Chicago’s Oldest Restaurant Celebrating 123 Years of Christmas Traditions
CHICAGO – A Chicago Christmas tradition lives on at the Berghoff in Chicago’s Loop. In business for over 123 years. Chicago’s oldest restaurant is still 100% family owned and has been since the days of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
The legacy dates back to 1870, when Herman Berghoff emigrated from Germany to America. After working on cotton and sugar cane plantations, and even spending time performing at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Berghoff opened his own brewery in Indiana.
When the World’s Fair came to Chicago in 1893, Berghoff set up a booth in Midway Plaisance and sold his beers to people entering and leaving the fair. His success at the fair prompted him to consider a more permanent place to sell his beer in Chicago. Thus, Le Berghoff opened its doors in 1898. Beers were sold for a nickel and they came with a side sandwich, free!
“We are open again, we have been closed for 16 months due to the pandemic,” said owner Pete Berghoff. “We are ready for you to come see us, Christmas time is a memorable time, we can have generations at a table, it’s a happy time, the Loop is ready for the visit and so are we.”
The holiday season at the Berghoff is where many Chicago family traditions are born.
Complete with visits from Santa Claus, the Berghoff celebrates Bavarian traditions known as Die Weihnachtsgurke. (hiding the little pickle ornaments in the restaurant’s Christmas trees). Young-at-hearts who find the pickle will not only receive good luck for a year, but can also order our famous Berghoff Root Beer for $1.00. This dollar will be directly donated to the benefit of the adopted children of the SOS villages of Illinois. For more information, visit sosillinois.org.
For a list of Santa’s visits and other information on Berghoff’s history and reservations, click here.
For more fun on the Chicago scene, follow @tomwgnchicago on Instagram.
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