Reason for Celebration! Matchbox Properties win big at HDR’s Annual Design Excellence Awards


Packed house at Clementine Cafe for the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance awards!

Packed house at Clementine Cafe for the HDR awards!

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance held its annual awards and celebration last night (think the Oscars of Harrisonburg without the red carpet and artistic talent).   Hosted by Clementine’s, the event highlighted what was new to downtown in the past year as well as what’s coming over the next twelve months.   New businesses including Shenandoah Joe coffee and Pure Eats were announced among several other vibrant businesses soon to call Downtown Harrisonburg home.

The highlight of the evening came as Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance announced its winners for Design Excellence including TWO Matchbox properties!

Design Excellence for Historic Renovation went to 126/128 Bruce Street (home to Food Bar Food, Blue Ridge Architects, and Approved Colleges) and the Livery Building (home to Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza and Shabby Love Furniture).

Design Excellence for Historic Renovation - 126/128 Bruce Street

Design Excellence for Historic Renovation – 126/128 Bruce Street

Design Excellence for Historic Renovation - Livery Building

Design Excellence for Historic Renovation – Livery Building

Design Excellence for Adaptive Re-Use went to The Ice House. The Ice House currently houses ten commercial businesses and thirty-four residential apartments.

Design Excellence for Adaptive Re-Use -  Ice House

Design Excellence for Adaptive Re-Use – Ice House

In addition to these amazing design awards, Matchbox’s CEO Barry Kelley and his partner Andrew Forward were awarded Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance’s first ever Downtown Heroes award!

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance Awards

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance Awards

It is an honor and a privilege to continue building this downtown community and we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for allowing us to serve your property needs!

Food.Bar.Food opens for lunch!

As more and more people are working and living in Downtown Harrisonburg, we are always asked, “Where can I get a great, affordable lunch in town?!?”   Well, it looks like Food.Bar.Food (126 W. Bruce Street) is taking great steps to answer that question.

Food.Bar.Food begins serving lunch today and will serve Tuesday – Friday from 11am to 2pm.   Banh Mis and Catish Po Boy sandwiches, do you need more?!?!  Make sure to check out the full menu below.

Food.Bar.Food Lunch Menu

Food.Bar.Food Lunch Menu

FoodBarFood is OPEN


Welcome to Food Bar Food!

Welcome to Food Bar Food!

Food Bar Food

Food Bar Food

Food Bar Food Bar Selection

Food Bar Food Bar Selection


(126 West Bruce Street) has officially opened for business! The menu, which was released here just a few months ago, has finally come to fruition with a dynamic cooking style that captures the flavors and techniques of various cultures from around the world and a bar menu that is second to none in the city of Harrisonburg. Where else can you get seared scallops with avacado and pico de gallo and a jalapeno margarita while your date gets a bowl of ramen in duck broth with a side of kimchi?!? This isn’t fusion, this is global representation right here in the Shenandoah Valley.

In short, do not wait, do not pass GO, proceed directly to FoodBarFood as soon as you can. There is nothing else like it in town.

Bruce St. - foodBARfood

FoodBARfood’s sample menu has arrived

It’s tough to write about food when you haven’t eaten yet, but as my innards growl I wanted to make our loyal readership aware of foodBARfood’s exciting sample menu that is currently on display at 128 West Bruce Street.  How do you feel about seared sea scallops, avocado mouse and teriyaki?  Or braised and crispy duck leg, cranberry balsamic and Yukon gold mash?  Or maybe even a bowl of Lo Mein, shrimp, carrot, scallion, ginger and sesame vinaigrette?!?

The menu is broken out into three primary categories (plates, bowls, burgers) featuring dishes that are considered “comfort food” from all around the world.  Also, just as a special treat they have also included their brunch menu which already looks amazing (Asian spiced fried chicken, honey and preserved lemon, buttermilk pancakes, and maple syrup?!?   ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!).  You better get ready for a whole lot of awesome this spring when they open!

For more information on foodBARfood, stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown or their facebook page.

foodBARfood Brunch Menu

foodBARfood Brunch Menu

foodBARfood Dinner Menu

foodBARfood Dinner Menu

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.

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!

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 or by phone at 540.434.5150 x114.

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.