Restaurant Development & Design

July-August 2015

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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6,730-square-foot 14th Street location, 1 of 5 Matchbox locations. Opened in November 2012, the historic, two- story 1907 building with "good bones" housed a jazz club, billiards parlor and bowling alley in days past. Matchbox revived it as a vintage, urban-style restaurant that honors the building's his- tory with design details such as exposed masonry and timber beams. The full-height entry, open kitchen and open steel staircase leading up to the second foor with two mezzanines give a sense of the volume of space. Six-person booths called "boxes" cantilever over the frst foor, almost foating. Surrounded with reclaimed wood and open on one side with a wall of glass at the opposite side, they help to create intimacy in the open space. "We like to play with the volume and fll it in so it's not one huge, overwhelming space," notes Jennifer Jafke, director of architecture at Matchbox Food Group. Matchbox is known for its crisp, wood-fre artisan pizzas, and on the frst foor two side-by-side pizza ovens are clad in masonry and in full view of guests. Craft beer selections help make sure the frst-foor bar is popular. To distribute seating more evenly, the kitchen is split on both levels. Meanwhile, server stations on each level and a prep room and dishroom up on the second level offer convenience. While keeping the temperature com- fortable on all levels was one challenge (an HVAC system specifcally for the mezzanine level was the answer), a llow- ing for vertical circulation was one extra cost. So in addition to the primary guest stair, which was turned into a functional design element, a service elevator and staircase were added at the rear of the building for transporting trays of food and dirty dishes. Working around these challenges to defne and redefne space in a multi- level restaurant is worth it, according to Jaffke. "We had some fun with it; it gives our guests a unique dining experience no matter where they're sitting." J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 5 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • 4 3 A full-height entry, open kitchen and open steel staircase leading up to the second foor with two mezzanines give a sense of the volume of the Matchbox space. Photo courtesy of Matchbox Food Group

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