Matchbox Abandons Plan to Expand on Barracks Row & Closes DC-3 Hot Dogs

517 8th Street - formerly the home of Las Placitas is up for lease

517 8th Street – formerly the home of Las Placitas is up for lease

and DC-3 Hot Dogs is closed.

and DC-3 Hot Dogs is closed.

Matchbox Abandons Plan to Expand on Barracks Row & Closes DC-3 Hot Dogs

by Larry Janezich

The “For Lease” sign in the window of the former location of Las Placitas on Barracks Row announced Matchbox’s abandonment of the plan to expand into that space.  Las Placitas  lost their lease in 2015 to make way for the expansion; Matchbox had not only begun renovation of the space, but had applied for a liquor license.  A few steps north on Barracks Row, DC-3 Hot Dogs – also owned by Matchbox – sits empty, having closed a few days ago.  The reason for abandoning its roots on Barracks Row is not clear, but it’s likely related to Matchbox’s aggressive plan to expand nationally.  Matchbox Food Group plans to open 36 new restaurants around the country by 2020, as reported May 29 by Rebecca Cooper of WBJ, here:    Matchbox also own Ted’s Bulletin, and the national expansion includes this restaurant as well.  Matchbox Food Group currently operates six Matchox locations and five Ted’s Bulletins.  Matchbox Food Group did not respond to an email asking for comment.

The result of aborted move is two empty restaurant spaces on Barracks Row and leaves the long time community favorite Las Placitas on the other side of the freeway on lower 8th Street.  (‘Las Plac’s” fortunes have improved recently with the imminent opening of The Brig bier garden across the street.)

CHC first reported the Matchbox takeover of Las Placitas space in May of 2015, here:

Update:  This morning, Drew Kim, one of the Matchbox owners gave the following comment regarding DC-3 moving and the Matchbox Capitol Hill expansion:

“DC-3 has landed into the Dulles airport in terminal B.  We are excited about growing DC-3 into airport ventures around the country!  As a long time Cap Hill resident, we loved being able to develop the concept to the needs of the community and our neighbors while preparing it for national expansion. 

We have also decided not to expand the capitol hill matchbox.  Initially, when we heard about the space becoming available, we reacted quickly – maybe a bit too quickly!  And, after review, we felt it was best to focus on the national expansion at Pentagon City and Shortpump Richmond.  Both locations will be opening in Q3.  We are also working closely with the landlord to help find a tenant for the location.

Since 2008, when we opened matchbox on Barracks Row the community has been so supportive and we look forward to a long lasting relationship with our neighbors.  We are continuing to evolve the brand and are looking forward to bringing fresh new ideas to matchbox and Ted’s Bulletin for the barracks row community.”



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13 responses to “Matchbox Abandons Plan to Expand on Barracks Row & Closes DC-3 Hot Dogs

  1. With the renovation already started, I don’t buy the story that they are stopping because of the national expansion. Something is up.

    • John

      I’m only speculating here, but there seems to have been a noticeable decline in dining activity on Barracks Row over the past few months. Perhaps it’s due to increased competition from new Navy Yard restaurants or maybe it’s a lack of creative menus, but I haven’t had any trouble walking right into a restaurant on a Friday night in quite some time (Rose’s and Garrison are the exceptions, of course).

      Something needs to be done if Barracks Row is to remain a vibrant part of the city — there are a lot of empty storefronts. A refresh of the broken sidewalks and repaving of 8th Street would be a great start. Speaking of… why is DC Water taking so long? Wasn’t its project supposed to be finished months ago?

      • Doug

        Rumors are they are that some permitting issues made it less attractive.

        The city was not going to allow them to have as many seats on the sidewalk as Las Placitas had.

        Also they were being required to build a glass wall with door between the existing space and the new space effectively keeping them separate.

        My information is worth what you paid for it.

      • Ellen

        You may be right about Navy Yard restaurants (not that there is anything over there all that special enough to lure me over there) but it seems that there is plenty enough competition on 8th already. Maybe people really don’t eat out as much as that many places would suggest?

  2. Andrew

    Forcing Las Placitas to move out was already unforgivable. What this shows is that corporate entities like Match Box have no interest in neighborhoods beyond what money they can extract. Las Placitas is one of the reasons 8th St. had something worth corporate raiding in the first place. Now the corporate raiders have moved to greener pastures and we’re left with empty storefronts.

    • Eric

      Are we sure Matchbox forced them out and not the landlord of that building?

    • Carl Ford

      I agree with Andrew. One way to have a long and lasting relationship with one’s neighbors would be to make Las Placitas whole if their new location isn’t cutting it.

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  4. sk8carl

    “We look forward to a long lasting relationship with our neighbors.” One great way to do this is to make Las Placitas whole if their new location isn’t working out.

  5. Mark

    Some of you may remember there used to be two Las Placitas on 8th Street….what’s old is new again, just sayin.

  6. Reed

    gosh lots of speculation here. support of business by patronizing it!

  7. Pingback: No More Hot Dogs from DC-3 on Capitol Hill, Plus More Intel |