The story behind this Illinois treasure begins with a five cent beer and a free sandwich. Over 100 years of history, much adorning every wall in the place.

There are family-owned businesses on pretty much every block in every town in Illinois. Each one of them has a unique story to tell.

In Illinois, there's a restaurant that has been serving its community for a long time.

And I mean a VERY long time.

There is one commonality amongst family-owned businesses no matter how they generate revenue... KEEPING THE DOORS OPEN IS TOUGH AS HELL.

A year, a few years, a decade, even a generation or two are pretty common stories. How common is keeping a business open AND profitable for 123 years?

If this restaurant is not the oldest in the state of Illinois, it has to be close.

The Berghoff in Chicago is One of America's Most Fascinating Historic Restaurants, according to


The Berghoff opened its doors in the Windy City in 1898 and began selling beer for just a nickel. With that beer, if you can believe this, also came a FREE sandwich.

The Berghoff via Facebook

I just read that The Berghoff is the holder of Chicago's first-ever liquor license. When prohibition started in 1920, Herman Berghoff used his talents to make some 'near beer' and soda to keep his business afloat. Thirteen years later, prohibition ended in 1933 and the city gave its first license to sell booze to Herman Berghoff.

The Berghoff via Facebook
The Berghoff via Facebook

According to the Berghoff historians, In 2006, The Berghoff closed briefly, transitioning ownership from third generation to the fourth. By 2007, the establishment was fully reopened and is what it is today—The Berghoff Bar, Restaurant, and Café all housed in the historic, 45,000-square-foot building on 17 W. Adams Street.

The Berghoff via Facebook

Over 122 years later, you'll have a difficult time finding more delicious German food and beers around the city of Chicago.

I need one of The Berghoff's Bavarian pretzels and a cold beer right now!

The Berghoff via Facebook

25 Illinois Steak Joints You Need To Try Sooner Than Later

If you are anywhere between the Illinois/Wisconsin border and into the deep suburbs of Chicago, this list is for you.

You Cannot Visit Illinois Without Trying These 6 Iconic Foods

Welcome to Illinois. While you're here, we're going to make sure you eat well. Not just delicious food, but the most important foods our state offers.