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Posted at 4:52 PM ET, 12/ 3/2008

Adding a Spark to Barracks Row

By Julia Beizer

Walking into the soon-to-open Matchbox on 8th Street SE, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in the restaurant's flagship Penn Quarter location. There's the same exposed ductwork, same fabric on high-backed booths, same blond wood tables with vintage matchboxes set into the tops, same fiery pizza oven tucked at the end of the bar. Reclaimed brick and barn wood from Pennsylvania line the walls.

On Friday, a new Matchbox opens on Capitol Hill. (Julia Beizer/

"We were going for the same industrial meets modern" look, said owner Drew Kim today, as he let Fritz and I loose in the restaurant for pictures. The 130-seat restaurant doesn't officially open for business until 5 p.m. on Friday, but holiday greens already deck the red metal staircase that leads to the airy mezzanine level.

Kim and his partners had been on the lookout for a space in Barracks Row -- Kim is one of two that live in the neighborhood -- and snapped up the space (which used to house a vending company) about a year and a half ago. During the four month build-out, the owners removed the ceiling to reveal wooden beams and skylights. As Tom Sietsema wrote last week, one leftover from the previous owners is a shuffleboard table, which was repurposed as part of the sizeable bar.

A shuffleboard table makes up part of the restaurant's new bar. (Julia Beizer/

Expect familiar food along with the familiar look. Chef John McArthur from the Penn Quarter location will be overseeing the Barracks Row kitchen, and has been involved with training the staff. The restaurant will offer brunch this Sunday (starting at 11 a.m.) and both Saturdays and Sundays beginning the following weekend. After the new year, a jazz trio will accompany Sunday brunch. Lunch service is also slated to begin in January.

-- Julia

By Julia Beizer  | December 3, 2008; 4:52 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Damn! I was hoping they'd be open for lunch Friday.

Posted by: monkeyrotica | December 4, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

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