Matchbox emerges from bankruptcy and will open in Reston, Northwest DC

Matchbox Food Group, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August, has emerged from reorganization under new ownership and with plans to open new locations.

The Matchbox chain is now owned by Reston, Virginia-based Thompson Hospitality, which has been managing Matchbox restaurants for the past two years.

As part of the reorganization, Matchbox restaurants on 14th Street, NW in D.C. and at Potomac Mills in Virginia’s Prince William County are permanently closed, as are Matchbox outposts in Preston Hollow in Dallas.

Matchbox was forced into bankruptcy reorganization largely due to the negative impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the restaurant industry. Thompson Hospitality said the reorganization has enabled it to deleverage its balance sheet, and rationalize its store footprint.

“Never before have we experienced such trying times in the restaurant industry and the fact that this brand will continue to live on is one bright spot during these unprecedented times,” said Warren Thompson, president of Thompson Hospitality.

Matchbox will open several new locations — though the new restaurants will be smaller, averaging less than 4,000 square feet, and will increase focus on delivery and takeout.

New locations include Reston Metro Plaza at the Wiehe-Reston East Metro station, at Northwest D.C.’s Cathedral Commons replacing the former Grilled Oyster Co. restaurant and in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It will seek franchise partners for additional new locations.

Matchbox opened its first restaurant in D.C.’s Chinatown in 2003.

It has restaurants in Capitol Hill and Penn Quarter in D.C., Merrifield, One Loudoun, Pentagon City and Charlottesville in Virginia and Bethesda, Rockville and Silver Spring in Maryland, as well as one location in Sawgrass Mills, Florida.

Thomson Hospitality’s other restaurants include Hen Quarter in Alexandria, The Delegate in D.C., American Tap Room in Reston and Austin Grill in Springfield.

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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