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Matt Schulien

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Matt Schulien
BornNovember 19, 1890
DiedMarch 01, 1967 (age 76)

Matt Schulien (November 19, 1890 - March 1, 1967), born Mathias Joseph Schulien, was a Chicago restaurateur and magician.


Matt was famous for his card tricks he performed for his customers at his restaurant Schulien's. Magicians visiting Chicago would never fail to stop at his restaurant to see him perform Card On Wall, Card Under Tablecloth and Coin In Bottle.

He operated at two locations in Chicago over a period of 50 years. His father, Joseph Schulien, who died in 1939, passed his saloon business down to Matt.

Schulien was a large man and would use his size to good advantage as a magician to conceal cards in places on his person unimaginable to normal size magicians. Bert Allerton summed it up as "How can you beat a guy who palms cards with his stomach?"

Around 1949, he retired from the historic "1800 North Halsted" Restaurant and Bar and opened "Schulien & Sons" at 2100 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago. Matt and his wife Kate lived above the business, and Matt still greeted and entertained customers until shortly before his death in 1967. Matt's son Charlie (also known as Chuck) and his son Robert continued to entertain patrons at Schulien's until Chuck's untimely death in 1998. Shortly after, Schulien's closed its doors forever. Four generations of Schuliens had been involved in the business for well over 100 years, making it the longest-running family-owned establishment of its kind in Chicago.

The property at 1800 North Halsted changed hands several times over the years; it is now the location of the restaurant and bar "The Black Duck". The 2100 W. Irving location now houses "O'Donovan's".

Awards and honors

  • Sphinx magazine award for close-up. For his "Ribbon Spread Trick," which was published on page 293, of the January 1949 issue.



  • Sphinx, July 1945, pg 106 Schulien, Genial Boniface of His Establishment by Dorny.
  • Linking Ring, February 1953, page 16, Not the Best -- But the Biggest By Frances Ireland.
  • Linking Ring, August 1959 - About Matt Schulien by Philip Reed Willmarth.
  • Genii 1986 May - Schulien's Restaurant & Salooon Celebrates 100th Anniversary by Joyce Heitler.