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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

The Silver Palm, Railcar Companion To The Matchbox, To Close After 16 Years

The Matchbox bar will not be impacted by the closure of its sister restaurant, which is going up for sale.

The Silver Palm.
Alisa Hauser/Block Club Chicago
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RIVER WEST — The home of the decadent Three Little Pigs, a pork-ham-bacon triple threat declared by the late Anthony Bourdain to be the “greatest sandwich in America,” will close at the end of the month.

The closure of the Silver Palm, located in a railcar parked behind 768 N. Milwaukee Ave., was announced late Friday night on Instagram and Facebook.

“Given the rapidly changing landscape of business in Chicago and our West Town neighborhood, it’s with some sadness that we must announce that the end of September will mark the end of the line for the Silver Palm Restaurant,” the restaurant posted on its Facebook page. “It’s been an amazing sixteen years, and we thank each and every one of you for your love and support and hope to continue serving you next door @ The Matchbox, which will carry on it’s own legacy as Chicago’s Most Intimate Bar and a landmark in the community.” 

Reached early Saturday, The Silver Palm’s longtime general manager Tony Mata said Sept. 29 will be the last day for the restaurant near the northwest corner of Milwaukee, Ogden and Chicago avenues.

“We’ll have plenty of Three Little Pigs until then,” said Mata, who came up with the iconic sandwich as a special and permanently put it on The Silver Palm’s menu after Bourdain’s 2009 visit to the restaurant.

Serving American grub, wine and beer in an authentic silver railroad dining car from 1947, The Silver Palm opened in January 2003. It offers 45 seats. 

“It’s been a good run and I am proud of it. I opened it as the original chef and I’ve been part of this since the railcar was being lowered and set into place,” Mata said. 

Since the news was announced, there has been an outpouring of sadness from fans, who are leaving countless emojis with pouring tears on social media.

“A lot of people really love this place… 16 years for a restaurant in Chicago is pretty good. We are getting a big response,” said Mata, who oversees daily operations for The Silver Palm owners David and Jackie Gevercer, who divide their time between Chicago and Tankah Bay, Mexico, where they operate a bed and breakfast, Casa Jacqueline.

Mata said the Gevercers plan to stay semi-retired and they will continue to own Matchbox, the popular bar next to The Silver Palm, that Mata also manages.

The Matchbox will not be impacted by the closure, Mata said. But they could soon have a new restaurant neighbor. The Gevercers hope to find a new buyer for The Silver Palm, including the rail car.

“The whole property and the railcar will be put up for sale this week. Something else will come, it could still become another restaurant,” Mata said.