Washington, DC


750 E Street, NW (back in February)

From a press release:

“Today, Matchbox announces a July 3 opening for its newest location, a 4,360-square-foot space at 750 E Street NW in Washington, D.C. The homegrown chain recently closed its original Chinatown restaurant at 713 H Street NW to welcome the Penn Quarter arrival, which is located just three blocks away and boasts a 28-seat sidewalk patio in addition to 125 seats indoors. Fueled by its investment funding from Thompson Hospitality, Matchbox will continue brand-wide growth in the region with stores slated to open in Bethesda, Md. later this summer and in Reston, Va. in early 2020.

“We are nearing one year of the partnership between Matchbox and Thompson Hospitality, and are pleased with the enthusiastic response to the new locations we’ve opened and those that are currently in progress. It has always been part of our vision to expand Matchbox thoughtfully and deliberately by joining new communities in the DMV – a region that has embraced the group for more than 15 years,” said Warren Thompson, president and chairman of Thompson Hospitality. “The newest restaurants in Silver Spring and Penn Quarter, as well as all those in the pipeline for the coming year, mark a shift toward smaller, neighborhood-focused properties averaging about 5,000-square-feet, which guests tell us best match the inviting, come-as-you-are experience Matchbox offers.”

New Menu

Matchbox Penn Quarter will be the first in the group to debut a cocktail selection from Brian McGahey. Drinks like the Honey Pie Punch with Cruzan light rum, lime, orange, pineapple, and pineapple spiced syrup, and Oaxaca Old Fashioned featuring Olmeca Altos reposado, Del Maguey Vida mezcal, real maple syrup, orange bitters, and flamed orange, join a lineup of specialty cocktails that will soon roll out across all Matchbox restaurants. These and other signature sips will be a highlight of the 45-seat bar area, which will offer a prime happy hour perch for neighborhood workers and residents, as well as a pre- or post-game stop for Capital One Arena traffic.

The latest addition to the Matchbox family will offer dedicated lunch and dinner menus – a new development for the group that launched at the Silver Spring location in April – featuring daytime dishes like filet mignon & greens salad with tomatoes, blue cheese, grilled onions, corn, white balsamic vinaigrette and cilantro green goddess dressing alongside more substantial mains, including a jumbo lump crab cake with red pepper remoulade, Old Bay fries, and coleslaw. True to its roots, wood-fired pizzas will be a staple on the menu, with options ranging from the classic Holy Grail Margherita with crushed tomatoes, basil, and hand-pulled mozzarella to creative toppings like crispy pork belly, sweet chili barbecue sauce, Spanish onions, mozzarella, and cilantro.

Weekends at Matchbox will feature the Brunchbox menu, a selection of unlimited small plates served during brunch alongside bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas. Expect to see dishes with flair like blueberry muffin French toast and Bloody Mary burgers sharing the table with more traditional items, such as shrimp & grits and breakfast nachos.

Design

Streetsense, an integrated design and architecture firm, revamped the space with an eye toward creating a neighborhood-friendly spot along bustling E Street NW. From its central Penn Quarter location, Matchbox will reach area workers, tourists, and residents as a casual, welcoming option for a quick weekday lunch, lively happy hour, bottomless weekend brunch, and dinner for both date nights and groups. An expansive bar area with ample seating attracts sports fans and concert-goers heading to Capital One Arena, and boasts numerous TVs for game-day viewing as well. A definitive element of the Matchbox dining experience is the custom pizza oven that fires up signature thin-crust pizzas within minutes, and its surrounding pizza bar that offers a front-row view of the action. Outdoor seating along E Street will offer plentiful people-watching in warmer months.

Housed in a building on the National Register of Historic Places, Matchbox reinvigorates a space that once sat vacant in the middle of the last century and pays homage to its past through old photos that line the walls. Artwork from a local muralist also helps tell the story of the building and its position in the neighborhood’s development. Exposed tin ceilings and other vintage details speak to an earlier era, while comfortable dining areas with wood tabletops and leather banquettes update the design to match the area’s energetic vibe.”

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