“Gepperth’s Meat Market, a Lincoln Park mainstay since 1906, closed on Saturday, April 30. The venerable butcher was known for prime cuts of beef, chicken, and pork, plus a stellar selection of jerky.
“Owner Vincent Colombet says they made a decision at the end of 2021 that it would take the next four months to reevaluate its business. It closed for the entirety of January as the owners contended with rising meat prices and staffing.
“While grocery store businesses supposedly boomed during the early stages of the pandemic with the suspension of indoor dining at restaurants and stay-at-home orders, Gepperth’s struggled. Columbet says they were making only around $300 per day. Easter ham and lamb sales were also down by 40 percent versus years’ past.
“‘We couldn’t pay our mortgage, our suppliers, it was horrible,’ Colombet says.
“The Gepperth family ran the business from 1906 until 1981 when Otto Demke bought the business. The butcher was always near the corner of Armitage and Halsted, but moved a few doors down to the current location at 1964 N. Halsted Street in 1996. The butcher became well known among the well-to-do in Lincoln Park. Staff would often brag that Chicago Blackhawks players would often buy chops for their home grills. Demke sold the business to Colombet in 2020. Colombet is also known for Le Boulangerie, the bakery cafe with locations in Lincoln Square and Logan Square.
“Colombet purchased Gepperth’s from the Demke family in 2020. He instituted a few changes to deal with the uptick of business with more people cooking at home. That spike didn’t last. Colombet says he feels Americans aren’t eating as much meat anymore, that lifestyles are changing.
“And that leaves hope for Gepperth’s. Colombet says they’re toying around with converting the space into a speakeasy-style steakhouse with limited seating. They’re also thinking about a more casual concept with burgers and hot dogs.” (Selvam, Chicago Eater, 5/2/22)
Gepperth’s Meat Market Closes After 115 Years, But Owner Might Revive The Space As A Steakhouse; While the butcher shop is calling it quits, owner Vincent Colombet said he’s planning to open a restaurant in the space, possibly a speakeasy-style steakhouse, Jake Wittich, Block Club Chicago, 5/3/22