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Local wood-fired restaurant closing its doors after 5 years; owner cites city construction project

Local wood-fired restaurant closing its doors after 5 years; owner cites city construction project

Sav McKee

“While this decision was not made lightly, we are filled with gratitude as we reflect on the incredible journey we have had together,” Matt Rootes and Tony Wildman.

Rootes and Wildman co-own Matt and Tony’s Wood-Fired Kitchen, which is located at 525 Short Street. Opened in 2019, this local restaurant’s last day serving steaks and burgers to loyal patrons will officially be September 24, 2023.

“There was the pandemic, which made us close for a year, then everything that came with that, like only being open for dinner…we just started getting back up on our feet, but then construction started,” explained Rootes. Their closure is “for sure because of the construction,” Rootes confirmed.


He’s referring to the Short Street “Roadway Improvement” construction project that’s been ongoing behind the Kroger in the Brewery District, which was estimated to end the summer of 2022. At one point, Short Street was closed, then opened, then there was a detour, then another detour. “Our guests just couldn’t get there,” explained Rootes.

“When we first heard about the construction, there weren’t a whole lot of details about what was going to happen. But as it started moving closer to us, it really started affecting us. Closing was a tough decision, but it’s bittersweet,” Rootes said.

Rootes and Wildman also co-own Moran’s Bar and Grille together as well, over at 415 North Front St., as well as Matt and Tony’s Kitchen x Tavern at 340 E. Gay St. Their employees at the closing wood-fired kitchen will be transitioning over to their Gay St. location, so “make sure to go say hi!” Rootes said.

“We want to thank everyone for the patronage, with heartfelt gratitude. Visit us at our sister restaurant!” said Rootes.

Photo via Matt and Tony’s Facebook

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