A decade after the first Matchbox debuted in Chinatown, the busy neighborhood surrounding Capital One Arena can expect another outpost of the local wood-fired pie chain nearby.
Thompson Hospitality Group plans to plant a Matchbox in the Penn Quarter space formerly occupied by Hen Quarter, which closed near the end of 2018 at 750 E Street NW. Representatives for the group confirmed to Eater that a Matchbox will slide into the space — Popville first spotted signage — but declined to provide details about when it might open.
Thompson absorbed Matchbox with an $11 million investment last summer. The pizza chain currently has eight locations in the D.C. area to go along with restaurants in Richmond, Virginia, Dallas, Texas, and Sunrise, Florida.
Hen Quarter’s Silver Spring location also called it quits in October, which means the brand is down to one local restaurant (Alexandria) for its Southern fried chicken. There’s another Hen Quarter listed in Dublin, Ohio.
Thompson’s regional expansion plan for Matchbox calls for smaller, neighborhood-focused sites that sport an intimate pizza parlor feel.
A previously-announced Matchbox is still on track to open in Bethesda this summer, setting up in the 3,000-square-foot location formerly filled by fellow Thompson Hospitality Group spot American Tap Room (7278 Woodmont Avenue). Culinary director Jim Drost is expected to sprinkle new items to Matchbox’s existing lineup of wood-fired pizzas, mini burgers, tuna tartare tacos, and supersized meatballs.
Another Matchbox is also en route to Silver Spring.