Berghoff Catering & Restaurant / Berghoff Cafe
Thousands of Chicagoans stood in line in cold winter weather for a final goodbye after the Berghoff family announced its 107-year-old restaurant would close in February 2006. Afterward, the news came that the "closure" really meant they were selling the place to their daughter, who was not previously involved with running the restaurant.
For a while, Carlyn Berhoff operated the place as "17 West at the Berghoff," before switching back to "The Berghoff.Restaurant." The old main dining room, initially converted to private events, has now been reopened as a restaurant and the basement cafe remains much as before, with lunchtime sandwiches. The crusty, unionized waiters are gone, though, the menu mixes a handful of the old German favorites with pastas and fern-bar fare, and Chicago is divided between the still-infuriated and the relieved.