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Matchbox Is Moving Out of Its Original D.C. Location in Chinatown

The homegrown wood-fired pie chain is relocating to its new outpost nearby

Matchbox’s first location will soon shutter.
Matchbox/official photo

The original Matchbox in Chinatown that got the homegrown pizza chain started 10 years ago will go dark as part of plan to relocate to a previously-announced location nearby.

It’s unclear when the O.G. location will shutter at 713 H Street NW. Plans to close there were revealed at the bottom of a news release about the brand’s Silver Spring location, which is set to open on Friday. Eater has reached out to representatives for Matchbox to inquire about the timing of the move.

Prolific Chinatown landlord Douglas Development has already put the 2,400-square-foot space on H Street on the market.

This summer, the bustling neighborhood surrounding Capital One Arena will welcome a 4,500-square-foot arrival a short walk away Penn Quarter at 750 E Street NW. Thompson Hospitality Group announced plans in February to plant a Matchbox in the space formerly occupied by Hen Quarter, which closed near the end of 2018.

Matchbox’s founding partners picked the brand’s first location because it resembles a matchbox; the narrow, rectangular building rises three stories and spans just 15 feet across. It stood vacant for so long, a tree grew inside of it — “like kindling waiting to start a new fire,” according to their website.

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.

Thompson’s rebooted regional expansion plan for Matchbox calls for smaller, neighborhood-focused sites that sport an intimate pizza parlor feel. One is opening in downtown Silver Spring on Friday, April 5, featuring a flurry of debut lunch and dinner items (more on that later this week), and another is en route to Bethesda.

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