It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Jan Berghoff, a beloved member of the Berghoff family and an instrumental figure in The Berghoff Restaurant’s modernization and culture.
Jan’s favorite role was greeting guests at the front door and sharing the restaurant’s history. She worked closely with the Chicago Historical Society, creating a show of the World’s Fair using the walls of the Berghoff Restaurant as a semi-permanent exhibition. Born in 1938, she took pride in being strong and feminine. She was a Purdue College graduate, and her first career was teaching deaf people. In 1982, she and Herman returned to the Chicago area, now with four children in tow, and started working side by side with her husband, Herman.
Jan’s legacy also includes her leadership in introducing an authentic Oktoberfest experience to Chicago. Her profound love for German culture and heritage inspired her to create a festive and genuine celebration that has become a beloved annual tradition for many.
In addition to her significant contributions to the restaurant’s modernization at The Berghoff Restaurant, Jan played a crucial part in creating holiday traditions. Her creative ideas and careful attention to detail made The Berghoff a holiday icon that brought joy and happiness to numerous generations and families who visited. Her vision also helped make every holiday season magical for children who would eventually grow up and bring their children to help create the same happiness and magic that only Jan and The Berghoff could make.
Jan demonstrated a passionate commitment to advancing The Berghoff Restaurant into the current era with innovative marketing campaigns, computerization, email communication, and web design, which were instrumental in drawing a new generation of patrons to the establishment. Her unwavering dedication and tireless efforts were instrumental in keeping the restaurant current and thriving in a rapidly evolving world.
Jan’s passing profoundly saddens the Berghoff family, friends, and colleagues. Her steadfast commitment, creativity, and devotion to her work will continue to inspire and influence the restaurant and its patrons for years to come. Rest in peace, Jan.