Holiday Art Market

Join Larkin Arts and 22 other art vendors this Saturday from noon to 7pm for their 5th annual Holiday Art Market! Show your support of local artists while picking out the perfect present for someone at the same time!

This event is free and open to the public. For more information and a full list of the vendors click HERE. To see photos of artists and their work, check their photo album HERE.

We hope to see you there!

Small Business Saturday: Downtown Harrisonburg

Show your love for Downtown Harrisonburg this Saturday, November 26th for Small Business Saturday! This is a day dedicated to celebrate the charm and economic impact that small businesses bring to our community.

The shop small experience is unique. You’ll get the best in personalized customer service, you’ll find unique gifts that weren’t mass produced and most importantly, you’ll play a role in benefiting our local economy. Each dollar you spend at a locally-owned business returns three times more money to your local community than one spent at a chain. Plus, many of our businesses will also be offering special promotions! And we know you can’t say no to a discount!

Clementine will also be hosting  their annual bazaar and art market from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm!

For more info on Small Business Saturday, click HERE.


Pale Fire Brewing and Brothers Craft Benefit Beer Dinner

Join Pale Fire and Brother’s Brewing at Capital Ale House this Saturday, November 19th from 7:00-10:00 pm for a fall beer dinner benefiting the Rockingham Day Care Center.

The event will feature a hand-crafted menu of 7 courses all made with local ingredients. Each course will be paired with either a Brothers Craft Brew or Pale Fire brewed beer. With only 25 spots available, this is a must attend event. A portion of the proceeds going to the Harrisonburg Rockingham Day Care Center.

Get your tickets: 

Valley Dish III: Bella Luna Collaborative Dinner Celebrates Cider Week

Valley Dish is back and just in time to celebrate Virginia Cider Week! As part of the celebration, Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza is hosting Valley Dish III, a collaborative dinner with local farmers and artisan producers, on Thursday, November 17 from 6:30 – 9pm.

This partnership with Shenandoah Valley Organics, Old Hill Cider and Project Grows will feature a 4-course menu designed by Bella Luna’s Executive Chef Colin Auckerman. Each dish was inspired by the autumn flavors of the Shenandoah Valley.

Valley Dish III Menu

Marinated chicken kebab
Wood-fired flatbread, minted yogurt, radish salad

Roasted apple salad
Tender greens, pickled root vegetables, gorgonzola, shallot-cider vinaigrette

Oven-fired chicken breast
Winter squash puree, braised collard greens, crispy parsnip, maple-cider jus

Spiced panna cotta
Cider reduction, ginger thin cookies

Tickets are available here:
Tickets include cost of the meal; cider pairings will be available at an additional charge.

Black Sheep Coffee

Located at the Ice House in Downtown Harrisonburg, Black Sheep Coffee offers finely crafted espresso, drip coffee and manual pour-over service, using fresh roasted beans from a variety of roasters. Their baked goods–scones, cinnamon rolls and cookies–are made fresh daily in house with locally sourced dairy products. Black Sheep features both a breakfast and lunch menu that always offer something new to try and a rotating drink menu. As if you needed a better reason to go and check them out!

GULL: Hallow-homecoming

Kick off Hallow-weekend with awesome beer, great friends, and your favorite bands at Wolfe Street Brewery this Friday, October 28th, from 8:00pm – 12:00 am for GULL: Hallow-homecoming!

While costumes are not mandatory, they are expected. It’s Halloween so make the best of it! GullZooanzooCyber Twin will be the featured acts for the night.

Wolfe Street has a capacity of 70 inside the brewery so make sure to come early to reserve your spot. 21+

Skeleton Festival

Start off Halloween week on the right foot by joining the Harrisonburg community this Saturday, October 22nd for the Skeleton Festival! The event will take place from 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Turner Pavilion and Park. Activities will kick off with trick-or-treating at downtown businesses and will conclude with an all-ages party featuring kids, dog, and adult costumes contests, face painting, fire dancing, food trucks, live music, video art, “trunk-or-treating”, wacky shack, goober blobs, and whisker biscuits.

Bend & Brews at Three Notch’d Brewing Co.

Three Notch’d Brewing Co. invites you to yoga and a cold brew with Bend & Brews! Aka the best of both worlds if you just happen to enjoy yoga and sipping on a cold one. Every Saturday from 10:00 am – 11:30 am go and start your morning right with a vinyasa flow in the taproom, led by a rotating roster of yoga instructors from various Harrisonburg studios. $10 (seriously, it’s that cheap) gets you an hour long class followed by a pint.

Back the Burg

What is “Back the Burg”?

Downtown thrives on the support of individuals and businesses. Back the Burg is a three month campaign focused on growing the number of downtown’s “Friends” and funds for the on-going revitalization of downtown Harrisonburg.

What are you backing?

Donating allows the HDR staff to continue economic development, supporting small businesses and their owners, creating a welcoming downtown for everyone, and cultivating an environment that helps industry thrive. Your donations help fund downtown events, facade enhancement grants and business development workshops.

Referral Program

If you’re already a friend of downtown you can still participate by referring new friends. You will receive $10 Downtown Dollars for every NEW Friend you refer to Back the Burg at the $100 level or higher.

For more information on Back the Burg check them out on Downtown Harrisonburg Renaissance .

Harrisonburg Farmers Market

Make a weekly visit to the The Harrisonburg (summer) Farmers Market between now and Thanksgiving for your shot at fresh, nutritious, locally produced agricultural goods and crafts. Located at  the Turner Pavilion in Downtown Harrisonburg, the market is currently open from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Hours will change for the winter market (December – March) 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

The Latino Film Festival

The annual Latino Film Festival returned to Court Square Theater last night! Over the course of the week, and in celebration of Hispanic culture, Court Square Theater will be screening a selection of Spanish language films. All films will be subtitled in English. 

This year’s festival will feature the following films:

Truman: Argentina
Pelé: Birth of a Legend: Brazil / USA
La Novia: Spain
Embrace of the Serpent: Colombia
Amir: Mexico


Adults – $9.50
Seniors – $8.50
Matinee (before 5 pm) – $5.00
Students –  $5.00

Local Spa Night with Valley Green Naturals

Needing some serious “me time”? Come and pamper yourself with Valley Green Naturals  and Friendly City Food Co-op for a start to finish spa-night. From cleansers and toners to mud masks and creams, you won’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity. This is your chance to relax and learn all about local, natural products while enjoying a 4-step facial!

Those attending the events will be able to experience the following cleaners, toners, and facial therapies: Activated Charcoal Honey Cleanser, a Lemon Honey Facial Cleanser, Skin Brightening Facial Toner, Dead Sea Mineral Mud Masque, Daily Hydration Facial Therapy, and Nightly Hydration Facial Therapy.

There will be Co-op snacks to enjoy everyone will be sent home with great goodie bags containing all these items and more!

Run, Sweat & Beers

After launching last spring, Run, Sweat & Beers is a friendly event meant to bring people who love running and drinking beer together. It’s totally free and no pre-registration required! The event starts and finishes at Brothers Craft Brewing on the fourth Friday of every month at 5:30 pm. They  have a 1 mile, 3 mile, or a 5 mile running option so you pick what you’re feeling that day. And as if you needed any more convincing, the run is completed with discounted brews in the tasting room at Brothers Craft Brewing.

Run Routes:

1 mile turnaround at Gay Street and N. Main Street
3 mile turnaround on S. Main Street directly in front of Quad at James Madison University
5 mile turnaround just past El Charro on S. Main Street

Bro’s Coffee Fest

Do you like coffee, breakfast food, and beer? If you answered ‘yes’ to all three, it’s time to mark your calendars! This is your chance to join Brother Craft Brewing on Saturday, September 17th for their 2nd annual Coffee Fest!

From 10 am – 11 pm (yes, a whole thirteen hours) Brothers Brewing will be serving you the best in caffeinated drinks with coffee vendors, food trucks serving up coffee and breakfast inspired dishes, and of course, coffee inspired beer.

But wait! It gets better! There will be live music from 12:30 pm – 7:30 pm and guests will also have the opportunity at playing cornhole and giant Jenga!

Live music:
Mike Howdyshell (12:30-1:30)
Delaplane (2:00-3:00)
Britton James – Singer/Songwriter (4:30-7:30)

Coffee vendors:
Friendly City Food Co-op
Black Sheep Coffee Harrisonburg
Nova Coffee Labs

Rocktown Slops (serving breakfast inspired slops all day)
Mashita (serving lunch/dinner from 1:00 on)
Heritage Bakery & Cafe

Tap list:
Drunken Mornings
Coconut Vanilla Daylight Cravings
The release of Local Roast (Coffee Oatmeal Stout)!
Coffee pin (more info TBA)
Coffee infusion (more info TBA)

Downtown Welcomes New Mobile Boutique

Fashion lovers rejoice! Food trucks step aside! The Shenandoah Valley’s very first fashion boutique on wheels is here! The Gypsy Catwalk is a mobile and online boutique serving you the latest in all things fashion.

Located in the Downtown Parking Lot between Taj of India and Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint, Gypsy Catwalk “specializes in an ever-rotating colorfully curated collection of tops, dresses and statement jewelry.” Plus everything is $100 or less!

You can shop the boutique online thru, Facebook or Instagram. And if you’re looking for an even better bonus, you can reserve the truck for a private party or fundraiser!

The Indonesian Café you never knew you wanted is now OPEN

BoBoKo, pronounced bo-BO-ko, is now open at the Ice House (217 S. Liberty Street).   Hotiman Ridwan is the lead chef and he cooks up everything from an amazingly tender stewed beef (Beef Randang) to a succulent tomato and butternut squash curry soup.   So if you’re looking to enjoy flavorful and authentic southeast asian food during these dog days of summer, look no further than BoBoKo.

Boboko at the Ice House

Boboko at the Ice House

Server bring out plates of food.

Lunch is Waiting!

Hours: 11:00 – 2:00pm, 4:30pm – 8:00pm Wednesday – Saturday and 10:00am – 2:00pm on Sundays


Phone: 540-434-3542

Ribbon Cutting @ One39 North Liberty Street

The former Hess Furniture building at 139 N. Liberty Street had its official ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday.

139 N Liberty Street Ribbon Cutting

139 N Liberty Street Ribbon Cutting

The renovation project, completed in January, features over 13,000 square feet of commercial space and houses current businesses Frame Factory, Edward Jones, IT Decisions, Immerge Technologies, Journey Counseling, and Big Valley Law.  At Matchbox, we were happy to celebrate another successful project long alongside our tenants!

HessOpening-1279_LOW HessOpening-1278_LOW HessOpening-1273_LOW HessOpening-1271_LOW HessOpening-1268_LOW HessOpening-1267_LOW HessOpening-1264_LOW HessOpening-1260_LOW HessOpening-1259_LOW

139 N Liberty Renovation

139 North Liberty Street, formerly the Hess Furniture building, is set to reopen this month with an exciting new tenant roster.   The building underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2015 to convert the building from an open furniture showroom to a space featuring six new downtown retail and office tenants:

The Frame Factory

Big Valley Law

IT Decisions

Edward Jones

Immerge Technologies

Before Renovations to 139 N Liberty Street

Before Renovations to 139 N Liberty Street


After Renovations to 139 N Liberty Street

After Renovations to 139 N Liberty Street

Gone are the chairs up to the ceiling and the dressers as far as the eye can see (which to be fair, was kind of awesome in a treasure hunter Nicolas Cage kind of way).   Instead, we see new spaces that both integrate the character of the older building and modernize its systems to work within the modern era.

At Matchbox, we are thrilled to be able to renovate and represent another downtown property for the people of Harrisonburg!

Detox/Retox this Saturday starting at 9:30am!

Detox Retox

Ice House Studios’ Detox/Retox has its second running this weekend, June 20th starting at 9:30am on Saturday!   In case you need a reminder, Detox/Retox might be the best value in town:

  • 9:30am: Organized, optional two mile run through Downtown Harrisonburg
  • 10:00am: One hour outdoor yoga/pilates class
  • 11:00am: One beer at Pale Fire brewery or One coffee at Black Sheep Coffee

All of this, for only $10!

If you are interested in the event, just follow the Facebook link and make sure to visit The Ice House at 217 S. Liberty Street in Harrisonburg, Virginia!

Pure Eats opens at Ice House!


Harrisonburg Ice House - Pure Eats

Harrisonburg Ice House – Pure Eats

Every morning you likely wake up and say to yourself, “Why am I not eating donuts?    Better yet, why am I not eating bacon covered donuts?”   We at Matchbox can empathize with this feeling and luckily there is a restaurant in town that can finally make these dreams come true.

Adding the Finishing Touches inside Pure Eats!!

Adding the Finishing Touches!

Pure Eats (217 S. Liberty Street, Ice House) opens this Friday, yes TOMORROW,  starting at 7am!   Pure Eats is a new American diner focused on high quality, locally sourced products and will feature breakfast sandwiches, wraps, salads, burgers, and DOUGHNUTS.    So don’t walk, RUN, to Ice House tomorrow to check out Harrisonburg’s newest dining experience.

Pure Eats

Pure Eats

Detox/Retox begins at Ice House this Saturday, May 23rd

Ice House Studios and Pale Fire Brewing Co. announced Detox/Retox, a new training program for all Harrisonburg residents, starting this weekend!    Check out this amazing deal.

For $10 you get:

  • One pint of Pale Fire beer
  • One hour Yoga/Pilates combo class
  • Two mile guided run through Downtown Harrisonburg

Ten dollars, that’s it.

Detox/Retox events will run Saturday mornings at 9:30am on the following dates:

May 23rd

June 20th

July 25th

August 22nd

September 19th

Make sure to sign up at    You can register on the home page by typing Detox/Retox into the “Questions/Comments” section along with dates you are interested in.

Detox Retox at the Ice House

Detox Retox at the Ice House


The Ice House Grand Opening has begun!

Come one, come all, the Ice House Grand Opening has begun and is in full effect at 217 South Liberty Street!


Ice House Grand Opening!

Ice House Grand Opening!

Enjoy Pale Fire Brewing Company!    Free donuts from Pure Eats!    Pulled pork BBQ from Local Chop and Grill House!    DJ Ryan Clark spinning classic hits!   Cornhole!   Win free prizes and more!


Come check us out!

Yellow Button and Black Sheep Coffee @ the Ice House

Have you seen the new Yellow Button space at the Ice House (217 S. Liberty Street)?

Yellow Button at the Ice HouseYellow Button at the Ice House  Yellow Button at the Ice House Yellow Button at the Ice House Yellow Button at the Ice House

Owner Miranda Ebersold recently moved her store from its Main Street location to become part of Harrisonburg’s most exciting downtown project.    The new Yellow Button location offers a dynamic showroom and is located directly across from the new Hugo Kohl jewelry showroom.


Next door is Black Sheep Coffee

Black Sheep at the Ice House Black Sheep at the Ice House Black Sheep at the Ice House Black Sheep at the Ice House Black Sheep at the Ice House


Owner Chance Ebersold has brought his love of coffee to Downtown Harrisonburg with a unique and one of a kind space at Ice House.    For more information on Black Sheep check out the recent DNR online article.


Make sure to check out both spaces and stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for Pale Fire Brewery’s upcoming grand opening announcement!

Harrisonburg Ice House Grand Opening Event

Ice House Grand Opening

Ice House Grand Opening

Join us Saturday, April 18th from 12:00pm to 4:00pm for the Grand Opening of the coolest spot in Harrisonburg!

Check out Harrisonburg’s newest downtown businesses including:

There will be music, activities, food and more!

As an added bonus, the first 500 to complete our Ice House Challenge will be entered to win prizes including Do Downtown t-shirts, gift certificates to Ice House businesses, and more! Just register at our Matchbox booth on the day of the event to receive your free Ice House Grand Opening postcard, get a stamp from each of our participating businesses, and you will be automatically entered to win!

The Ice House is located at 217 South Liberty Street in the heart of Downtown Harrisonburg across from Turner Pavilion and the Farmer’s Market.

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

The Golden Pony taking over 181 North Main Street


Paul Somers signing a lease to 181 N Main

Paul Somers signing a lease to 181 N Main

Matchbox is thrilled to announce a lease between The Golden Pony and The Walton Hotel for the ground floor and basement of 181 North Main Street.   The space formerly occupied by The Blue Nile will house a new restaurant and continue the dynamic musical tradition of the space.  Paul Somers, The Golden Pony’s owner and general manager, describes the business below:

“The Golden Pony is an up and coming restaurant/bar/venue right on Main Street in Downtown Harrisonburg, in the space formerly occupied by The Blue Nile. Many changes to the space are already underway and it will show many contrasts to the previous tenants. The Golden Pony’s menu will be comprised of simple, down-to-earth American cuisine that is imaginative and easy to love. This style of menu will be quite affordable and appeal to families, groups of friends, college students and all sorts of other downtowners. Capitalizing on the success of the downstairs venue while under Blue Nile management, The Golden Pony will continue in the tradition of supporting the Harrisonburg music scene, while bringing in touring performers from all over. Friday and Saturday night dance parties will be back with all of Harrisonburg’s best DJ’s. This is all not to mention the poetry readings, comedy nights and other fun and cultural activities that will attract more people to our wonderful Downtown Harrisonburg. Other exciting plans that “The Pony” has for Downtown will be its Late Night Breakfast being served every Friday and Saturday night in the upstairs dining room and outdoor patio, from midnight until 5 am! This is sure to be a hit in a Downtown with no other breakfast service at that hour. There are many many more exciting things and developments, like the new and improved seating for the upstairs patio, or the interior murals painted by local artist Elliott Downs, etc, etc, etc. BUT you will have to wait for these details, as The Golden Pony wants to maintain your interest and intrigue with all of their plans. The Golden Pony will be here come February, but until then they tell us to “Stay Gold.”

For more information on The Golden Pony, check out their indiegogo page.

Harrisonburg’s Downtown Streetscape Project

Main Street Streetscape

Main Street Streetscape

WHAT IT IS:  The Harrisonburg Main Street Streetscape project is part of Harrisonburg’s ongoing efforts to revitalize its downtown by investing in the downtown infrastructure.

WHEN WILL IT BE DONE: Construction is slated for completion by December 2014!

WHERE WILL THE IMPROVEMENTS BE MADE: See the photo above.   The sidewalk and hardscape areas will be improved from Bruce Street all the way to Court Square.   This will create a more pedestrian friendly corridor and further enhance the downtown we know and love.

For more information on the Main Street Streetscape project, visit their “Next Steps” page.

Collins Center moving to the Ice House!

Executive Director Melissa Fisher signs the Collins Center’s new lease for the Ice House

Executive Director Melissa Fisher signs the Collins Center’s new lease for the Ice House

Matchbox Downtown is thrilled to announce The Collins Center has moving to the Ice House!   As described on the its website, the Collins Center “is a grassroots organization that began over twenty years ago…which currently reaches nearly 4,000 people through its prevention outreach annually, and serves men, women and children through its therapy program.”
The Collins Center rounds out a dynamic office community at the Ice House which also includes Evans Law Group, Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board, and Shenandoah Valley Organic.


More information, including a full release of the Ice House’s tenant roster coming early next week!

City Council approves Conference Center finance structure

In a historic move, City Council voted 3-2 in favor of Hotel Madison, a new hotel and conference center in Downtown Harrisonburg!   The site will host 205 rooms and over 20,000 square feet of conference center space.   Expected completion of the site is slated for 2016.


Here at Matchbox Downtown, we are thrilled to see continued investment in our community.   Adding 200+ hotel beds should have a significant impact on the businesses, restaurants, and projects that have come to define this town.

For more information, you can view the video of City Council’s October 14th meeting here.


Harrisonburg International CommUNITY Celebration begins next week!

From an outsider’s perspective, Harrisonburg may not seem to be the most diverse place in the world.   But after living here, you soon realize the breadth of cultural diversity that shapes the lives of Harrisonburg residents.   This diversity is reflected everywhere from restaurants to churches to art, and makes Harrisonburg what it is today.

Beginning Monday, September 22nd running through Sunday October 5th Harrisonburg will celebrate its international community through a series of events kicking off with JMU International Week, featuring the Explore More Museum’s: One World Exhibit and closing the Latino Film Festival at Court Square Theater.


You can see a full list of events here.

Three Notch’d celebrates at Urban Exchange this weekend!



Three Notch’d Brewery (241 East Market Street) will have a Welcome Back celebration this Saturday, August 30th!   The celebration will feature several food trucks and bands, and they’re even offering Buy 1, Get 1 free on your first pint for all Urban Exchange residents!   Sounds like a friendly neighbor to me.

So if you’re in the neighborhood on this upcoming beautiful Saturday afternoon and feel like dancing, eating, or drinking, this is probably a good place to visit!

Ice House apartment move-ins today!

Perhaps you’ve seen the active construction zone on Liberty Street, across from the Farmer’s Market.   The Ice House project is well underway and we have our first residential tenants moving in today!

There are 34 apartments in total consisting of studios and one bedroom units.   The Ice House is currently 100% leased, but make sure to check in with Matchbox if you are interested in being a member of this cool community next year!

Check out the photos below which show these one of a kind units in all their glory.

Ice House Exterior

The residential sections (top 2 floors) are complete, but there is still a lot going on in the commercial spaces!


Window Screens

From the outside, it looks solid, up close it looks like a screen step back a few feet and you can’t even see the screen!


Ice House Bathroom

Ice House Bathroom

Ice House Studio Apartment

Ice House Studio Apartment

Ice House Kitchen

Ice House Kitchen complete with a large butcher block island!

Ice House Apartment

A few lucky tenants get a little original exposed brick to enjoy!

Ice House 1 bedroom

The one bedrooms let the air flow with the open ceilings.

Ice House Studio

Ice House studio with a great view looking down Liberty Street!

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.

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.

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.

Valley Fourth takes over Downtown Harrisonburg

Valley Fourth parade path

So many things are happening in Downtown Harrisonburg this weekend, it can be hard to keep track.

Here’s a quick schedule of events:

8:30am: Valley Fourth Run

9:00am: After party for runners and participants at Jack Brown’s (80 South Main Street)

11:00am: The Little Red Hen puppet show (for the kiddies) at Court Square Theater

3:00pm – 700pm: Grillin’ at the Pavilion

4:00pm – 8:30pm: Beers N’ Cheers

6:00pm: THE PARADE (see path above)

9:30pm: Fireworks!!! at Turner Pavilion

Ok, just to recap, there will be exercise, shows for the kids, a grilling cookoff, beers, a parade, and fireworks.   Can it get any better?

Rocktown Rye

The event we are most excited for is the Beers N’ Cheers event which will feature Harrisonburg’s very own:


This is a collaboration with Three Brothers and Harrisonburg’s new brewery Pale Fire Brewery which will be opening in the Ice House in early 2015.  Make sure to go by and sample the beer and chat up Pale Fire owners and brewers Tim Brady and Jamie Long

So get out, get active, and enjoy all that Harrisonburg has to offer this weekend!


Tour Downtown the Fun Way

The Valley 4th RUN is THIS Friday, July 4th beginning at 8:30am!

If you have not signed up already, you can register at Capital Ale House (41 court Square) on July 3rd from 4pm to 7pm or register in Court Square downtown on July 4th from 7am – 8am.

The race is even offered in three different sizes, from 1 mile, to 5K, and 10K!

You can check out more race details here.

Raise the Roof!

No really, a Willow Street house is being raised a dramatic 42″. The owner of this old brick house discovered only a few months ago that this was even an option after years of working with architects on how she could expand her home.  Dana Harshberger learned of the option in April so after 4 years of planning, she ran with it.

Willow Street Lifted House

Willow Street Lifted House

The estimated 200 ton house was lifted with hydraulic lifts by Ayers House Movers yesterday and is currently sitting about 4′ off the original foundation. Design Concrete Builders are coming in to remove the current foundation and put a new one in that will provide Dana with a new living space. The whole process, from raising to lowering will take about a month and a half.

Window to Door?

Window to Door?

Hydraulic Lines

Hydraulic Lines


Giant Jenga Anyone?

Giant Jenga Anyone?


With all of the activity in downtown and the downtown housing market, it is not a surprise to see owners adding on to what they have instead of looking for new property elsewhere.   And after this four year labor of love, I’m sure Dana will be thrilled with the finished product, even if it was not something she ever would have initially considered.

Toast the Weekend at Bluestone Vineyards

Toast June 27 flyer

Just look at the flyer above.   Doesn’t that look fun?!?   There will be music, wine, food from food trucks, AND fireworks!!!   There will literally be exploding fire shot into the air for your enjoyment.   How cool is that?

Bluestone Vineyards Toast the Weekend Summer series is about as good as it gets for summer fare in the Valley.   Cover charge is $10 and showtime begins at 6:30pm.

Run, Sweat, and Beers at Three Brothers this Friday!

run sweat beers logo


Are you a die hard runner who wakes up every morning at 5am to greet the sun while pounding the payment with hurried steps?   Me neither.   That’s why Three Brother’s Run Sweat & Beers is the best thing ever.   You can run 1 mile, 3 miles, or 5 miles, and get this, you get discounted beer afterwards for participating.

The event runs every fourth Friday of the month and will begin this Friday at 5:30pm at Three Brothers Brewery (800 North Main Street).    Make sure to check it out!

Jimmy Madison’s coming to Downtown

jimmy madison's logo

The new concept for the old Dave’s Taverna has long been rumored since the space was leased this past winter.   Would it be a direct import of Staunton’s incredibly popular Byers Street Bistro?  Would it be another wood fired pizza concept?   Or maybe even a sports bar?

We finally began to get answers with owner Jeff Ramsey’s press release about what to expect from Jimmy Madison’s (121 South Main Street) and the news seems to fill a much needed void here in Downtown Harrisonburg.   The concept is stylized southern cuisine with an emphasis on authenticity and ambiance (high quality ingredients, live music throughout the week), and a special attention to the drink many southerners have come to love, whiskey.   While the outdoor dining that made Dave’s so popular will not be available, the interior of Jimmy Madison’s should be well worth the price of admission.   The interior work is led by a team of professionals including Harrisonburg’s own Sustainable Solutions, a group which specializes in the creative use of reclaimed materials and natural elements that enhance the authentic value of historic properties.

Here at Matchbox we are thrilled to see such a thoughtful renovation underway, and we wish Jeff and his team the best going forward with his new business here in Harrisonburg!

Three Notch’d Grand Opening NEXT Saturday, June 28th


Three Notch'd Brewery downtown Harrisonburg

Three Notch’d Brewery, Downtown Harrisonburg at the Urban Exchange!

Oh, man.  Three Notch’d Brewery is having its OFFICIAL Grand Opening NEXT Saturday, June 28th at Urban Exchange!    There will be music and food and Harrisonburg specific brews made in house for all to enjoy!   The party starts in the parking lot between MOD Display and Urban Exchange (241 East Market Street) at 12:30pm and rocks on until 9:00pm after which the party will move inside to the tasting room.

For more details, visit the Three Notch’d events page here.

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.

Look who’s moving into the Ice House!

Center & Breathe Lease Signing

Center & Breathe Lease Signing

The Center Yoga and Breathe Pilates are joining together to open a new state-of-the-art studio at The Ice House in downtown Harrisonburg. The Center and Breathe both are well known for their superior classes and welcoming communities. Now that they will be together, students of Yoga and Pilates will have even more opportunities to grow stronger, more balanced, and peaceful in a breath-taking new space. While both The Center and Breathe will maintain their identities, the new location—named Ice House Studios—also will offer massage, special events, classes on wellness, programs for kids, and will open in January 2015.
Center & Breathe in Ice House Studios

Center & Breathe in Ice House Studios


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.