Von Stuke’s Hofbrau once inhabited the space at the corner of Lincoln and Warner, smack dab in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood and just south of “Little Germany” found in Lincoln Square. The “Von Stuke’s” portion of the tavern’s name referred to its ownership by Fred Stukenberg, and “Hofbrau” is short for “Hofbrauhaus” meaning “royal court brewery” in German. Not much is remembered about Von Stuke’s other than some of the comments found here and preserved by the Chicago Bar Project, and even less is known about its predecessor, “Salzburger Hof.”
“Von Stuke’s had the Viking Mural and a brass tree beer spigot mounted on the u-shaped bar. Beer selection was much less than GBP but featured the velvet hammer, probably a German double bock if I remember correctly. They serve German fair from a full kitchen. German music played low from the bar. The place was even darker than the GBP and had oak booths instead of the round tables that Dave Verduin put in later. I have an oak bench from there.”– B.K. (January 3, 2006)
“Way back I promised to report on the new Chicago microbrew available only on draft. It’s called Baderbrau, and is now available only on tap [Editor’s note: Baderbrau went bankrupt sometime around 1998, but was apparently purchased by the Goose Island Brewery, though I don’t think they make it currently]. It is amber lager (beautiful color!), nicely hopped with appropriate malt balance. A beer I would be very proud to make! I sampled it at an interesting bar on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago about two blocks north of Irving Park called Von Stuke’s Hofbrau. I’d recommend the bar for its fine selection of German beers on tap at reasonable prices. They even have EKU’s Bajuvator doppelbock (‘the velvet hammer’) at $2.75/half liter. Give it a try if you’re in Chicago.”– Jackie Brown, Homebrew Digest (September 29, 1989)
“Bavarian beer garden in the rear seats 40 people, and is a popular gathering spot for Oktoberfest. It’s also where the Beer Society of America meets every month. That ought to tell you something. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, and Sunday, 11:00 A.M.–11:00 P.M. Closed Monday. Free parking. Credit cards accepted.”– excerpt from Ethnic Chicago (1996)
Von Stuke’s ultimately yielded to an establishment called Corbin’s (I’m not sure if something came between Von Stuke’s and Corbin’s, so let me know if you know), then the revered Great Beer Palace, and the space is currently occupied by the Glunz Bavarian House, named after Chicago’s royal family of alcohol, the Glunz Family. The Glunz Bavarian House helps keep the German-Chicago tradition of Von Stuke’s and all of Lincoln Square and North Center alive, so stop by and have a pint of Spaten. Prost!