Matchbox to Open First Florida Location at Sawgrass Mills

Matchbox, an upscale casual restaurant concept, is coming to Sawgrass Mills.

The restaurant chain, owned by Matchbox Food Group, currently has five locations in Washington, D.C., and one in Palm Springs, California. The restaurant is looking to expand into the South Florida market, with the first Broward location slated for the first quarter of 2016. Matchbox's owners plan to open additional stores in this market in the next two to five years.

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The restaurant specializes in refined American classics that are made in house, like wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and its signature Angus miniburgers.

The South Florida location is set to be the largest Matchbox. The 11,000-square-foot building will seat 350 guests inside and 150 on the 2,500-square-foot patio and will be decorated with reclaimed barn-wood walls, a bar overlooking the pizza ovens, and handmade glass-topped tables embedded with vintage matchboxes.

Matchbox chef Stephen Lyons, who oversees all culinary operations for Matchbox, is at work elevating the restaurant's menu to suit South Florida tastes, saying, "In D.C., we experience all four seasons. I think the biggest difference between our diners is that they tend to order dishes in reflection of the temperatures outside. Guests appreciate a comforting soup during chilly winter days and fresh, seasonal salads during our hot summers. I'm excited to play around with the flavors and seasonal ingredients South Florida has to offer for our new diners."

Lyons said that, while, "our famous mini-burgers and wood-fired pizzas may have put us on the map, but we offer an elevated level of dining that separates us from your average pizza spot. With our South Florida location, I'll be launching a bistro menu that takes refined, classic dishes to a new level."

Visit matchboxfoodgroup.com.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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