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Matt Schulien

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Matt Schulien (November 17, 1890 - March 1, 1967), born Mathias Schulien, was a Chicago restaurant owner and magician.

Matt Schulien
BornNovember 17, 1890
DiedMarch 01, 1967 (age 76)

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 various restaurants in Chicago over a period of 50 years. His father, Joseph Schulien, who died in 1939, passed his restaurant business down to Matt. Matt opened a place of his own on 1800 North Halstcd Street in 1914.

Schulien was a large man, 350 pounds, and would use his size to good advantage as a magician to conceal props in places on his person unimaginable to normal size magicians. Bert Allerton had summed it up as "How can you beat a guy who palms cards with his stomach?"

Around 1956, he retired from the historic "1800 North Halsted" Restaurant and Bar and opened "Schulien & Sons" for his sons at 2100 Irving Park Road in Chicago where he lived and would still sometimes entertain the customers. The "1800 North Halsted" was bought by Don Alan and Lee LeRoi.

Schulien still greeted customers until he became ill, just weeks before his death.

Matt's son Charlie, who continued along with his son Robert, to entertain patrons at Schulien's for years.

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.