Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Berghoff' Takedown

I got a kick out of Neil Steinberg's blog about The Berghoff in Chicago. You can read the whole thing here, but my favorite part is below...

For me, the lowest rung of chthonic corporate ill-will must be reserved for The Berghoff Restaurant. The Berghoff used to be my favorite place to eat. When out-of-towners came to Chicago for the first time, I would take them proudly to the Berghoff, as if I had created it -- my pal Adam Gopnik, the New Yorker's man in France, and I had our first meal there.

Then, in 2006, the Berghoff pretended to close, in order to fire its union waitstaff, putting its customers through this elaborate mock farewell, only to reopen, on the down low, a few months later. They did it for a little money. It was if your mother staged her own death and funeral, fooling you kids, in order to get out of some magazine subscriptions she no longer wanted...The Berghoff never apologized, never explained. Just a big, loud, drawn out, middle finger in the air...to all its devoted, long-time customers. Then turn around, smile broadly, adopt a different tone of voice and welcome them all back in with a sweep of the arm to spend their money there again. No thanks.