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PoP Preview: Matchbox Opening Friday at 14th and T Street, NW

by Prince Of Petworth November 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm 81 Comments


14th and T St, NW

A couple of weeks ago we noted how awesome the renovated Matchbox was looking at 14th and T St, NW across the street from St. Ex. I’m happy to say it is looking equally, if not more awesome on the inside. And they’re opening Friday. From a press release:

matchboxfoodgroup is thrilled to announce its newest location at 1901 T Street NW, set to open Friday, November 30, just over a year after announcing plans for the space. The new kitchen will be under the direction of Executive Chef Jeffrey Richardson, who has been promoted from his previous role as sous chef at the group’s Capitol Hill restaurant. General Manager Michelle Hebert will shift her talents from Assistant Manager at the group’s Rockville, MD restaurant to her role leading the new 14th Street operations.

matchbox 14th Street will be open for dinner daily from 4pm until 10:30pm Sunday through Thursday and until 11:30pm on weekends. Weekend brunch will start at 10am with all day service. The menu will feature many “go-to” favorites like 3.6.9 mini burgers and spicy meatball pizza that guests have grown to love. In addition, a selection of popular dishes from other locations will be offered alongside Chef Richardson’s original entrees like braised beef short ribs with turmeric vegetables and fingerling potatoes in a coconut curry sauce, and seared sea scallops with pork belly risotto.

The 25 foot bar features 23 beers as well as eight wines and one prosecco on tap – one of the largest selections of draught wines found in Washington. Seating for 25 winds along the long bar past not one, but two of matchbox’s signature wood-fired pizza ovens, enclosed by a pizza bar. Every seat in the house has a dramatic view of the three-story tall exposed brick façade.

Design elements new to matchboxfoodgroup include striking exposed rustic wood staircases that connect three levels of seating supported by original exposed girders with each level overlooking the lower. A cantilevered recycled wood chef’s table overlooks the kitchen offering unique re-mastered tree trunk stool seating for eight at the rear of the restaurant. Two floating box tables offer a more private experience, suspended alone high above the main bar between the second and third floors.

This matchbox will also have a permanent “to-go” station near the back of the restaurant complete with its own entrance on T Street. The full menu will be available for phone-in and online carry out orders. A large patio will stretch the length of the T Street façade, dotted with seasonal landscaping and modern brushed metal fixtures. Additional seating around an inviting fire pit sits directly on the corner of 14th & T.

The building on 14th Street was erected as a bowling alley and billiards hall in 1907, became an automobile showroom in 1920, transformed into Club Bali, a well known Jazz club featuring artists like Etta James in 1943, and was most recently the rehearsal hall for the Arena Stage theatre company. matchboxfoodgroup has embraced the building’s past incorporating as many historical features as possible to preserve its spirit, all the while staying true to the rustic vintage style for which matchbox is known.

Check out how awesome the inside turned out:


First floor entry


1st floor bar

Lots more photos after the jump.


First floor booths


Stairs to second floor


Second floor booths


Second floor


Suspended booth view front to back


Suspended booth closeup


Suspended booth view back to front


Old matchboxes throughout


Pizza oven lit for first time


Pizza ovens


Sweet outdoor patio

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