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Silver Palm, Hailed by Anthony Bourdain as America’s Greatest Sandwich, To Close

A potential sale may jeopardize the 80-year-old Matchbox bar

Silver Palm’s dining car.
Flickr/Bart Shore
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The Silver Palm, the restaurant that’s spent 16 years inside that chrome railcar on the southeast corner of Milwaukee, Chicago, and Ogden, is closing at the end of the month. Ownership is looking to sell the narrow, 45-seat restaurant, according to Block Club Chicago. David and Jackie Gevercer also own the neighboring Matchbox, hailed as the city’s smallest bar. They hope selling the building and 71-year-old boxcar but that won’t impact the bar.

Read the announcement, made on Saturday, below:

The Silver Palm remained mostly known for the 1947 Budd dining car parked next to the Matchbox. It provided a unique urban visual, just northeast of the Kennedy Expressway’s Ogden Avenue exit. But a 2008 visit from the late Anthony Bourdain changed that as Bourdain — accompanied by radio host Mancow Muller — tried the restaurant’s signature dish. The Silver Palm’s Three Little Pigs combined three different pieces of pork: deep-fried pork cutlet, bacon, and smoked ham. That comes covered with Gruyere and two eggs.

Bourdain took a bite and exclaimed: “That sandwich is the greatest sandwich in America.” Sales boomed, and owners said the No Reservations TV segment saved the struggling business — it was weeks from shuttering. The new success also led to a new bar. The creator of the sandwich, Dan Palm, went off on his own with his brother and opened his own bar in Wicker Park called Gunner’s. It’s since closed and the space is now En Hakkore 2.0.

While the Gevercers plan to sell the space, their announcement teased “something new and exciting.” They also mentioned “the rapidly changing landscape business in Chicago and our West Town neighborhood.” It’s true, as the sleepy intersection, home to a CVS, nearby Big Shoulders coffee, and the Chicago Academy for the Arts, is transforming due to new construction including a new 23-story luxury apartment building nearby.

While the Gevercers took over the Matchbox space in 1995, the bar’s history extends more than eight decades. It’s not the first time the building would be up for sale. There’s a listing from 2010. However, eight years ago there was no mention of a closing date, to the current announcement seems serious.

September 29 is when the big bad wolf will arrive to turn off the lights. That means there are less than two weeks to get into Silver Palm for one last Three Little Pig and a classic cocktail — a boxcar seems appropriate.

Posted by The Silver Palm on Tuesday, November 28, 2017


770 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60642 (312) 666-9292 Visit Website

Silver Palm

768 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (312) 666-9322 Visit Website