FundFest at Turner Pavilion feat. Little Walter and the Convictions


Turner Pavilion

Turner Pavilion

Did you remember that Fund Fest, a fundraiser for the SPCA, runs every other Wednesday throughout the summer?   Oh, you forgot?   Well, allow me to retort.

What does Fund Fest look like?   It looks like a collection of people having fun”d” and dancing to live music!

Does it look like a party?  Why yes, it does.  The event usually attracts hundreds of visitors to Turner Pavilion.

Then why haven’t you treated FundFest like the amazing, free party that it is?  I…I…am totally out of excuses.


Foolproof logic here.   Go to Turner Pavilion this Wednesday, July 23rd from 6:00pm to 8:30pm and all enjoy all things Harrisonburg.

Blue Nile show for the ages this Wednesday, July 9th

Blue Nile

Blue Nile

Blue Nile (181 North Main Street) will host epic, incredible, blow your mind music by Valkyrie this Wednesday, July 9th starting at 9pm.   Doors will open for the show at 8pm.   And did I mention Blue Nile will host a simultaneous tap takeover by Three Notch’d brewery which will feature their new exclusive Harrisonburg beers including Supultura and Bloody Roots?!?

In short, this is the kind of event that defines who you are as a person.   Are you the type that goes out on a Wednesday to listen to an amazing rock show with one-of-a-kind locally brewed beer or do you just want to stay at home and watch the Bachelorette?

If you need more information, feel free to visit Blue Nile’s Events page.

Your guide to watching the World Cup in Downtown Harrisonburg


World Cup

World Cup

The World Cup is a big deal.   It’s not like they call it the Carolina Cup or the North American Bowl, no no, this is the WORLD CUP.   You have to prepare for an event of this magnitude accordingly.  So who will be showing the beautiful game here in Downtown Harrisonburg over the next 30 days?   Here’s a quick list of where to go:

Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza (80 West Water Street): Bella Luna is not known as a sports bar, but they have a great bar area and a big ol’ TV to take in the games.   Plus, they have $5 happy hour pizzas from 3:00pm – 5:30pm each day!   Visiting this place seems like a no brainer.

Billy Jack’s Wing & Draft Shack (92 South Main Street): Billy Jack’s is probably your go to sports bar in Downtown, but did you know the bar has a rich soccer tradition?   Owner Aaron Ludwig has a deep love for the game (hence the Premier League showings on Sundays during brunch), and I have feeling the World Cup will be a celebration of all things fútbol.

Capital Ale House (41 Court Square): Do you want like lots of TVs and lots of space to move and lots of different kinds of beer to drink?   You do?   Well this is a place that has all those things, plus a revitalized food menu that can help you hang in there for the long haul.

Blue Nile (181 North Main Street): Blue Nile recently added a large flat screen to their bar area and something tells me the dial will be permanently fixed on the World Cup over the next month.   Come for the Dark & Stormy happy hour special ($4 on Wednesdays) and stay for the Grilled Cheese Gouda sandwich with peanut soup (unreal).

El Sol (91 East Elizabeth Street): El Sol has soccer on the television every day.   Seriously, if you go in there for a lunch on a Tuesday in February they are showing a local farm team in Uruguay.   And the patrons are glued to the action on their lone 37” TV!    Bottom line: if you are looking for the passion and camaraderie that makes World Cup soccer must see TV, this is the best place in town to catch the action.

A full list of the World Cup TV schedule can be found here.

Welcome Bach!

First Presbyterian Church Harrisonburg

First Presbyterian Church Harrisonburg

Did you know that June 8th – June 15th marks the 22nd Season of Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival?   As part of the festival’s week long events (a celebration of all things Johann Sebastian Bach), there will be daily concerts beginning at noon at First Presbyterian Church (17 Court Square) in Downtown Harrisonburg!   It almost sounds too good to be true, but it gets better.   There are no set ticket prices meaning you can contribute as much or as little as you can.   But something tells me after hearing a soaring version of Bach Festival’s events.

The Governor of Virginia visits the Ice House

Ice House Ribbon Cutting

Ice House Ribbon Cutting

Look who decided to pop by Downtown Harrisonburg yesterday, none other than Governor Terry McAuliffe.    The 72nd Governor in Virginia’s rich and storied history visited Phase 1 of the Ice House (127 West Bruce Street) to recognize Harrisonburg’s growing economy and the work of private companies such as Matchbox to spur innovation throughout the Valley.

Ice House Governor McAuliffe Tour

Ice House Governor McAuliffe Tour

Ice House Ceremony

Ice House Ceremony


Ice House President Alger

Ice House President Alger

Ice House Governor McAuliffe Speaking

Ice House Governor McAuliffe Speaking

We were thrilled to have Governor McAuliffe visit our project and cannot wait to unveil Phase 2 of the project later this year!

Baseball = Summer

Harrisonburg Turks

Harrisonburg Turks

Did you know that Harrisonburg has its own local baseball team that plays neighboring towns like Staunton, Waynesboro and Strasburg throughout the summer in a quest to be the best of the Valley?  How cool is that?!?   It’s like Game of Thrones, but swap out the blood thirsty quest to be king with the wholesome claim of having the best baseball squad as far as the eye can see.

The Harrisonburg Turks play tonight at 7pm at Memorial Park (395 South Main Street) against our heated (?) rival the Waynesboro Generals.  You can buy tickets and learn more about the team through their website.

Blast from the Past: Court & Market Days Festival @ Court Square

Court Square - Harrisonburg

Court Square – Harrisonburg

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in mid 19th century America?   Well, you should rent Lincoln, I heard that movie is incredibly accurate.

But if you want to know what it was like to live here, right here in Downtown Harrisonburg during that time in American history, you should check out the epic Court & Market Days Festival this Saturday from 9am to 2pm at Court Square.   There will be food and crafts and snapshots of history scattered throughout our beloved downtown for all to enjoy.

Oh and did I mention there would be dancing?  And I don’t mean this “hips don’t lie” free-for-all we call dancing these days, no no, this is classic ballroom with synchronized toe tapping and hand holding.   It is recommended that you bring a healthy combination of chivalry and modesty with a dash of boogie fever.   Lady bonnets and beards are preferred.

Concert at Turner Pavilion Tonight!

Downtown Harrisonburg

Downtown Harrisonburg

It’s Wednesday on the week after Memorial Day and now that everyone is fully recovered from family fun activities and honoring our vets, it’s time to start enjoying Downtown Harrisonburg once again.  Tonight from 6:00pm to 8:00pm will be a rockin’ concert at Turner Pavilion (228 South Liberty Street) featuring Final Hour.   Music events at Turner Pavilion are held fortnightly (once every two weeks, yes, I googled it), and serve as a fundraiser for our local SPCA.

So if you love dogs or cats or bunnies or live music or being outside, this is the event for you.  If you prefer to stay inside sitting in silence with your pet rock, that’s cool too, but know that there are a few other options out there.

Save the Date: Pickers Paradise Sale hosted by Shabby Love

Barn Sale 2014

Barn Sale 2014

 Have you visited Shabby Love (80 West Water Street) at the newly renovated Livery Building?   If so, you know Hanna Kappes and her team of repurposing wizards have some of the most unique and beautiful furniture in all of Virginia.   You may even ask yourself, my, how does Hanna find such incredible pieces to begin with?!?   Shabby Love is giving us a glimpse into their magical process this fall with Pickers Paradise at The Market at Grelan on Friday & Saturday, September 26th-27th from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Wow, this event is four months away, so why are we writing about it now?   The reason is that Shabby is openly soliciting vendors from all across Virginia so everyone and anyone can participate.   So if you’re out there, little person with a shed full of nostalgia and a pocket full of dreams, reach out to Hanna and the Shabby Love team here to get a spot at the most exciting pickers event in the whole entire world (as far as I know).

Bikes, Pizza, Beer, and a Movie

Breaking Away Flyer

Breaking Away Flyer

Just when you thought your Tuesday could not get any better, Bella Luna is teaming with Friendly City Co-op for an exclusive screening of Breaking Away, the 1979 cult classic about epic cycling in Southern California.   The fun begins at Shenandoah Bicycle Co. at 6:00pm for a ride around town, ending with the movie showing at Bella Luna (80 West Water Street) beginning at 7:00pm.   Come on!   Doesn’t that sound like the best Tuesday ever?!?   So pumped.

Bike To Work Day! And free breakfast at Court Square!

Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day

People in Harrisonburg and across the valley take their biking pretty seriously.  Whether it’s on the roads or on the trails or on a scavenger hunt led by an underground biking community, people love to ride.

And this Friday, May 16th everyone in the community gets to participate with Harrisonburg’s annual Bike To Work Day.  The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition has organized several events throughout the month of May to highlight all things bicycle with everything from safety lessons, to training tips, and even a sponsored breakfast in the heart of Court Square this Friday for all those that bike to work.

You can register for your ride to work and free breakfast here.

An Evening Downtown hosted by Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

An Evening Downtown Flyer

An Evening Downtown Flyer

WHEN: Saturday, May 17, 2014 beginning at 6:30pm

WHERE: Capital Ale House (41 Court Square)

Harrisonburg’s Downtown Renaissance will host its 11th annual Renaissance Night to celebrate, support, and recognize businesses through an evening of entertainment and revelry at Harrisonburg’s Capital Ale House.  The party is sure to be a huge draw this year with dinner, drinks, dancing, auctions, and raffle for a free trip.  In short, this will be a great place to be this weekend if you love and support Downtown Harrisonburg.

Tickets can be purchase here for anyone interested in attending.   Also, please notice that your very own Matchbox is listed as a sponsor for the event so we would love to see you all there!

Graduation Time

It’s Graduation Weekend…Get ready for the crazy!

Graduation weekend in Downtown Harrisonburg is kind of all over the place.  First and foremost, it’s great to see so many people downtown supporting our local businesses.   It’s an inspiring scene to see visitors from around the country appreciate the restaurants, art, and community that we have come to love.   However, it can be a little crazy because the streets are FLOODED with people and everywhere is booked!   So where should you go?   What should you do?   This is where Matchbox Downtown can help.

Local Chop & Grill
Now, you won’t be able to get a reservation at Local Chop this weekend (they actually open reservations for graduation day on January 15th of each year and are usually fully booked within 24 hours), but their bar area does NOT take reservations and you can still enjoy a cocktail, world class beer, or arguably the best appetizers in town.   It’s a bit of a roll of the dice if you’re coming with your whole family, but if it’s just you and one or two other people, give it a shot.

Clementine’s is similarly booked up, but they do have a gnarly show on Saturday night featuring Funk Ark & Jonathan Scales.  Tickets are on sale for $10 presale and $12 at the door.   I would recommend you buy sooner rather than later though, as I imagine the show will sell out relatively quickly.

Capital Ale House with Three Brothers Brewing
Capital Ale is embracing all things Harrisonburg with a special event featuring Three Brothers brews and a limited edition pint glass with Three Brothers and Cap Ale insignia specifically for graduation weekend.   Cap Ale is large enough to house nearly any party size, but I would get there early if you want prime rooftop seating which seems like a must on what is looking to be a beautiful weekend.

Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza
From everything we know, Bella Luna is not accepting reservations for Friday or Saturday this weekend which is great for anyone without a place already reserved for this weekend.   First come, first serve service can be great on a weekend like this and just think, at the worst, you will be able to enjoy a cocktail in the awesome, open air veranda of the Livery building.   Sooo cool.

Blue Nile
Blue Nile is a great place to catch a meal during this crazy weekend (have you ever had their grilled cheese with peanut butter soup?!?).   The restaurant will be open until 9pm, after which the real party starts in the basement with DJs running until 2am.  Prepare to get sweaty.

Three Notch’d Brewery
And as you’ve seen from our previous post, it looks like Three Notch’d Brewery will also be opening this Friday so make sure to check out their awesome downtown location at the Urban Exchange!   Something tells me this will be a great place to take in all the craziness graduation weekend has to offer.

Date Night Thursday and Wilton Wednesday at Joshua Wilton House

Joshua Wilton House Specials

Joshua Wilton House Specials

The Joshua Wilton house has a rich and storied tradition here in Harrisonburg as a top of the line food and wine destination.   The space creates a sense of timeless elegance, the chefs and servers know any and everything there is to know about the menu and wine selection, and grounds create a warmth that is unparalleled.   Now, most people associate these qualities with outrageous pricing and “once a year” type of dining experiences.   To help combat that stereotype, Joshua Wilton (412 South Main Street) has Wilton Wednesdays and Date Night Thursdays.

Every Wednesday night, you can get a cocktail and an appetizer for $12!

And every Thursday night, you can share an appetizer, get two entrees, and share a dessert for just $55!

And keep in mind, we’re not talking about Chili’s here, this is THE JOSHUA WILTON HOUSE, the same Joshua Wilton house that has great reviews from Southern Living Magazine, The New York Times, and The Richmond Dispatch!  So run, don’t walk to Joshua Wilton as soon as you can.

First Fridays Downtown is This Weekend

1st Fridays Downtown Arts

1st Fridays Downtown Arts

It seems like just yesterday that we were talking about the excitment of First Fridays Downtown.  And wouldn’t you know it, it’s time to celebrate again.  This Friday, May 2nd will be our May version of First Fridays here downtown with a huge collection of artists and exhibits for everyone to enjoy.  And even better yet, the rain will have stopped, there will be clear skies and a crisp 60 degrees.  That’s the good stuff.

You can find the full list of exhibits here and I know that I am personally amped up to see what Miller/Miller has to offer at Larkin Arts (61 Court Square) as well as Bruce Rosenwasser’s work at the Blue Nile (181 North Main Street).

Shenandoah Spring Fest at Three Brothers Brewery

Shenandoah Spring Fest flyer

Shenandoah Spring Fest flyer

Sure, it may be Monday but it’s never too early to start thinking about next weekend.  After all of the raucous music and revelry of this past weekend’s Rocktown Beer Festival, Downtown Harrisonburg is following that up with Shenandoah Spring Fest at Three Brothers Brewery (800 North Main Street) on Saturday, May 3rd from 12pm to 9pm.

Shenandoah Spring Fest is an event put on by local artists and 3 Brothers to support the Mercy House, a faith based, public assistance foundation dedicated to the care of homeless families and underprivileged children across the Valley.   Patrons can enjoy music by The Trongone Band out of RVA as well as food provided by some of the area’s best food trucks including our favorite, Mashita.  Tickets are $3 prior to the event and $5 at the door.  Cash donations are also encouraged for those that would like to donate a little more to the Mercy House cause.

Blue Nile Event Calendar for April

Blue Nile April Events

Blue Nile April Events

As you may recall, we already declared Blue Nile the Best Coffee and Breakfast in Dowtown, but it turns out they also have top notch music shows and arguably the best music venue in all of Harrisonburg.   Luckily, Blue Nile has posted their event calendar for April and we can all now plan our lives accordingly.   So what’s on tap?   Here are some highlights:

–          April 17th (TONIGHT!) –  The Deems (Jam Funk, $5 cover)

–          April 25thTitus Andronicus (Indie Rock, $10 cover)

–          April 26th – Rocktown Afterparty feat. Dead Professional (Rock, $4 cover)

Now get out and enjoy all that Downtown Harrisonburg has to offer!   If you don’t, you never know what great moments you may miss.

17th Annual Blacks Run CleanUp Day

In my Harrisonburg experience, there seems to be a real spirit of conservation and preservation across our fair city.  Individuals want to preserve the culture of town and simultaneously want to ensure that the natural resources we have will continue to be available for several generations to come.   One of the most visible parts of our downtown ecological footprint remains Black’s Run which snakes through several key parts of town including Matchbox’s office, Clementine’s café, and the new Ice House.

With that in mind, I want to encourage our loyal readership to participate in Blacks Run CleanUp Day this Saturday, April 12th!   According to here is the schedule:

: 9:00am – 10:00am

The Green Scene (exhibits for all!): 9:00am – Noon

Kick Off and Special Guest Speaker: 9:30am

Clean Up: 9:30am – 11:30am

Lunch: 11:30am – Noon

You can sign up here and remember to invite your friends!

Rocktown Beer Festival is a Comin’

Twice a year we have a little party in Downtown Harrisonburg called Rocktown Beer Festival.   If you’re unfamiliar, thousands of people come to the Farmer’s Market on Liberty Street and party the day/night away with music, food, and yes, beer.   And this year’s lineup is no slouch with beer from over 15 breweries and food from acclaimed restaurants such as Local Chop & Grill House and Clementine’s.

Now, in order to make sure you can attend, I highly recommend buying a ticket ahead of time.   You can preorder tickets here and also check out their list of breweries and food if you need further convincing.   But let’s be real, you’re going to be there, I am going to be there, and we are going to have an awesome time.  Can’t wait!

Noelle Burgess Art Show at Matchbox


Painting by Noelle Burgess

Painting by Noelle Burgess

You know what makes this downtown great?  It’s not the fantastic food or the wide selection of beer or even the cool music venues.  What makes this place great are the people.  Individuals from all walks of life can come to downtown and shed their cars and their status to be one of many; they can come here and form true community, even if it’s only for a few hours on a Friday night.

Here at Matchbox, we are proud to be a part of that community and even more proud to house the work of Noelle Burgess this evening at our office downtown (202 N. Liberty Street).  Noelle will display and sell her work as part of Harrisonburg’s First Friday and we are thrilled to give her the space to showcase her  immense talent.  Noelle’s work centers on tearing down stereotypes and preconception by challenging the viewer to see women not as sexualized, delicate creatures but rather confident, independent individuals who are capable of any and everything.

You can see more of her work at her website, but do yourself a favor and come check out a sample of Noelle’s inspiring collection tonight beginning at 5:30pm here at Matchbox.

Reel Change Festival at Court Square Theater

Court Square Theater is hosting the Reel Change Festival this week and weekend to promote 2013 documentary films throughout the world that directly impacted social consciousness and political action throughout the world.   The event covers five movies in total and also features two, 90-second short film contests on Saturday night from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.   One film in particular, The Act of Killing, received worldwide acclaim and a 2013 Academy award nomination for its depiction of former Indonesian death squad members retelling and recreating the region’s communist purge from 1965-1966.

Admission to the event is FREE and movies will be followed by a panel discussion for those that are interested in delving further into the each movie’s ethos.  For more information on the Reel Change Festival, please visit their website.

March Madness arrives to Matchbox Downtown

Matchbox March Madness Bracket 2014

Matchbox March Madness Bracket 2014

Here at Matchbox we love to encourage good, clean competition and overall school/downtown spirit.   In that vein, we are currently hosting the greatest March Madness pool the world has ever seen.  Actually, strike that, apparently Warren Buffet is promising to give away a billion dollars to someone.   We can’t quite do that.   But we ARE giving away $200 to one very lucky pool winner this year.   You can sign up for the FREE bracket here (password: matchbox) and do not forget to thank our local sponsors, especially the Evans Law Group (165 South Main Street) located right here in the heart of downtown! The only restriction is you must be a fan of both Matchbox’s Facebook page and Evans Law Group Facebook page to win! Don’t wait until it is too late!

St. Patrick’s Day After Party at 3 Brothers

I hope our loyal readership is enjoying a day off during this rare St. Patrick’s / snow day.   What luck, right?!?  Anyways, I wanted to make you aware of a fantastic event at 3 Brothers on the day AFTER St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday, March 18th).   You Made It! will be combining their talents with 3 Brothers to bring art to the brewery where patrons can paint their own stein glass and enjoy $2 beers!

That’s right, you get to paint your very own steal the pint night for only $15 AND you get to purchase the delicious beers of 3 Brothers for only $2.   What a deal!

V.O.I.C.E. Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

V.O.I.C.E. Speghetti Dinner Fundraiser

V.O.I.C.E. Speghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Are you familiar with the non-profit group Vocalists Offering Inspirational Community Enrichment?  It just sounds like a fun group of people, right?   A group of supportive, helpful of individuals who carry the spirit of song to help lift spirits and dreams throughout the Valley.  Think Sister Act but with less Whoopi and more soul power.
Anyway, V.O.I.C.E. is hosting a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, March 15th from 1:00pm to 6:00pm at Vision of Hope (1723 Port Republic Road).  Tickets are $7 for Adults and $4 for Children.  So make sure to get out there and support your community this Saturday!

Get Crafty with You Made It!


Joan Clasbey, co-owner of You Made It!, talks to Matchbox Downtown about what makes her business so special (hint: it’s all about the magic of creation) while discussing upcoming events around town.  You Made It! provides amazing value to the community by not only enhancing the skills people already have, but also encouraging first time artists to unlock skills they never knew existed.

Here at Matchbox, we are thrilled to have You Made It! as a tenant and look forward to continuing to support their business for many years to come!  Make sure to check out their calendar for upcoming events and camps going forward.

And it begins…

Clementine's Downtown Harrisonburg

Clementine’s Downtown Harrisonburg

Harrisonburg’s bi-annual restaurant week HAS BEGUN!  Grocery store?  Who needs it, it’s restaurant week!   We’re talking great food at GREAT prices all in Downtown Harrisonburg.

Just look at what we got at Clemetine’s today!

Clementine's Taste of Downtown Lunch Special

Clementine’s Taste of Downtown Lunch Special

Ohhhh, yeah.  That’s the good stuff.   So come one, come all to downtown and enjoy our amazing food and drink.

Remember, these great deals only last from March 10th – March 16th so don’t miss out!

Festival Season is upon us


Maple Festival Crafts

Maple Festival Crafts

You refer to spring and summer as Festival Season, right?  Ok good, glad we got that out of the way because this week is the first of many local festivals that we will highlighted here on Matchbox Downtown.

And it begins…

56th Annual Highland Maple Festival

March 8-9 & 15-16, 2014

Come for the donuts.  Stay for the pancakes.

Each year, Virginia’s “Little Switzerland” located in Highland County celebrates all things maple.  This includes everything from pancakes and donuts to maple glazed chicken and sugar tours.  The festival centers around Monterey, Virginia as its hub.  There you can find everything from the famous donuts to local crafts and even, wait for it, a place where you can take a picture with sheep.  Real live sheep!  If this doesn’t sound like the coolest day trip ever, you might want to head to the doctor because something is wrong with you.

For more information please visit Highland County’s website.

Taste of Downtown returns March 10th!

Taste of Downtown Spring 2014

Taste of Downtown Spring 2014

Restaurant Week is a big deal in some of the bigger cities across America.  It is thought of as an opportunity for restaurants to unveil an affordable sampling of what their restaurants have to offer.  And the best part is, the prices are fixed, so you know exactly what you’re getting in to before you even sit down.

Harrisonburg has recently joined this fantastic tradition by encouraging its downtown restaurants (and my, there are a lot of options to choose from these days) to offer unique menu items bundled together at affordable prices.  Check out the flyer above to see who is offering what these days, but just glancing this over these are my favorites so far: three course dinner from Local Chop & Grill House for $36, a dozen Strite donuts plus donut holes for $11, and a Bloody Mary or Mimosa brunch at Clementine’s for only $10!

Now keep in mind, these deal only run from March 10th to March 16th so make sure to take advantage while they last!

80’s Music Downtown on Fat Tuesday

I want you to really digest that title.

80’s Music Downtown On Fat Tuesday



Who doesn’t love 80’s music?  Someone, somewhere, but I guarantee that person is lonely and loveless. How about Downtown Harrisonburg?  Um, you’re on this blog so obviously you are into this sort of thing. And Fat Tuesday?!?  Are you kidding me?  Fat Tuesday is the holy grail of fun weekdays, you don’t have to live in New Orleans to know that!

So now that we all know what’s at stake, let’s talk specifics.  Love Cannon will be performing at Bella Luna (80 West Water Street) on Tuesday, March 4th beginning at 7:00pm.  In order to see this fantastic show of retro awesome there are two steps: 1) make a reservation at Bella Luna (540.433.1366) and 2) buy tickets to the show ($12 per person in advance).


As a wise man named Notorious B.I.G. once said, “If you don’t know, now you know!”

Downtown Urbanization makes the Local Television

WHSV (50 North Main Street), our local and DOWNTOWN news provider, highlighted some of Matchbox’s work in and around downtown with their latest news segment.  Check it out to see what’s new and where they see downtown going forward!

Avery Brewing tap takeover and steal the pint at Capital Ale

Avery Brewing

Avery Brewing

On Friday, February 21st Avery Brewing will do a tap takeover and steal the pint night at Capital Ale House (41 Court Square).  Avery has gained world-wide acclaim with their unique brewing techniques and are widely considered innovators within the “new” American craft beer scene.  These guys are traveling all the way from Boulder, Colorado to share their product with the renowned experts of Downtown Harrisonburg, so let’s be sure to give them some love.   However, Avery will face some stiff critiques considering Downtown Harrisonburg also recently sold out of Bell’s Beer’s Hopslam in a record 2 hours!!!

If there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s taste beer and steal pint glasses.  Luckily, this Friday you will be allowed to do both for the price of a pint while your conscience should remain relatively guilt free as you walk away with a free glass for your growing collection.

Clementine’s hosts Kristy Lee & Dirt Road Revival

In anticipation of Saturday night’s huge Chris Thomas King performance, Clementine’s (153 South Main Street) is hosting another top level recording artist tonight when Kristy Lee & Dirt Road Revival comes to town. Kristy Lee offers a unique blend of traditional southern rock and soul searching blues to give listeners one truly unique sound and experience. So do yourself a favor and get out to Clementine’s early (show starts at 8:30, cover charge is $10) and don’t miss out on a performance everyone will be talking about.

Operation Snowplow: A Public Service Announcement to All Readers

Harrisonburg Snow Map

Harrisonburg Snow Map

In case you have been living under a rock for the past two days, apparently there is a snow storm coming.  And not just your average ho-hum, ‘winter is coming’ snow storm, no no, this is a big deal.  People are throwing out –pocalypse suffixes and using jazz words like crippling, paralyzing, and even the ‘b’ word, blizzard.

In that vein, we want our readership to be safe.  So safe in fact that we are using today’s blog post to highlight some of the city’s announcements regarding the storm.  According to the City’s Property Maintenance divison:

‘Public Works has applied a liquid pre-treatment on the primary routes, designated streets serving emergency facilities, and other areas that are designated as potential safety concerns. This pre-treatment will help the precipitation melt once it hits the road.  Public Works crews will begin working 12-hour shifts through the duration of storm cleanup efforts. During a winter storm, snow removal crews give first priority to the primary streets.’

You can find more information at the city’s site, but above all, please be careful out there.  You can’t read this fantastic daily blog if you’re stuck in the snow somewhere like Jack Nicholson at the end of the Shining (spoiler!).

Make sure to stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for all things Harrisonburg and let us know any additional announcements or information you may have to share.

Benny Sorrentino's Downtown Harrisonburg

Benny Sorrentino’s Opening at Urban Exchange Tomorrow!

Who’s ready for some PIZZA?  Benny Sorrentino’s (64 South Mason Street) will be open for business at Urban Exchange on Wednesday!  Finishing touches are going in place as you read this. So come one, come all, and get ready to eat the “Virginia Slice.”  As a public service announcement, we feel it is important to remind all readers that the slices are larger than the average human head, so please proceed with caution.


Benny Sorrentino's Finishing Touches

Benny Sorrentino’s Finishing Touches


Benny Sorrentino's Finishing Touches

Benny Sorrentino’s Finishing Touches

Benny Sorrentino's Finishing Touches

Benny Sorrentino’s Finishing Touches


Don’t look now, but Valentine’s Day is on Friday

Generally speaking, there are two camps when it comes to Valentine’s Day: 1) you think it’s a made up holiday meant to spur consumer spending during the slow, post-holiday season, or 2) you are thrilled to take one day to celebrate love, life, and happiness with your significant other.

Regardless of where you fall, this Friday there is one event in Harrisonburg that epitomizes all things Valentine.  JMU’s Edith J. Carrier Arboretum (780 University Boulevard) will have carriage rides from 5:00pm to 8:00pm through their magnificent grounds.  Reservations can be made by phone (540.568.3194) or in person, though I would likely call ahead to confirm availability.

Just picture it: you, your special someone, a stranger (your driver), and a horse drawn carriage filled with the smells of life and time gone by.  Come on!   What’s not to love?

Start me up…


Start Up Weekend

Start Up Weekend


I can picture it now.  You’re sitting at your chair or on your couch, reading this highly entertaining and spiritually motivating blog while thinking to yourself, “You know what?!?  I want to start my OWN company.  I WANT TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR!!!”   Then, after about half an hour of googling ‘how to start an LLC’, you give up and the dream dies.

Let me tell you friends, it does not have to end this way.  The non-profit organization, Startup Weekend, is here to make your dream become a reality in 54 crazy, fun-filled, inspiring hours.
This Friday, February 7th Startup Weekend is coming to JMU’s Zane Showker Hall to launch their Shenandoah Valley program.  You can find more information on the event through their event page.  But whatever you do, if you have that dream and you have that vision, don’t let it die without a fight.  Get out, put yourself and your dreams out there and see what happens!

Nothin' Fancy Press Image

Nothin’ Fancy at Court Square Theater

When we say Nothin’ Fancy, that’s not a dig at our much beloved Court Theater.  In fact, it is just the opposite.  Nothin’ Fancy, one of Virginia’s most recognized bluegrass bands, will perform at historic Court Square Theater (41 Court Square) on Thursday, February 6, 2014 beginning at 8:00pm.   And just in case you doubt the greatness of this band, they have been awarded the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America’s Entertaining Group of the Year award not once, not twice, but….wait for it….FIVE TIMES!

So mark your calendars, lace up your boots, and get ready to toe tap your night away!

First Friday this week in Downtown Harrisonburg

First Fridays Downtown Harrisonburg

First Fridays Downtown Harrisonburg

It seems like just yesterday that we had our first, First Friday of the new year but low and behold here we are again. This month’s lineup of shows and venues included 9 local businesses participating to host art and artists from across the region. So mark your calendars for Friday, February 7th from 5pm to 8pm and get out to enjoy all this town has to offer! If you are an artist interested in participating in future First Friday events, Matchbox would LOVE to show off your art! Please email with information about your work.

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, 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!

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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!

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!