Party Earth Review Constructed of old brick and sandwiched against a neighboring restaurant, The Matchbox is a dive bar that looks a lot like its name. All the same, this tiny, tapering corner venue – only three feet wide at its narrowest... ... read full review
770 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
Blue Line: Chicago
M–F, Su 4pm–2am, Sa 4pm–3am
River West, Chicago –
Constructed of old brick and sandwiched against a neighboring restaurant, The Matchbox is a dive bar that looks a lot like its name.
All the same, this tiny, tapering corner venue – only three feet wide at its narrowest point – boasts more than thirty varieties of bottled beer, from microbrews to rare French imports, not to mention over twenty brands of tequila and bourbon and the joint’s popular homemade pineapple- and ginger- infused vodkas.
Spare in décor, the place consists of a slender, candlelit wooden bar running down the left side, with funky pop memorabilia, vintage beer ads, and art deco hangings adding bits of color beneath a glittering disco ball.
A line of simple bar stools takes up the other side of the venue, where neighborhood hipsters and young professionals squeeze in alongside grittier regulars to chat, gaze out the wide windows, or bob their heads to the folksy rock tunes in the background.
Not surprisingly, it doesn’t take much for the bar to get packed to the rafters, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when patrons spill onto the sidewalk to kick back at the handful of chairs and tables or smoke their cigars, also sold at the bar.
A laid-back vibe and friendly atmosphere mean that everyone from college kids to suited professionals intermingles at The Matchbox – but then again, they don’t have much of a choice.
All types, neighborhood regulars, hipsters, and professionals, 20s to 40+.
Bartender’s iPod mix of mellower rock tunes from the likes of Elton John and The Beatles.
Bar snacks like pretzels and popcorn on busy nights.
Beer $4–$7, cocktails $7–$10, mixed drinks $6–$9.
Anything goes, though mostly jeans and comfortable casual attire.
Late Friday and Saturday nights for an extremely packed scene, or any night after work for a decent crowd.
Right next to The Matchbox is The Silver Palm (768 North Milwaukee Avenue), a restaurant housed in an actual railroad dining car and serving American steakhouse cuisine.