Barracks Row’s Las Placitas To Give Way to Matchbox Expansion Plans
Character of Capitol Hill Continues to Changes As Higher Rents Attract Richer Clients
by Larry Janezich
The owner of the building housing Barracks Row institution that is Las Placitas at 517 8th Street, SE, will not renew the restaurant’s lease when it expires in October, and Matchbox – located next door – will expand into the space.
Matchbox Food Group co-owner, Drew Kim, told CHC, “Matchbox Capitol Hill is reinvesting back into the community and neighborhood after six years on Barracks Row. We will be expanding our bar and seating and offering space for small groups. We are doing this under the support of the previous tenant. We also listened to our regulars and are adding in…more bathrooms!” After renovation this fall, the new space will open in the first quarter of 2016.
Las Placitas opened on Barracks Row in 1990, at a time when 8th Street was a risky destination for residents.
Matchbox, which is laying plans for a national expansion, owns 12 restaurants in the area – three on Barracks Row: Matchbox, Ted’s Bulletin, and DC-3. What is now Matchbox Food Group opened its first restaurant in Chinatown in 2002.
Las Placitas is the latest in a trend of retail and older bar/restaurants giving way to higher paying establishments. Examples include Homebody, Frame of Mine, Sneed’s Barbershop, and XOXO Cleaners. Some of the older bars/restaurants, on the other hand, have fallen victim to national chain retail able to afford higher rents, such as Remington’s which will become a Sprint outlet and a 7-11 convenience store, and the L’l Pub which was taken over by CVS.