Matchbox Restaurant Group files for bankruptcy, to be sold to Thompson Hospitality

Matchbox’s 14th Street location (1901 14th St. NW) is in the former rehearsal studio for Arena Stage. (Courtesy //3877; Ron Ngiam Photography)
A view of Matchbox’s 14th Street location (1901 14th St. NW) in 2018. The D.C.-based restaurant group will be solid to Reston, Virginia-based Thompson Hospitality. (Courtesy //3877; Ron Ngiam Photography)

D.C.-based Matchbox Restaurant Group has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, and will be sold to Reston, Virginia-based Thompson Hospitality, pending bankruptcy court approval.

Matchbox has 10 D.C.-area locations, as well as restaurants in Sunrise, Florida, and Dallas, Texas.

“Restructuring will allow us to right-size our balance sheet and position the business for growth going forward,” said Edwin Sheridan IV, a member of the Matchbox Food Group board of directors. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry has been swift and damaging.”

Matchbox partnered with Thompson Hospitality two years ago to manage its restaurants and develop new ones.

Matchbox restaurant locations have reopened under state and local guidelines and restrictions, and the Chapter 11 filing will not impact their operations, though if the company is unable to reach terms with landlords, some locations will close.

It also said it plans to open new, smaller locations.

Matchbox, popular for its wood-fired pizzas, burger sliders and onion straws, opened its first location in D.C.’s Chinatown in 2003. The original location was relocated to 7th and E streets Northwest in Penn Quarter last year.

It ranks as the fifth-largest restaurant group in the D.C. area.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the number of restaurants Matchbox has in the D.C. area. 

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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