About The Berghoff

For more than a century, the Berghoff name has been synonymous with superb food, family tradition, and hospitality excellence – and is an iconic Chicago dining experience. Today the Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group, under the helm of fourth generation Carlyn Berghoff, includes the historic Berghoff Restaurant – one of the nation’s oldest family-run businesses, Berghoff Café, and Berghoff Catering.

The Berghoff menu, 1932The Berghoff’s doors opened in 1898 as a men-only saloon serving free corned beef sandwiches with the purchase of a stein of Berghoff Beer. Through the years, The Berghoff expanded into a full-service restaurant rich in German-American cuisine and culture. At today’s Berghoff, diners will find lighter and more contemporary dishes along with treasured old world favorites. And famous Berghoff Root Beer and the annual Berghoff Oktoberfest are evidence of its deep German roots.

Building on the Berghoff tradition of offering clients innovative special events planning and catering services is Berghoff Catering, one of Chicago’s best catering and special events companies. Under the direction of CEO Carlyn Berghoff and Executive Chef Matt Reichel, seasoned professionals create extraordinary experiences and deliver flawless execution on-premise at the iconic Berghoff Restaurant or off-premise at Chicago’s most unique special event venues.

 

A Piece of Chicago History

The Berghoff tale is the quintessential American success story of an immigrant who built a hugely successful business that has stayed in one family for more than a hundred years.

Herman Joseph Berghoff and Chicago's liquor license No. 1Herman Joseph Berghoff left his native Dortmund, Germany, at age 17 and landed penniless in Brooklyn in 1870. Barely 12 years later, he founded his namesake brewery in Fort Wayne, IN. Berghoff’s Dortmunder-style beer was so well received that he was inspired to open a café in Chicago to showcase it – selling at a nickel a glass and a dime for a stein with sandwiches offered for free.

The bar remained open even through Prohibition by selling near-beer and Bergo soda pop and became a full-service restaurant that still carries the Berghoff name. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the City of Chicago issued liquor license No. 1 to The Berghoff and has done so each year ever since.

 

 

Making a Difference

At Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group, we recognize the importance of giving back to the community. We are actively involved with Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a long-term residential home for troubled and hurting young men and women, ages 11 to 21. In addition, we have been long-time supporters of the Breast Cancer Network of Strength, Hephzibah Children’s Association, and Horizons for Youth.

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls has been a solution for kids in crisis since 1887. The residential, aftercare, and mentoring programs of this 99.8% privately funded organization provide safety and opportunity for more than 600 kids every year.

Breast Cancer Network of Strength

Formerly known as Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, Breast Cancer Network of Strength™ is a Chicago-based national nonprofit organization with the mission to ensure – through information, empowerment, and peer support – that no one faces breast cancer alone.

Hephzibah Children’s Association

Since its inception in the 1890s, Hephzibah Children’s Association, has worked to enhance the lives of children and families through a continuum of innovative programs such as Day Care, Family Based Services, Group Homes, the Hephzibah Academy, and Ryno Kid Care.

Horizons for Youth

By partnering with dedicated families to provide need-based scholarships, mentoring, and enrichment programs for Chicago elementary school students, Horizons for Youth works to help children recognize and achieve their full potential.