Barbecue fans have something exciting to look forward to in Williamsburg: a new Matchsticks BBQ location.
Owners of the local food truck favorite Matt and Nicole Sileno first came to the area to serve their family-style barbecue in 2018. In just a short amount of time, they’ve grown to be a hit at local breweries and in the community, Matt Sileno said.
The business has been busy the past two years getting to know their clientele and even started a Lunch Box Program where guests can donate $2 to help reduce school lunch debt for Williamsburg-James City County public schools.
“When we started, it was more than just putting out good barbecue,” Matt Sileno said. “It was about making a difference, being a part of the community.”
The couple’s goal has always been to open a physical location where they could expand and offer even more to guests outside the limits of a food truck.
The new location, which will be in Midtown Row, will feature a large smoker cooker, fondly nicknamed “Large Marge,” and will have the atmosphere of a “fast-casual barbecue joint,” he said.
He described the future decor as being “rustic” and “open,” with high ceilings and a 15-top bar. He said the plan is to also feature local brewery selections so guests can really get a feel for community-created products.
“We hope it is a place where people can feel like family,” he added. “We want it to be somewhere where everyone can come together and put aside your beliefs and politics and all of the craziness in the world.”
Since he was young, Matt Sileno said he wanted to open up a food place because he loved to cook. He said his parents were great cooks and they always invited him into the kitchen. He eventually ended up in Northern Virginia and married Nicole.
It was on their honeymoon that they discussed their future and wanted to get away from the stress in their current life working in sales and as a government contractor. That’s how they decided to flip their lives upside down and start a business in Williamsburg.
Matchsticks started out in the food truck that was featured in the couple’s wedding, Matt Sileno said. After the wedding, the owners of the truck decided to sell it and the couple thought it was the perfect sign to start their business.
Now, they will be expanding their labor of love to a new location while maintaining the food truck.
Sileno said while it will be a challenge to continue with both a brick-and-mortar location and a mobile option, he and his wife are up to the task. The food truck will still be used for events, festivals and caterings as well as its usual brewery stops but potentially not as frequently.
The goal is to have the location open by April but Matt Sileno said it is still up in the air depending on various permit approvals.
For more information on Matchsticks BBQ or updates on their opening, visit Matchsticks BBQ online.