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: http://bit.ly/1TSjVua 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: http://bit.ly/1OaWK1g
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.”