Since the day his journey began in the restaurant industry following high school, Matt Sloan has always drawn his motivation for the culinary world from his late great-grandfather, Anton “Tony” Schabas. Schabas emigrated to the U.S. from Austria in his late teens and worked as a formally trained pastry chef for all of his career.
“He has always been an inspiration to me, and I was always just so interested in his story,” says Sloan. It’s that inspiration that has now led Sloan on the path to opening his first restaurant, Matt and Tony’s in Del Ray.
From studying hospitality business at Michigan State University to moving to the DC area and working in various restaurants, Sloan has climbed his way up the industry chain. But the end goal was never far from mind. Sloan says he always knew he wanted to open a restaurant.
It was really when he joined Alexandria Restaurant Partners that the opportunity truly presented itself.
“That is kind of where it all came into fruition,” says Sloan. “[Alexandria Restaurant Partners] knew that my goal was to open my own restaurant, and that’s when they came to me with this opportunity. They’ve been incredible and very supportive throughout the whole thing.”
Matt & Tony’s is set to be an American-fare-style restaurant with an emphasis on all-day brunch.
“It is really going to be centered around that idea,” says Sloan. “We’re going to highlight some really great brunch items.”
Cast iron steak and eggs, scotch eggs, and corn flake-crusted French toast are just a few of the dishes being considered as the menu is crafted.
And for those who prefer to eat a little healthier, Matt & Tony’s has you covered. They plan to work some healthier options into the menu, as well to provide a little something for everyone.
“We’re working on our own take on a porridge dish using steel cut oats and quinoa with different toppings,” says Sloan.
A reminder of Sloan’s inspiration can be found in the restaurant’s name and potentially on the menu as well.
The name for the restaurant is a take on both his and his great-grandfather’s names. Some menu items may play off of some of Anton’s old recipes. For instance, his famous rye bread.
“We will definitely be working rye bread in somewhere as an ode to my great-grandfather, but I also have some of his recipes that we’re going to try and incorporate in different ways,” Sloan says.
Matt & Tony’s will be located at 1501 Mount Vernon Ave., the previous location of Charlie’s on the Avenue and FireFlies. The restaurant’s design is being done by David Chenault and is set to have what Sloan describes as a really cool but still family-friendly neighborhood vibe.
“I knew I wanted to be in a neighborhood like Del Ray and when I saw the building and location, I knew it was the perfect place to open my first restaurant,” Sloan says.
Matt & Tony’s is set to open in early 2022.
Megan Herr is an editor and writer residing in the Shenandoah Valley. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Penn State University.
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