brewing Old Chicago Light, Dark, and Premium, Peter Hand Extra Light, Zodiac Malt Liquor, and Van Merritt. All those are long-gone brands I've enjoyed over the years. - By the way, Augsburger Bock and Augsburger Dark have always been two separate formulae, like Huber Bock and Dark Draft are... or do they still make those? Down here in Georgia, I don't even see Point Special... but I DO see a plethora of good locals and microbrews that don't make it out of state!
#48
QFan
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/30 19:18:51 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Ort. Carlton.

quote:
Originally posted by tjr
Most of the big midwest liquor stores have had it (Berghoff Beer) for the past several years. In fact I'd guess that bergie is Huber's biggest selling brand. Probably doesn't get shipped as far as Florida, tho.


TJR,
Berghoff likely IS Huber's largest-selling brand, especially since Huber divested themselves of all their Augsburger brands sometime back only to watch them disappear in the various G. Heileman fiascos of the last 15-20 years after Russ Cleary left as Heileman's C. E. O.
I've seen Berghoff brands sporadically in Georgia, brewed by both Huber and by Heileman over time, so Florida distribution is entirely possible. Check out some of the bigger supermarkets and liquor stores in the Tampa/St. Pete area; it might be available in that market but not statewide. In my 26 years of sporadic can collecting and beer drinking (primarily of independent brands), I've seen far stranger things occur....
Untoastedly, Ort. Carlton in Significantly Beerified (But Momentarily Berghoff-less) Athens, Georgia.
P. S. I could only wish that Huber would reacquire the rights to brew Augsburger, again begin brewing Old Chicago Light, Dark, and Premium, Peter Hand Extra Light, Zodiac Malt Liquor, and Van Merritt. All those are long-gone brands I've enjoyed over the years. - By the way, Augsburger Bock and Augsburger Dark have always been two separate formulae, like Huber Bock and Dark Draft are... or do they still make those? Down here in Georgia, I don't even see Point Special... but I DO see a plethora of good locals and microbrews that don't make it out of state!


We have a state wide chain of liquor stores down here in Florida, ABC Liquors, which occasionally stocks regional brewery stuff (like Genesee, Iron City, etc) and harder to find imports. I'll check there first. Sadly, though, we are not as "significantly beerified" as Athens and other outposts of gourmet suds consumers.
QFan
Bonita Springs, FL
#49
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/30 23:31:28 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by garryd451
I would think a non union Berghoff's would be paying lower wages and lower bebefits, so the prices should be cheaper at a non union Berghoff's
Yes, you would think that, wouldn't you. And yet...Welcome to the ways of Chicago my friend.

Buddy
#50
MilwFoodlovers
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/04/30 23:41:44 (permalink)
http://www.huberbrewery.com/beer/ Each individual beer is a clickable link giving more information. Their bi-annual Berghoff & Blues Festival held in September is always a treat with the reasonable and wide assortment of beers an added bonus. The brewery is ancient and along with a stop at Baumgartners a block or two away, well worth a visit. http://www.explorewisconsin.com/BaumgartnersCheeseStoreandTavern/
The mail order firm Swiss Colony has an outlet store in town. We stumbled upon a sale on black wax enclosed previously frozen sharp cheddar selling for $1 for a pound! Because of the freezing it crumbled when cut, making it bad for sandwiches but great for melting on top of vegetables.
A short distance away is the town of New Glarus whose restaurants will make one remember The Berghoff's glory years. Ruef's Meat Market and the town bakery next door highlight this charming part of Wisconsin best. http://www.ruefsmeatmarket.com/ http://www.newglarusbakery.com/ No beer lovers trip would be complete without a trip to my favorite American micro-brewery http://www.newglarusbrewing.com/ They've won many awards but their Wisconsin Belgian Red is our favorite special occasion beer.
The area's terrain is reminiscent of Switzerland and is the home of many cheese factories. Door county has it's charm, but Roadfooders will find this part of the state the real delight.
#51
roossy90
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/05/01 04:39:09 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by QFan

quote:
Originally posted by Ort. Carlton.

quote:
Originally posted by tjr
Most of the big midwest liquor stores have had it (Berghoff Beer) for the past several years. In fact I'd guess that bergie is Huber's biggest selling brand. Probably doesn't get shipped as far as Florida, tho.


TJR,
Berghoff likely IS Huber's largest-selling brand, especially since Huber divested themselves of all their Augsburger brands sometime back only to watch them disappear in the various G. Heileman fiascos of the last 15-20 years after Russ Cleary left as Heileman's C. E. O.
I've seen Berghoff brands sporadically in Georgia, brewed by both Huber and by Heileman over time, so Florida distribution is entirely possible. Check out some of the bigger supermarkets and liquor stores in the Tampa/St. Pete area; it might be available in that market but not statewide. In my 26 years of sporadic can collecting and beer drinking (primarily of independent brands), I've seen far stranger things occur....
Untoastedly, Ort. Carlton in Significantly Beerified (But Momentarily Berghoff-less) Athens, Georgia.
P. S. I could only wish that Huber would reacquire the rights to brew Augsburger, again begin brewing Old Chicago Light, Dark, and Premium, Peter Hand Extra Light, Zodiac Malt Liquor, and Van Merritt. All those are long-gone brands I've enjoyed over the years. - By the way, Augsburger Bock and Augsburger Dark have always been two separate formulae, like Huber Bock and Dark Draft are... or do they still make those? Down here in Georgia, I don't even see Point Special... but I DO see a plethora of good locals and microbrews that don't make it out of state!


We have a state wide chain of liquor stores down here in Florida, ABC Liquors, which occasionally stocks regional brewery stuff (like Genesee, Iron City, etc) and harder to find imports. I'll check there first. Sadly, though, we are not as "significantly beerified" as Athens and other outposts of gourmet suds consumers.
QFan
Bonita Springs, FL

But ABC does have some fantastic grocery items at their stores.
I love to peruse that area, and the cheese area also.
I do miss ABC, as they carried my favorite wine as well.
It is a very good liquor store, and has many off the wall, and obscure selection of items there.
#52
danimal15
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/05/06 23:14:22 (permalink)
That the Berghoff could close while Denny's remains happily in business all around the country is too sad to even consider.

I ate at the Berghoff early this year before it shut down. The best lamb shank I've ever had.
#53
funks
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/05/24 15:45:32 (permalink)
I haven't seen mention of it anywhere in the press, etc...

But yesterday, the Berghoff Bar reopened as "17/West".... for real, this time.

Details, as always, at The Berghoff Memorial Blog:

http://berghoffmemorial.blogspot.com/

Cheers...
#54
tacchino
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/05/25 05:00:02 (permalink)
That weblog, and the range of posts earlier, lead me to believe that this whole closing/reopening was a stunt on the part of management. Nice move to shunt to the sidewalk all the union staff.
I wouldn't patronize this place even if they were giving away their entrees.
#55
MilwFoodlovers
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/05/25 13:44:13 (permalink)
Nor would I.
#56
funks
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RE: Very bad news - the Berghoff is closing! 2006/05/25 13:49:06 (permalink)
I just want to be sure to clarify that I am in no way affiliated with The Berghoff or their family. I set up the Memorial Blog as a place to collect info, memories, and stories about The Berghoff when I found out about the closing, since nobody else seemed to be doing it (including the Berghoff family). You will find all kinds of posts there, not all "pro-Berghoff," including allegations of "union busting."

You may not have meant to imply this, I just wanted to make sure this was clear.

And, by the way, I can sympathize with those who feel duped, betrayed, etc. by the closing, reopening. However, they did say from day one when they announced the closing of the restaurant, that the bar and cafe would be reopening at some point in the future.

For what that's worth. Cheers.
#57
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