Updated: Lincoln Square's Chicago Brauhaus To Close Its Doors
By Anthony Todd in Food on Mar 15, 2017 2:44PM
The Chicago Brauhaus. Photo via Facebook.
Update 2:00 p.m.:
The owners of Chicago Brauhaus plan to close the restaurant and retire, the listing's real estate agent, Peter Graham, confirmed to Chicagoist. The two brothers who own the building and restaurant, Harry and Guenter Kempf, "don't know when the last day is," Graham told Chicagoist, but the search for a new tenant is already underway.
Update 9:00 a.m. Thursday, March 16:
The owners somewhat contradicted their broker in an interview with the Trib, saying nothing is set regarding closing until they decide. Harry Kempf told the Tribune that they have sold the building housing the Brauhaus, but continue to pay rent and aren't ready to shut down just yet.
That said, this isn't really inconsistent with their broker's statement that they will be closing and a search for a new tenant is underway. Rather, it sounds somewhat like a restaurant owner who isn't quite sure of the timeline for changes. But ultimately, it sounds like the iconic restaurant is still headed for closing.
For 40 years, the Chicago Brauhaus has been a destination for fun and German-ness in Lincoln Square. With a huge collection of beer steins, loud polka music, plenty of wursts and an old-world atmosphere, it's one of those iconic Chicago restaurants. But based on some real estate listings, the Brauhaus might be looking to close up.
A tipster sent us this listing from CBRE, the real estate company.
At first, it appears to show a generic rendering of a facade, but when you look a bit closer, you notice a few things. First, it's the same address (4732 N. Lincoln Ave.) as the Brauhaus. The description ("The building is located across from the Lincoln Square fountain and is a rare availability in the center of the neighborhood") matches the Brauhaus. And, if you click through to the flyer (embedded below), there's actually a picture of the Brauhaus—bingo.
Now, it's possible that the owners are just shopping around, though there have been rumors floating around regarding a possible closure for a while now. The availability date on the basement space is listed as February 2017, and the Brauhaus is, as of March 2017, still open for business, so it seems like it hasn't been gobbled up yet. A request for comment to the Brauhaus went unanswered, so we can't confirm anything. Despite the lack of confirmation, we'd suggest making reservations sooner, rather than later, if you're a big fan of the Brauhaus.
If this business did close, it would be another loss for the Lincoln Square neighborhood. Much of the German character of the neighborhood has disappeared, with businesses like fitness studio Orange Theory replacing older, independent businesses as rent rises. It would also be a loss for some of the neighborhood's community events, as the Brauhaus was always a focus for the local community concerts and German festivals.