Sad days in Chicago
First the news that Marshall Field's is being sold to Macy's, and now, while people are trying to come to grips with the fact that that name so synonymous with Chicago will be no longer, it's announced that after 107 years in business at State Street and Adams, Chicago's venerable Berghoff Restaurant will close at the end of February.
I loved the place. This is truly a loss. Devotees of the restaurant are in shock.
Among the things the Berghoff was noted for were it's stand-up bar and their "men's grill" a men only bar which remained that way until 1969, and the fact that they hold liquor license #1 in the city of Chicago, being the first place to receive one after prohibition.
In the aftermath of the Chicago Democratic Convention, the trial of the Chicago 7 was held at the Federal Court building near Berghoff's. Both the prosecution and the defendants would eat lunch there, making for quite the media attraction until the management gave them each a spot away from prying cameras.
Another unique aspect of the place was that many of the male waiters have worked there for many decades. (The service is refined and elegant, at least in my experience.) The maitre'd has worked there for over 50 years!
The Trib has an account here and a nice tribute piece from a resident of Maquoketa, of all places, here.
Many reader's comments at the Trib are touching, as many tell of it being a family tradition going back decades and spanning generations to go to Chicago during the holiday season, see the windows and shop at Marshall Field's, and have dinner at the Berghoff. Now they'll both be gone, at least in name.
There are accounts of going to the Berghoff with their grandfathers, elderly women tell of remembering their fathers taking them there as young girls, people who have gotten engaged there, or held their wedding dinners there. People now moved away to far-flung spots around the world who always go straight to the Berghoff whenever they make it back to Chicago. So much history. So sad to see it go.
Any one else with memories of this Chicago landmark?