Matt Pool on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, His Last Meal on Earth, and What Most People Don't Know About Coffee
|Matt's Butter Burger, made with Niman Ranch beef|
Why did you choose downtown for a location?: I love downtowns. I live downtown. Nothing against the suburbs, but they're just not for me.
Did it feel like a risky move at the time?: I didn't feel like it was that risky, but others sure did. Lots of people would tell me what a horrible location it was and wonder how anyone would find us. Once we became busy, and there were people outside waiting to eat, lots of people would tell me what a great location we had! I guess it's just a matter of perspective.
Has downtown changed since you opened?: The neighborhood has changed a ton. There are many more restaurants and businesses than before. Having ASU downtown has been a game-changer for the whole area. Our menu hasn't changed at all; our execution of it continues to improve all the time.
How much did you know about running a restaurant when you opened Matt's?: I've worked in restaurants or hotels since I was 14, so I had a bunch of experience, but I've no doubt had to learn tons along the way. Working in a restaurant and owning and operating your own restaurant are two very different things.