In a matter of hours, the venerable Berghoff restaurant in downtown Chicago will close its doors after being in business for 107 years. It's a sad day for a number of Chicagoans and Midwesterners who had many a meal at the Berghoff over the years.
The Chicago Tribune has a wonderful two-minute tribute to the Berghoff on their web site today. You'll need to have Macromedia's Flash player and a broadband connection to see it. But if you've been to the Berghoff, it's worth the time to see it. It brought back a lot of memories for me.
This coming Saturday, March 4, there will be an auction of Berghoff fixtures, pictures and other items. You can see a number of items here. There will be a auction pre-viewing on Friday, March 3, with the auction beginning at 12 noon on Saturday at the Berghoff.
By the way - on Monday, the Berghoff and their 51 union employees came to an agreement over a severance package that will be extended to all 92 employees who will be laid off with the closing of the restaurant. Employees will get two months of paid health insurance and a financial package that was not disclosed by either side.
Beginning next week, the dining area of the Berghoff will be renovated for upcoming banquets put on by Carlyn Berghoff's Artistic Events catering company.
I'm going to miss the Berghoff. But as long as they keep the bar open next door, I'll be happy just to go in for a couple of beers from time to time. I mean, where else can you go to see Chicago Liquor License number one?
So long, Berghoff. And thanks...