Highly Anticipated “Matchstick” Gets Ready To Open Its Doors In Chinatown

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by Andrew Morrison | The long awaited second location of the Fraserhood’s excellent Matchstick Coffee Roasters is on the verge of opening at 213 East Georgia St. in Chinatown (the same block as Phnom Penh and Mamie Taylor’s). If all goes according to plan, they could open as soon as this Wednesday.

So what can we expect? First and foremost, it should be noted that this Matchstick will be licensed. They’ll be serving five beers and one cider (all on tap) in addition to their own coffee line up. On opening day, we’ll see Four Winds’ pale ale and porter, Hoyne’s pale ale and pilsener, Moon Under Water’s IPA, and Merridale Cider.

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They’re also upping their food game with – get this – a toast bar. They’ll be using their in-house, naturally leavened organic bread and spreading slices with plain butter, walnut butter, seasonal preserves, tapenades, and chutney. Oh, and cinnamon toast, because when you have a toast bar, there has to be cinnamon toast (it’s in the rules). They’ll also be baking their own croissants and making their own granola, plus they’re working on perfecting a hash as we speak. The lunch menu will see all of the above (if there’s any of it left), plus sandwiches of both vegetarian and meaty persuasion, the latter employing cured meats from Drew Driesson of D’Original Sausage Co. on Main Street.

And dinner! They’ll be doing dinner, too, with Mac & Cheese (with or without bacon), meat and cheese boards, and a variety of savoury flatbreads. The food program is being run by the Ballymaloe-trained Annabelle Choi, who is back home after toiling at Tartine and Craftsman & Wolves in San Francisco. According to Choi, the food at Matchstick is meant to “underscore and reinforce the connection between coffee and community.”

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Their communal philosophy clearly comes across in the design on the cavernous space, which can seat upwards of 80 people in cozy window nooks and on little red stools that front a series of shared wooden tables. The massive beech plank table in front of the giant map of South America is particular awesome, but my favourite detail is the black wood cladding of the bakery and one of the walls at the front by the door. It looks painted black from afar, but if you get up close (or spy the shots above), you can see that they were toasted.

They’ll be playing their hours by ear to start, but I’m told the ballpark is around 7am to 9pm. Cross your fingers for Wednesday and take a closer look at the interior below.

  • Co-owners Annie and Spencer Viehweger (and wee little Abraham) getting set for opening day
    Co-owners Annie and Spencer Viehweger (and wee little Abraham) getting set for opening day
  • There are four communal tables on the right side of the room, 3 high tops and 1 low
    There are four communal tables on the right side of the room, 3 high tops and 1 low
  • The low top communal table seats about 16 people
    The low top communal table seats about 16 people
  • Five deuces facing the toasted wood-clad bakery/kitchen
    Five deuces facing the toasted wood-clad bakery/kitchen
  • Owners Annie and Spencer Viehweger (plus wee little Abraham) with the staff (Annabelle Choi standing left
    Owners Annie and Spencer Viehweger (plus wee little Abraham) with the staff (Annabelle Choi standing left
  • Love the colour contrast of the wood against the concrete and the high bar stools
    Love the colour contrast of the wood against the concrete and the high bar stools
  • And the combo looks good from pretty much every angle
    And the combo looks good from pretty much every angle
  • Bench banquette and deuces
    Bench banquette and deuces
  • The window of the bakery looking out onto the floor
    The window of the bakery looking out onto the floor
  • Close up of Matchstick's branded to go cups
    Close up of Matchstick's branded to go cups
  • The kitchen (the part we don't see)
    The kitchen (the part we don't see)
  • Test loaves in the kitchen (the part we don't see)
    Test loaves in the kitchen (the part we don't see)
  • Tall glass coffee soldiers getting reading for battle
    Tall glass coffee soldiers getting reading for battle
  • Six taps in a coffee house is cool with us
    Six taps in a coffee house is cool with us
  • Rise!
    Rise!
  • Vinyl tunage. The original Matchstick at Fraser and Kingsway has great taste in music. Expect more of the same here.
    Vinyl tunage. The original Matchstick at Fraser and Kingsway has great taste in music. Expect more of the same here.
  • Kenwood gets a close up
    Kenwood gets a close up
  • The herbs love the tunes.
    The herbs love the tunes.
  • Tucked in the window at the front of the space
    Tucked in the window at the front of the space
  • Beanage on the back shelf behind the counter
    Beanage on the back shelf behind the counter
  • Retail display shelf at the front of the space
    Retail display shelf at the front of the space
  • iPad point of sale systems in place and ready to go
    iPad point of sale systems in place and ready to go
  • The paper might be coming off these windows as soon as Wednesday
    The paper might be coming off these windows as soon as Wednesday
  • We love the angling of the bakery/kitchen window
    We love the angling of the bakery/kitchen window
  • Barista-eye view of the front (staff meeting)
    Barista-eye view of the front (staff meeting)
  • The front right of the space, with retail selection and seating for three
    The front right of the space, with retail selection and seating for three
  • Ferrari make my coffee
    Ferrari make my coffee
  • Test flatbread
    Test flatbread
  • Behind the counter
    Behind the counter
  • Matchstick's own beans
    Matchstick's own beans
  • Clean lines behind the counter
    Clean lines behind the counter
  • Test flatbreads
    Test flatbreads
  • The kitchen/bakery
    The kitchen/bakery
  • Abraham getting thrown in the air, because that's what you do with babies.
    Abraham getting thrown in the air, because that's what you do with babies.
  • Frontage and retail
    Frontage and retail
  • Rear deuce detail with toasted wood
    Rear deuce detail with toasted wood
  • The long communal table at the rear of the room
    The long communal table at the rear of the room
  • Deeply recessed hangout area by the front door
    Deeply recessed hangout area by the front door
  • Spencer and Abraham checking out the map of South America
    Spencer and Abraham checking out the map of South America
  • Map of South America at big communal table
    Map of South America at big communal table
  • The staff getting set for D-day, perhaps as soon as this Wednesday!
    The staff getting set for D-day, perhaps as soon as this Wednesday!

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

There are 6 comments

  1. Toast bars, so hot right now… just like San Fran’s The Mill. Will Matchstick charge the incendiary price of $4 per slice (see cover of edible San Francisco). Kudos to the Matchstick team on another beautiful space.

  2. Seating looks so uncomfortable, just like their first space. Will give it a go though. They may just surprise me.
    I actually think the menu sounds quite scrumptious. Toast bars are a relatively easy comfort dish to offer, I like it ….but again the seating isn’t screaming comfort. The question is – will they be offering British beans n’ leeks on toast?!
    : )

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