Harrisonburg Culinary District Map

Culinary District created in Downtown Harrisonburg

In a historic move for Downtown Harrisonburg, the city has created a new culinary district to promote and encourage cohesion within Harrisonburg’s emerging foodie scene.  The new district is meant as a way for both the tourism board and city patrons to identify and market restaurants and bars that have long been beloved by Harrisonburg residents.  Two of Matchbox’s most recent restaurant tenants, food.bar.food and Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza, are included in this district along with the new Ice Factory.

Here at Matchbox we are thrilled to be a part of such innovative branding within our city.  Stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for more updates and exciting happenings within the Friendly City!

Ice Factory Residential Layout

Housing overview at the new Ice House

The Ice House is one of Harrisonburg’s most exciting 2014 projects.  The project features over 130,000 square feet of mixed use (commercial/residential) space offering a unique mix of both recreational and living space.

The top two floors of the Ice House will be 34 residential units.  These units will vary from one bedrooms to efficiencies and will feature the modern comforts people have come to expect from previous Matchbox projects such as the Livery Building, Urban Exchange, and City Exchange.  The apartments will highlight the rustic interior of their former use with concrete floors,  12’ ceilings, huge windows, and dynamic columns to capture the look and feel of an industrial loft.

Ice House residential occupancy is slated for summer 2014 for all those who are interested.  For more information on rental availability, please contact Mary Messerley at mary@matchboxrealty.com

Ice Factory Residential Layout 2

Ice Factory Residential Layout 2

Three Notch’d Harrisonburg Release Party


Three Notch'd Brewing

Three Notch’d Brewing


Three Notch’d will have its Harrisonburg unveiling this Thursday from 5:00pm to close at Jack Brown’s (80 South Main Street) and Billy Jack’s (92 South Main Street).  For those that don’t know, Three Notch’d is Charlottesville’s newest brewery in an emerging beer scene that already houses local staples such as Devil’s Backbone, Blue Mountain, Bold Rock, and Wild Wolf.  The Three Notch’d brewery has distinguished itself in early tastings with its phenomenal Hydraulion Irish Style Red and 40 Mile IPA, but will also show off a slew of other beers that include several stouts and traditional English ales.


On top of all that incredible beer, Three Notch’d will also give away free pint glasses to those in attendance.  So put on your long-johns, layer up, and get out the door on Thursday night to enjoy all that Downtown Harrisonburg has to offer!

Livery Lofts Big Chill Blue

Check out what JUST arrived at Livery Lofts!

One of the most exciting parts about living at the new Livery Lofts in Downtown Harrisonburg is being a living part of a historic building and creating a new history of your own.  In line with that spirit, the Livery Lofts feature brand new Big Chill refrigerators that emulate the classic units of the 40s, 50s and 60s.  These colorful appliances really add pizazz and color to the already unique apartments and deliver even more character to these super cool units.


The 24 Hour Project comes to Court Square Theater!

WHEN: Begins this Friday at 5pm and runs until 5pm on Saturday

WHERE: Court Square Theater in Downtown Harrisonburg

WHY: Because it’s local, it’s art, and it runs all night!   Twenty-four hours of fun!

The Court Square Theater has been a staple of historic Downtown Harrisonburg since its renovation in 1998 from being the home of Rockingham Motor Company to becoming a new home for local arts and artists within Harrisonburg proper.  This weekend will only add to the prestige of Harrisonburg’s art beacon with the 24 Hour Project, a 24 hour live arts performance encompassing every type of performance art known to man and woman.  There will be music.  There will be drama.  There will be comedy!

Make sure to support your local artisans this weekend.  Tickets start at $10.

24 Hour Project at Court Square Theater

24 Hour Project at Court Square Theater

Design Downtown Flier

Design Downtown Contest begins in Harrisonburg

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance is holding its annual contest to design the new logo for downtown prosperity and growth.  In an effort to continue to encourage citizens to be involved with their community and its branding, Harrisonburg is seeking to engage artists to submit their work for display and use by and for the city.

Here is a full list of the contest’s entry form and regualtions for all those readers who may be interested in participating.   Here at Matchbox Downtown we encourage all community members to get out and get active with what is happening around them.  This is just another tool to shape not only how our city is perceived, but demonstrate how we see ourselves.

Snowy Campus View Apartments

SNOW in Harrisonburg!

 Just when you thought Harrisonburg couldn’t get any better…..Now it’s covered in snow!
Snowy community mailboxes

Snowy community mailboxes

Snow in Avalon Woods II ~ Massanutten can normally be seen from here.

Snow in Avalon Woods II ~ Massanutten can normally be seen from here.

If you have plans to visit any downtown businesses tonight, make sure to call ahead.  The crews here have been working around the clock to make sure our community has access to the heart of the city, and they are doing a tremendous job.  But as always, be safe and don’t get stranded out there in the cold!
Approved Colleges Moves to Bruce Street

Approved Colleges moves into 128 West Bruce Street

Approved Colleges, an online portal linking students with online courses from around the country, has moved in to 128 West Bruce Street in Downtown Harrisonburg! Approved Colleges has been part of downtown’s growing business community for several years while working out of 111 East Market Street. They were drawn to 128 West Bruce in particular for the opportunity to create a new space out of a historical, downtown building. Approved Colleges plans to grow within the space as well, expanding from its current employee count of twelve in Harrisonburg. Matchbox is thrilled to have worked with Approved Colleges to not only stay downtown, but help create an exciting office space for them to grow.

Livery Lofts Downtown Harrisonburg

Livery Lofts move-in day!

Today is the first day of occupancy at Matchbox’s newly finished Livery Lofts (80 West Water Street)!  The lofts are the residential component to Matchbox’s complete renovation of the Livery building that currently houses Bella Luna Pizza and Shabby Love Furniture on its ground floor.  Livery Lofts will feature 12 apartments in total including efficiency units and 1 bedroom apartments with  new windows and light fixtures, new bathrooms, and top of the line appliances including vintage style refrigerators from Big Chill.

Construction Progress at Livery Lofts

Construction Progress at Livery Lofts

Water Street is quickly becoming an exciting downtown destination with institutions such as Finnigan’s Cove, Cuban Burger, Beyond, and Bella Luna.  And guess what, there are still a couple of units left at Livery Lofts!  If you would like more information on the available units, please contact Mary Messerley at mary@matchboxrealty.com or by phone at 540.434.5150 x203.

foodBARfood featured in the Daily News-Record

foodBARfood (126 West Bruce Street) was featured in the Daily News-Record over the weekend!  The article describes the basic concept of foodBARfood and outlines how its space and name were conceptualized to fit the restaurant’s style with a laser-like focus on food above all else.  Even Matchbox got a shoutout for our efforts in renovating the space from an older, abandoned building to something new and exciting for downtown!

Stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for updated photos and menu releases in the coming weeks!

Construction at the Livery Building on Water St.

Harrisonburg Metro Unemployment down to 5.8%

Harrisonburg has fared better than most cities when it comes to the economic downturn, but the Virginia Employment Commission’s recent release of unemployment figures demonstrates just how much Harrisonburg is thriving.  As of November 2013, Harrisonburg’s Metro area is showing a 5.8% unemployment rate while Rockingham County as a whole has only 4.1% unemployment!  For comparison’s sake, unemployment sat at 7.0% nationally in November 2013 according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

For more regional data, see the Daily  News-Record story posted last week.  And again, congratulations to all those in Harrisonburg who are working to make this city a better place to work and live.  Keep up the good work!

Jimmy O performs tonight at Corgans’ Publick House

Corgan's Publick House

Corgans’ Publick House

From what I understand, Jimmy O is a bit of a local legend ‘round these parts.  I’m tempted to say his voice is smooth as silk or sweet as pie, but in all honestly, he is better than that.  He is a silky pie of velvet cake covered in butter.  Lucky for us in Harrisonburg, he is performing tonight at Corgans’ Publick House (865 Port Republic Road).

If you don’t already know, Corgans is legendary in its own right.  The bar and restaurant perfectly recreates the look, feel, and taste of a traditional Irish pub with fish and chips served on newspaper and the best Guinness pour in town.  Their food, drink and vibe are spot on and certainly worth your patronage if you’re looking for something to do this Thursday night.

Stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown next week for updates on the Livery Lofts, new construction on Bruce Street, and new sales/events for Downtown Harrisonburg!

Open Mic Night at Clementine

open mic night at clementinee

open mic night at clementine

How many times have you sat and watched American Idol or The Voice and thought, “I could totally do that if someone gave me a chance. All I need is one shot.”

Well, it looks like you’re all out of excuses because tonight is Open Mic night at Clementine (153 South Main Street). Battling with Little Grill Collective for most prestigious and infamous Open Mic night in the area (Little Grill’s events are held every Thursday), Clementine’s open mic pitches itself as a singer/songwriter showcase giving an opportunity to anyone with a voice and a lot of confidence.

The mic opens tonight at 9:00pm and is held on the basement level of Clementine in Ruby’s. In the immortal words of B. Rabbit from 8 Mile:

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

Well technically, the opportunity comes once a week, but you get the point. Make sure to check out Clementine’s tonight and seize your moment!

Mexi Night at Little Grill Collective

Little Grill Collective - Mexi Night

Little Grill Collective – Mexi Night

In case you don’t already know, Little Grill Collective (621 North Main Street) is a staple of the Harrisonburg food scene and known for its dedication to locally sourced ingredients and made from scratch recipes.  But have you heard of Little Grill Collective’s beloved Mexi Night that runs every Tuesday?

Mexi night at Little Grill has come to define the restaurant’s dedication to authenticity.  Every Tuesday night for the past 20 years (a score!), Little Grill recreates the recipes of Josephina, a former employee who first began preparing meals out of her home for members of the community and became so popular that Little Grill asked her to come in and recreate those recipes one night per week.   Her dishes (and therefore the Mexi night staples) include two tacos (1 bean, 1 potato) topped with pico de gallo, sour cream, and parmesan cheese, one cheese enchilada, a side mexi salad, and rice and beans.

What does a potato taco taste like you may say?  Let me tell you, it tastes like love wrapped in the warm hug of soft tortilla.  Also, did I mention that Mexi Night is All You Can Eat, meaning your plate will never be empty?!?  Deal of the century.

Mexi night is a homage to all things beautiful and right in the world, nestled at the intersection of community and food.  For more information on Little Grill Collective, visit their About Us page or watch the video below created by JMU students in 2008 regarding their history and beginnings.



Matchbox recognized by Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality;  Environmental Excellence

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; Environmental Excellence

Matchbox Realty is now recognized as an Environmental Enterprise participant in the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program!  Matchbox has gone above and beyond environmental and energy efficiency requirements, not only in its projects throughout Harrisonburg, but also at its home office located downtown (202 North Liberty Street).

Led by our newest portfolio manager, Lacey Derrow, Matchbox filed an Environmental Management System (EMS) application with the State and was approved!   Our approved EMS includes innovative techniques such as radiant floor heat powered exclusively by solar panels, toilets with low flow settings to minimize water usage, and paper materials made exclusively from recycled products.

Here at Matchbox we are thrilled to be a part of such sustainable business practices and look forward to continuing our work throughout the state.  Stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for our official plaque ceremony (so cool, love plaques) in the coming weeks.

First Fridays in Downtown Harrisonburg

First Fridays Downtown Harrisonburg

First Fridays Downtown Harrisonburg

January can be a slow month for businesses across Downtown Harrisonburg.  It’s cold outside and it’s warm inside so why go out around town when you can stay within the cozy confines of your home?  The answer is simple.  Because Downtown Harrisonburg is amazing and filled with life and pretty much the best thing going in the Valley.  Obviously.

Today, Friday, January 3rd, 2014 marks the first, First Friday of the year and Downtown Harrisonburg is celebrating with local artist takeovers of downtown staples such as Clementine, The Artful Dodger, Blue Nile, and Larkin Arts Studio.  So dust off your jacket, put on your rabbit skin hat, and get downtown to enjoy the culture and spirit of Harrisonburg.

First Fridays are promoted by Arts Council of the Valley and will run throughout 2014 on the first Friday of each month.  And as usual, Matchbox Downtown will remain your beacon for all things downtown!

Shabby Love at the Livery Building

Shabby Love (80 West Water Street) owner Hanna Kappes talks about her new showroom in Harrisonburg featuring reclaimed, refurbished, and re-purposed furniture from across the United States.  Hanna has made an impression as an artist by breathing new life into vintage and handmade items that can be used as functional furniture pieces for many years to come.  Her work has been recognized as both transformative and inspiring.

For more information, please visit Shabby Love where you can find more on their story, items for sale, and store locations/hours.