Matchbox Opening in Silver Spring on Friday

Matchbox Opening in Silver Spring on Friday

Pizza bistro will have separate lunch and dinner menus

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Crispy Pork Belly Pizza

Deb Lindsey

Pizza bistro Matchbox will continue its regional expansion by opening a location in downtown Silver Spring on Friday, followed by a Bethesda restaurant this summer.

The restaurant at 919 Ellsworth Drive makes it an even dozen for Matchbox, including one in Rockville.

The 6,000-square-foot, 150-seat Silver Spring restaurant is the most recent opening in a local growth push following a takeover by Thompson Hospitality in July 2018.

“Since joining forces with Matchbox last summer, our vision has been to expand thoughtfully and deliberately by focusing on the region that has embraced the group for more than 15 years,” Thompson Hospitality President and Chairman Warren Thompson said in a statement. “Beginning with the opening in Silver Spring, each new restaurant will reflect the feedback and suggestions we welcome from guests.

The Silver Spring restaurant is taking over space of Hen Quarter, a former Thompson Hospitality venture. The Bethesda location was announced in January and remains on track to open this summer at 7278 Woodmont Ave., formerly Thompson Hospitality concept American Tap Room.

“Montgomery County to us has always been thought of as the county of Maryland,” Matchbox Vice President of Operations Fred Herrmann said. “In this day and age in the industry, it’s a smaller footprint, so we like the Silver Spring location, we like the Bethesda location because they’re nice and cozy. What better place to do it than Montgomery County.”

The soft opening on Friday will unveil a cleaner, more modern look, Herrmann said. An expanded bar area will be featured.

For the first time, Matchbox will have a separate lunch and dinner menu.

The lunch fare will be a bit more casual, with dinner shifting into more substantial entrees and fancier items. The separation will allow the restaurant to “satisfy a price point that people are comfortable with,” Herrmann said.

Lunch prices are mainly in the $15 to $20 range, with some dinner prices reaching $25 to $30, primarily on the expanded entree portion of the menu.

Matchbox’s traditional selection of wood-fired pizzas, mini burgers and tuna tartare tacos will remain on the menu, but culinary director Jim Drost will add options such as a blackened chicken and kale bowl and lobster diavolo pizza with spicy lobster cream sauce.

The separate lunch and dinner menus will be slowly rolled out across existing Matchbox locations. The Silver Spring location will also have a burger of the month provided by Thompson Hospitality’s fast-casual chain Big Buns.

Charlie Wright can be reached at

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