The Bear season 3 has brought a lot of media attention, both good and bad. One thing the show has always been consistent with, however, is highlighting real, Chicago restaurants for its characters to visit. The most notable of these is Ever, which season 3’s finale mostly takes place at. That’s right, this legendary spot is real — although with a few slight changes to differentiate from its fictional counterpart.

Ever & The Bear’s Working Relationship

In episode 7 of season 2, “Forks,” Ever is featured heavily as Cousin Richie, played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach, gets sent there to refine his dining room skills. The Bear’s production crew has worked closely with the chefs at the real-world restaurant of the same name to bring this moment to the screen. The location was initially suggested by Matt Danko, a renowned chef in Chicago and a culinary consultant for The Bear. He had previously worked under Michael Muser, co-owner of Ever, and their chef, Curtis Duffy. So when asked to suggest possible filming locations in Chicago, Ever seemed an obvious choice.

All of the front-of-house staff genuinely worked in the restaurant, keeping the environment appropriately realistic. Duffy also prepped and plated most of the food shown, his hands even making an appearance for a scene in “Forks”, as Richie surveys the kitchen at the beginning of the episode. The restaurant had such a good time being a part of the show that they agreed to be much more of a feature in season 3. Their sister bar, After, was also used for the Copenhagen restaurant Will Poulter’s chef, Luca inhabits in episode four of season 2, “Honeydew.”

The Differences Between The Real Restaurant & The One Portrayed In The Show

All of the main chefs to work at Ever are unsurprisingly fictional, including the head chef Terry, played by Olivia Colman. Ever as a restaurant has also admitted to feeling much more similar to The Bear — the restaurant Jeremy Allen White’s Carmy is trying to grow throughout the series — than the legendary fictional Ever. As a restaurant that has existed before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve faced their fair share of closings and permit nightmares.

The restaurant is also lightheartedly not fond of the script’s decision to make the show’s Ever three stars, as the restaurant itself is two stars. But the generosity and creativity expressed by Richie in their featured episode is completely from Muser himself. In an interview with The Ringer, Muser told a story of a group of friends eating at his restaurant, joking about how they would usually be drinking Budweisers on their porch instead of at a place as fancy as Ever. Hearing this, a waiter was sent to the local Walgreens to pick up some lager, which was then served to the friends during their meal.

Visiting The Real Ever In Chicago

The Michelin star restaurant is actively available to visit in Chicago, and the experience seems just as luxurious as the show paints it. While difficult to get reservations, the restaurant still has some openings through July and August. If you’re ever in Chicago, this could be a great opportunity to feel like you’re chef Sydney, touring other restaurants to brainstorm your next menu.