WEST TOWN — Part of the space once home to the Silver Palm in West Town has been converted into a tiki bar — and the former restaurant’s famous railcar dining room will also soon start serving cocktails.
Tiki Tiki at the Silver Palm, 768 N. Milwaukee Ave., has opened in the front part of the former restaurant, just south of The Matchbox cocktail bar, co-owner Gregg Weinstein said Wednesday.
The Silver Palm closed in 2018. Weinstein and Kevin Killerman bought it along with Matchbox in 2020. The duo also run Star Bar in Ukrainian Village, Kincade’s in Lincoln Park, Rex Tavern in Jefferson Park and O’Donovan’s in North Center.
The tiki bar is fully finished on the inside, Weinstein said, serving “full-blown” tiki drinks. It’s open 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. The front facade is still being completed, Weinstein said.
The owners are also putting finishing touches on a connected bar in the Silver Palm’s iconic railcar, where they plan to serve a range of cocktails, Weinstein said.
“Some traditional cocktails, Prohibition-style cocktails. It’ll have some Matchbox [cocktails] sprinkled on top of it, like the margarita and the gimlet. It’ll be Prohibition-style, classic cocktails served in the bar car,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein said he doesn’t have a definitive opening date for the railcar bar but hopes it will happen shortly.
The owners eventually plan to serve food, perhaps tacos or other small bites. But it’s unlikely the Silver Palm’s famous Three Little Pigs sandwich, a pork-ham-bacon combo, will make a reappearance, Weinstein said.
The late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain once declared the sandwich, crafted by Dan Palm, to be the “greatest sandwich in America.”
Former Silver Palm owners David and Jackie Gervercer closed the Silver Palm in 2018 after 16 years, citing “the rapidly changing landscape of business in Chicago and our West Town neighborhood” in a social media post.
But companion bar The Matchbox, known for its tiny interior and cocktails dusted with powdered sugar, stayed open.
Weinstein and Killerman bought the bar and Silver Palm property just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed bars and restaurants across the state.
The Matchbox added patio service along Ogden Avenue and remains open, mostly unchanged.
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