Chow Bella

Matt and Ernie Poole Have Big Plans for Tiny Space at Original Matt's Big Breakfast

There was always a certain irony in the name Matt's Big Breakfast, given that the original 800-square-foot space at the corner of 1st Street and McKinley was so insanely cramped and tiny. But when owners Matt and Ernie Poole moved the city's most popular breakfast spot a block north to bigger digs (in the former Verde space), regulars were by turns delighted and dejected. Would this mean getting in easily or at least shorter waits? Then yay! "But hey! (said a few of us sentimental fools), we're going to miss the sunshine and sweet simplicity of that first humble incarnation."

See also: -- Here's The Grind's New Weekend Breakfast Menu -- La Condesa's Breakfast Could Use a Boost -- Is Matt's Big Breakfast Really Worth Getting Out of Your PJs For?

No need to fret. The Pooles have a great idea for putting the teeny-tiny original Matt's to good use. And it's practical . . .

The big idea is to turn tiny Matt's into a takeout/grab-and-go operation with no table service. Brilliant, right?

Matt and Ernie have been sprucing the place up a bit -- no remodeling, just fixing the roof and re-upholstering the chairs -- while they kick around a few super-simple menu possibilities. They know they'll make The Five Spot (their yummy breakfast sandwich) available as well as the breakfast burritos that sell so well at Giant Coffee (their coffee spot on McDowell). Poole says people who work downtown have been ordering Matt's Butter Burger as a take-out item since Day Two. Now they'll be able to get it much more quickly and easily at the takeout location.

Ernie, who has been making house-made preserves for the restaurant, has branched out into real fruit lollipops, which they'll also sell at the original location. And if you've ever wanted a Matt's Big Breakfast T-shirt, you'll be able to get one of those too, along with (and this is just an idea so far) vintage sodas.

The pair aren't working on a strict timeline, but if all goes well, the new/old place should be open in about three months, give or take.

They haven't settled on a name yet either, although they're pretty certain the word "Matt's" will be in there somewhere. But Poole isn't sweating that. "Before we opened Matt's," he says, "we were planning on calling it The Hog and Chick. We changed our minds about a week before, figuring "hog and chick" sounded too much like a barbecue joint. Matt's Big Breakfast just came to me one night while I was drinking a beer. Maybe I'll have to pop one to come up with this name too."

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Nikki Buchanan