The fourth location of Matchstick Coffee is almost finished construction at 1328 Richards St. (at Drake). Located in the brand new Peter Wall highrise corner complex, the 1,900 sqft cafe is on track to open by the end of this month.
I took a look inside the 70 seat space yesterday as the folks from Harmony Pacific were hard at work fulfilling the vision of Simcic Uhrich Architects. It looks great; the Matchstick design DNA showing loud and clear with big windows, light colour palette, white tiles, Pacific Restaurant Supply equipment and plenty of wood (reclaimed, in this instance). I’m looking forward to seeing how the seating plays out (they had all their chairs in boxes on my visit), especially in the corners, which they always make interesting and comfortable.
Owners Spencer and Annie Viehweger (pictured below) were on hand with their two little kids to show me around the space, which will be the first Matchstick to have a display fridge out front. They’re rolling out their quick-service, grab ‘n go program of sandwiches and salads at this location, which will no doubt be of special note to the urban, hurried set that live and work in these busy parts.
Truly, it will be interesting to see how Matchstick fits in in the area, as the neighbourhood – such as it is – has been in such a state of flux for so long that I don’t think it recognizes itself with all the scaffolding and sidewalk tunnels gone. So many new condos have sprung up in these parts that I imagine the influx of newcomers has changed the face of the community, at least in part. Previous iterations of Matchstick have launched in well-established neighbourhoods (Chinatown, Fraserhood, Riley Park) and have done well – as most cafes do – in introducing neighbours, especially new ones, to one another. I’m sure that streak will continue here. It’s something the company has always striven to do; I just wonder if it will be easier or more difficult here.
Speaking selfishly, I’ll be glad to have Matchstick as a coffee re-up option in this particular section of Vancouver. Their signature roast is on heavy rotation in my home, so I’m familiar with what to expect on the brew front — I like the stuff. I trust it will also prove a solid, cozy, welcoming place to get some work done, too, which is great for creative types who tie themselves to temporary desks. This is an attribute that seems to be a reliable constant with the brand — a fact I’ve admittedly taken advantage of at all three Matchstick addresses to date.
Again, they’re crossing their fingers that they’ll be ready to open before the end of July. Operating hours will be set at 7am to 9pm, seven days a week. Take a look: