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A semi-regular look at a fleeting form of restaurant swag in smoking ban-era D.C.
LivingSocial’s new live event space in Penn Quarter, which debuted last month, features some very up-to-the-minute modern amenities, including a state-of-the-art kitchen for visiting chefs to host pop-up dinners, such as Mike Isabella‘s recent Bandolero preview and next week’s sneak peek of what Johnny Spero is planning to cook up at the forthcoming Eastern Market eatery sŪna.
It also offers some old-fashioned souvenirs: boxes of matches emblazoned with the LivingSocial logo.
Once a common form of bar and restaurant promotion, the complimentary pack of fire sticks isn’t all that easy to come by these days, what with the current era of austerity, modern indoor smoking regulations and cell phones reducing the need for something handy to scribble down phone numbers. In recent years, though, there have been reports of restaurant matches experiencing a fragile renaissance.
The folks at LivingSocial, at least, seem to think there’s some use in having the things around. “We put them out because a lot of people like matches; they are practical and serve as a great takeaway for our consumers to remember their evening at 918 F Street,” says LivingSocial spokesperson Maire Griffin.
“The matches we set out went so quickly that we plan on ordering more,” adds Griffin. So far, the company has ordered about 5,400 of the matchboxes; the next order, she says, will feature a new design.
Griffin estimates that roughly 40 percent of patrons who’ve bought tickets to recent dinners at the event space have grabbed a book of matches.
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