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.


Livery Lofts Update

Livery Lofts Downtown Harrisonburg

Livery Lofts Downtown Harrisonburg

Matchbox’s newest downtown apartments are almost ready!  Livery Lofts (84 W. Water Street, above Bella Luna & Shabby Love) will feature 12 efficiency and 1-bedroom apartments on the corner of Water and Liberty Streets.  The spaces will be built in a similar loft setup to Matchbox’s most recent projects (i.e. City Exchange), but scaled down to fit the confines of downtown living.  Each unit will feature top of the line appliances and throwback ‘50s style refrigerators while preserving the rich architectural history of the building with exposed ceilings, wood work, and historically preserved windows.

Livery Lofts - Construction

Livery Lofts – Construction

Livery Lofts - Appliance have Arrived!

Livery Lofts – Appliances have arrived!

Livery Lofts - Cabinets are in!

Livery Lofts – Cabinets are in!

For more information on rental availability, please contact Mary Messerley at mary@matchboxrealty.com You can also read our Livery Building page for more history on the building and our overall motivation for taking on the project.

277 W Bruce St. Harrisonburg


Here at Matchbox Downtown, I feel like we constantly get requests for affordable housing downtown, especially recently given all of the exciting bars, restaurants, and retail opportunities coming to our downtown area.  We wanted to highlight an amazing property today that would provide very affordable, yet comfortable housing for anyone looking to be close to the action.

Built in 1930, 277 West Bruce is a classic downtown home within walking distance of downtown’s most popular venues.  The house features 8 bedrooms with 3 separate kitchens, amazing hardwood floors, and a large covered porch on a corner lot (neighbors on only one side).  This house sets up perfectly for a group of individuals to come together and recreate the sitcom Friends, just swapping out Greenwich Village for the booming metropolis of Downtown Harrisonburg.

277 W Bruce St Bedroom Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

277 W Bruce St Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

277 W Bruce St Living Room Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

277 W Bruce St Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

277 W Bruce St Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

If you are interested in viewing the property or would like additional information, please contact Cheyenne Bisbee at cheyenne@matchboxrealty.com or by phone at 540.434.5150 x114.

Countdown to Christmas deals at The Yellow Button

The Yellow Button Harrisonburg

The Yellow Button Harrisonburg

Every day between now and Christmas, The Yellow Button (191 South Main Street)  is hosting clothing and jewelry specific flash sales to close out the year.  Each day a new item is placed on sale (yesterday was 20% off all sweaters, today’s feature is 20% off all Chan Luu jewelry), encouraging even the most steadfast of procrastinators to get out and start their holiday shopping.

Check out The Yellow Button for their most up to date sales and continue to follow Matchbox Downtown for all things Downtown Harrisonburg!

Matchbox In Motion: Over the Moon


Ren Blackwell and Anne Callie Skillman discuss their new store Over the Moon and its impact on Downtown Harrisonburg

Over the Moon (64 South Mason Street) is a “baby and maternity boutique” located in Downtown Harrisonburg.  The store caters to parents who not only want to provide their children with the best products available, but also want items that are hand selected and tested by professionals with experience in child care.  The owners of Over the Moon succeed in their hands-on approach by hand selecting products that they know and love.

Another unique aspect of Over the Moon is its integration within the community by leading instructional classes for new parents to help navigate the many mysteries of child rearing.  Previous sessions have covered everything from cloth diapering to making your own baby food.

Please visit Over the Moon for additional information and store hours.  Also, continue to follow Matchbox Downtown for promotions and coupons throughout the year!

2014 First Night in Harrisonburg

On December 31st, New Year’s Eve revelers will flock to Downtown Harrisonburg once again to enjoy music and entertainment from across the Valley.  This year’s vibrant lineup is led by Glick and Phillips and will also feature old standbys Little Walter and the Convictions, No Strings Attached, and Rhythm Road.

Event activities and performances begin at 6:00pm on December 31st with tickets being sold in the form of buttons for $6 in advance and $8 on the day of the event.   Your button will gain access to over 30 performances across 15 different venues all across Downtown Harrisonburg.   The event will be capped off with fireworks from Turner Pavilion at the stroke of midnight!

For more information on the event, please visit First Night Harrisonburg.

Eggnog Bowl 2013 at Friendly City Co-op

Friendly City Co-op (150 East Wolfe Street) will host its annual Eggnog bowl on Saturday, December 14th from 10:00am to 2:00pm.  The event will feature blind taste tastings of the best eggnog across the Valley and tasters will be asked to cast their vote for the best.

Admission is FREE and the event should provide plenty of motivation to get Downtown this cold and wintry Saturday.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Bella Luna Pizza Opens

Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza, the hotly anticipated downtown restaurant at 80 W. Water Street featuring local ingredients, handmade pasta, and the only wood fired (900 degree!) oven in town, is now officially open for business.  Last night, food and drinks were open to the public and the response was overwhelming with an absolutely packed house.

Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza - Bread freah out of th oven!

Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza – Bread freah out of the oven!

Bella Luna is housed in the Livery building, a new renovation project by Matchbox that will also feature 12 loft apartments and Shabby Love furniture, a prominent furniture retailer out of Orange, Virginia.

Stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for updates on Bella Luna and any special offers/coupons in the future.

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Rendering

Plan Our Park and Ken Smith reveal Urban Park Plans!

Last night’s City Council meeting was one of the most highly anticipated in recent memory as the Plan Our Park committee and city park designer Ken Smith presented their ideas, concepts, and plans before the Harrisonburg City Council.

Below you can see the plans for Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase One Rendering

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase One Rendering

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase Two Rendering

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase Two Rendering


Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase Three Rendering

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase Three Rendering

The total project is expected to cost between $9 million and $11 million and will be unveiled in three phases over a multi-year period.  At Matchbox, we are very excited to see such an innovative and thought provoking project in our downtown!

Real Estate market in Harrisonburg on the Upswing

Harrisonburg Housing - Townhouse

Harrisonburg Housing – Townhouse

After years of instability and heavy market swings, the real estate market across Virginia and primarily in Harrisonburg is showing signs of stability and growth.  According to the Daily News-Record, Harrisonburg’s market has stabilized and has even shown substantial growth across multi-family and retail properties.
“Multifamily homes, or apartments, increased in overall value from $577 million to $587 million…retail and office totals went up $1 million and nearly $2 million, respectively.”

Signs are pointing up for real estate across Harrisonburg, which is great news not only for businesses across the area but also owners of property across the Valley.

Harrisonburg Housing Avalon Woods Townhome

Harrisonburg Housing Avalon Woods Townhome

Rally for the Park in Downtown

Rally for the Park

Rally for the Park


On Tuesday, December 10th the Plan Our Park committee and design team will host ‘Rally for the Park’, where Plan Our Park members will meet at Turner Pavilion and hand out hot chocolate beginning at 6:15pm leading up to an important City Council meeting that same evening at 7:00pm.   At the City Council meeting, Plan Our Park will present its ideas and concepts for a unique downtown park that will serve as community space for members of Harrisonburg and visitors of downtown in particular.

The Plan Our Park committee was formed by a private group of residents in conjunction with world renowned landscape architect Ken Smith to create a park that combines Harrisonburg’s unique attributes and  sense of community into one interactive, open air space.

The City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00pm at 409 South Main Street.  The meetings are open to the public and can also be viewed on CitySpan (Channel 3).  Make sure to attend and become an active member of your downtown community!

Downtown Holiday Tour: Sunday, December 8th at 1:00pm

Kite Building date unknown

Kite Building date unknown


Back of Kite Building 2013

On Sunday, December 8th the Downtown Renaissance will lead participants through a tour of downtown historic properties including Matchbox’s current location 202 North Liberty Street.  The tour will also include historic sites such as the Virginia Quilt Museum, the Old Town Neighborhood, and the City Produce Exchange Flats.

The Downtown Holiday Tour demonstrates the importance of preserving historic buildings in the modern era.  By maintaining and repurposing these buildings as opposed to tearing them down, we are able to create a living museum and provide an analytical window across different eras of American history through architectural preservation.  The true benefit to this work is that we are able to become engaged and active participants in our own history and historical record going forward.

Visit the Downtown Holiday Tour for more information.  Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 or the day of the event for $25.

Harrisonburg named Top 5 College Town in America

Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure

Travel & Leisure has released its list of America’s Best College Towns and Harrisonburg, Virginia has made the top 5.  Featured in their November 2013 issue, Travel and Leisure highlights the best college towns across America as voted on by Travel & Leisure subscribers as well as the general public.  Harrisonburg ranked #5 overall out of 744 towns ranked across 55 different categories!

Harrisonburg’s active outdoors community in conjunction with downtown fixtures such as Capital Ale House and Three Brothers Brewery were highlighted in the brief article. Visit Travel & Leisure’s full list of America’s best college towns.   Go Dukes and Go Harrisonburg!

Matchbox In Motion: foodBARfood


Amanda Cannon talks about foodBARfood, her new restaurant venture with Jeff Minnich located at 126 West Bruce Street.  Amanda discusses her downtown roots, foodBARfood’s concept and cuisine, and explains what it means to be a modern restaurant owner in the Valley.

For more information on foodBARfood check out their Facebook page and stayed tuned to Matchbox Downtown for updated construction photos and opening event details.

Capital Ale House Downtown Harrisonburg

Capital Ale House “Steal the Glass & Meet the Brewers” Night

Located in the heart of downtown at 41 Court Square, Capital Ale House has long supported Harrisonburg breweries and businesses through its use of local beers  and ciders.  Tonight’s event at Capital Ale will feature a “Steal the Glass” theme where patrons will receive a free pint glass from each brewer when purchasing a beverage of their choice.  The brewers scheduled to attend the event are both local, Harrisonburg’s own 3 Brothers brewery and Dominion brewery.  Each brewer will serve a multitude of beers ranging from 3 Brother’s Belgian Stout and Vanilla Porter to Dominion’s Baltic Porter and Oak Barrel Stout.

You can find more information about the event at Capital Ale House’s website and event announcement.

Harrisonburg Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting!

Harrisonburg Holiday Parade 2013
Harrisonburg Holiday Parade 2013

As if you needed any more help getting into the holiday spirit, The City of Harrisonburg will have its annual tree lighting and holiday parade this Friday, December 6th.  The Holiday Parade will begin at 7:30pm at the corner of Gratten and Main Street and conclude with the tree lighting in Court Square.  The famous JMU Marching Royal Dukes will also be performing a holiday concert for everyone’s enjoyment throughout the evening.

For more information, please visit Harrsionburg’s Holiday Parade page on Facebook.

Matchbox Realty Website Launch

Matchbox Realty Website

Matchbox Realty Website

Here at Matchbox, we are proud to announce the launch of our newly designed website, www.matchboxrealty.com.   For months, Matchbox has worked with designer James Price and his associates to put together a site that delivers information to our residents and clients while providing a format that is new and innovative within the services industry landscape.

Please visit Matchbox Realty to see our new design and deliver any feedback you may have to our inbox at info@matchboxrealty.com.  Also, please continue to check Matchbox Downtown for all things Harrisonburg and Downtown!

A Foodie’s Guide to Harrisonburg


Local businesses throughout Harrisonburg have experienced tremendous growth and success throughout the past decade and no industry has reflected that growth quite like the restaurant industry.  Downtown Harrisonburg in particular has become a beacon for food lovers and restaurant owners by offering a wide variety of cuisines across 20 different restaurants, all within walking distance of one another.

In response to this growth and the demand to know more about Harrisonburg, the city has created www.visitharrisonburgva.com as a way for people to learn more about the city and get excited about the Valley as a whole.  This video perfectly encapsulates the variety and breadth of Harrisonburg’s food scene and is highly recommended viewing for anyone looking to understand why people are so thrilled to be a part of Harrisonburg and downtown in particular.

The Official Visitor’s Guide to the city of Harrisonburg is now available!

Matchbox In Motion: Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza

An Interview with Wade Luhn, owner of Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza

Wade Luhn, from Harrisonburg’s newest downtown restaurant Bella Luna, talks to Matchbox Downtown about the growth of Downtown Harrisonburg, the importance of local ingredients, and the art of making fantastic pizza.

Bella Luna is only a few days away from opening in the Livery Building (80 Water Street, Harrisonburg, VA).  Please continue to follow Matchbox Downtown for more updates.

JMU Men's Basketball

JMU Men’s Basketball Home Opener against Detroit

After a successful 2012 campaign, James Madison University’s men’s basketball team will host their home opener tonight at 7:00pm at the Convocation Center.  JMU (2-2) will host Detroit (1-2), a team that was recently beaten 101-55 by #19 UConn in an early season matchup.

This season’s opener will be a special moment as the Dukes plan to unveil both their CAA Championship and NCAA Tournament banners for the first time.  On top of that, the first 500 students to enter the stadium will receive a FREE t-shirt courtesy of the Athletic Department and the first 300 students will receive FREE food and snacks for the game.

For a full team schedule, please visit JMU Sports.

Go Dukes!

City Exchange Downtown Harrisonburg

City Exchange

The 1908 City Produce Exchange Building is one of the largest warehouse/industrial buildings in Harrisonburg, with over two acres under roof.

The City Produce Exchange (CPE), a product of the poultry trade, was formed by brothers Emanuel and Gabriel Blosser and partner Hershsey H. Weaver. The principals are thought to have acted as their own contractors in the construction of this poultry processing plant in 1908.  Harrisonburg’s agriculturally based economy developed in the years leading up to the Civil War and became well established following the extension of the Valley Railroad in 1874. Feed and seed merchants and wholesale grocers built many large brick warehouses that lined the railroad tracks in the Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District.

According to Emanuel Blosser’s daughter, her father claimed the plant was the largest poultry processor east of the Mississippi. In 1943, historian John W. Wayland states that the plant was “one of the largest of its kind in the United States.” A 1927 business directory claimed that Rockingham County was the second largest poultry producing area in the United States with a total value of poultry production in excess of $3 million per year and that the CPE was “the largest fattening and packing plant in the world.” The 1927 directory also noted that the plant could fatten 65,000 birds at one time. Wetsel Seed Company purchased the bulding in 1949 and used it to store orchard seed. According to Robert Wetsel, Emanuel Blosser closed his poultry plant in 1949 due to labor difficulties.

Matchbox and its partners purchased the City Exchange in 2005 and completed renovations just nine months later.  The new owners, Andrew Forward and Barry Kelley worked with Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources and Harrisonburg’s Downtown Historical Council to ensure the building was restore in a thoughtful and innovative manner.  To that end, a tremendous amount of materials used in the building’s renovation were reclaimed from the original site and refurbished to fit within modern loft apartment aesthetics.

The Flats at City Exchange currently enjoys 100% occupancy and features one of Harrisonburg’s most influential restaurants, Local Chop & Grill House.




For for more information please visit City Exchange Flats and Local Chop & Grill House

Artful Dodger Harrisonburg

Happy Feet Mondays @ Artful Dodger

Need to dance away your case of the Mondays?

The Artful Dodger in downtown Harrisonburg has a perfect solution.  The Dodger will host a FREE dance lesson this evening, beginning at 7:00pm.  The session will be led by local legend Reza Mina and will teach students the choreography behind Applause, Lady Gaga’s recent platinum hit.

You can find the Artful Dodger in the heart of downtown, here:

47 Court Square

Harrisonburg, VA 22801

EMU’s Annual Gala Concert this weekend!

One of the Valley’s most anticipated musical events will happen this weekend as Eastern Mennonite University performs its Annual Gala Concert on Saturday, November 16th beginning at 7:00pm.

The event features a wide variety of music performed by the University’s world renowned music department.  Joan Griffing, the music department chair of EMU, notes, ““There will be a wide range of musical styles and musical groups, an eclectic mix of music.  The concert will have something for everybody.”  The hits include everything from the Beatles to Beethoven.

In lieu of admission prices, the music department is accepting donations on behalf of the music scholarship fund with a suggested donation of $10.  For more information, please contact the Eastern Mennonite University music department at 540.432.4225.

Source: EMU News

Blue Ridge Architect's office. Harrisonburg, Va

Bruce St.

Bruce Street, formerly known as the Ewing building, is another Matchbox renovation property where we have taken a rundown, outdated building and installation and turned it into something downtown Harrisonburg can be proud of.

Matchbox purchased the properties and are currently in the process of renovating both buildings.  Blue Ridge Architects was the first of the new tenants to take occupancy and Matchbox provided a brand new installation to fit their needs:



Matchbox preserved the concrete floors, open ceilings, and large windows and created an open work environment where Blue Ridge could host clients and entertain on occassion.

However, Blue Ridge Architects only occupy half of 126 Bruce Street.   The other half will be a brand new restaurant, foodBARfood, which was created by Jeff Minnich (Clementine’s executive chef) and Amanda Cannon (bar designer/manager of Local Chop & Grill House).  The restaurant will serve global comfort food and provide a dynamic bar menu to cater to the after work crowd.  Expected opening date is early 2014.

Also, we are thrilled to announce that Approved Colleges, the online education portal, will be relocating from 111 East Market street to occupy the entire 128 Bruce Street building.  With just over 4,500 square feet, the facility will have a brand new installation including an open bullpen area for employees, perimeter offices and a large glass conference.  Occupancy for 128 Bruce Street is slated for January 2014.

These leases, as well as the renovation Bruce Street as a whole, will add even more value to downtown Harrisonburg and the people that live and work here.

Blue Ridge Architect's office. Harrisonburg, Va

Blue Ridge Architect’s office. Harrisonburg, Va

The Gospel of Craft


Hugo Kohl, an antique jewelry manufacturer in downtown Harrisonburg, has started a Kickstarter campaign to finance his new endeavor. Hugo wants to open a ‘living museum’ in the Ice House this coming year where he will use his collection of antique, hand-engraved hubs, dies, and rolls to design one of a kind pieces.

Hugo writes, ” I want to change the world by offering people the opportunity to have an intensive “making” experience in my factory that will inspire them to share The Gospel of Craft wherever they go.”

To learn more about Hugo Kohl and to donate, please visit:

The Gospel of Craft by Hugo Kohl

Cider Week Virginia

November 15 – 24, 2013


Cider Week Virginia

If there is one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that fall and cider go hand-in-hand.  To that end, Virginia Cider Week 2013 begins November 15th and will feature local ciders from across Virginia.  There will be several events held throughout the state, including a very special event here in Harrisonburg.

On Thursday, November 21st Local Grill & Chop House will feature a five course, gluton free dinner.  The tasty courses will include everything from cider braised pork belly to ‘bangers and mash’ all finished off with apple cider caramel ice cream and accompanied by local ciders introduced and described by cidermaker Shannon Showalter.


Local Chop & Grill House


56 West Gay Street, Harrisonburg, VA (located on the ground floor of City Exchange flats)

Downtown Harrisonburg: New Restaurant Preview 2014

We wanted to take a moment to acknowledge two new restaurants going into downtown Harrisonburg that we at Matchbox are very proud to announce:

foodBARfood (126 West Bruce Street, Harrisonburg, VA)


Bella Luna Pizza (80 West Water Street, Harrisonburg, VA)

foodBARfood will bring together two of Harrisonburg’s finest restaurant minds, Jeff Minnich of Clementine’s and Amanda Cannon of Local Chop & Grill House, to form a new innovative restaurant and bar in the newly renovated Ewing building. The focus of the restaurant will be on global comfort food and a stellar drink menu to offer diners a truly unique downtown experience.

Bella Luna Pizza is opening downtown this winter and will offer Harrisonburg’s only wood-fired pizza. Bella Luna’s new space will be a brand new build-out featuring over 60 dining seats and will also feature a large private dining area that can be reserved for parties. Bella Luna will be housed within the newly renovated Livery Building which will also feature a new Shabby Love furniture showroom.

126 West Bruce Street, Harrisonburg, VA


84 West Water Street, Harrisonburg, VA


Ice House Harrisonburg

Ice House

The Ice House is a downtown redevelopment site that is located on Liberty St across from the Farmers Market.

The Cassco Ice House complex is a landmark in downtown Harrisonburg.  Built in 1934, it has been a focal point of Harrisonburg’s urban core for over 75 years.  The building is located at 125 West Bruce Street and 217 South Liberty Street and sits on slightly over 2 acres in area. The site has excellent downtown connectivity – it is approximately two blocks south west of the Harrisonburg central business district and City Hall, and less than 2 blocks north of James Madison University’s (JMU) expanding campus. The site is adjacent to multiple bus and bicycle routes (existing and planned), numerous cultural venues and historic structures, the regional Farmers Market and significant off-site parking resources.

The redevelopment of the former Cassco Ice House will build upon on-going revitalization efforts as well as spur the potential for additional historic renovation projects in the City’s core. The central element of the redevelopment of this property is the inclusion of well established, locally owned and operated businesses expanding their operations into the newly renovated Ice House.

Strengthened by expanding micro-manufacturing businesses and offices, the Ice House will also feature the creation of 75 apartments. The Cassco complex is identified as a “contributing property” by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in the determination of the Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District.
City staff believes the development of the Ice House bears the greatest potential to expand the City’s revitalization efforts and spur economic growth.  The City of Harrisonburg encourages revitalization and developments
such as the Ice House by committing resources, staff time, and tax abatements. The Ice House represents the quintessential redevelopment and reuse of a property the City wants to encourage.

The City supported the application and utilization of IRF funds for the Ice Factory because of the potential
economic development driver it represents. The owners and developers of the former Cassco property
have led the way in downtown revitalization by creating opportunities for downtown living in previous
successful projects that include the City Exchange and Urban Exchange. Both of these previous
projects included mixed-use residential, retail and restaurant spaces and represent an evolution of the historic downtown as a place to work, eat, shop and recreate.

The Ice House as of Spring 2013:



For continued coverage of the Ice House project, please follow us at Matchbox Downtown