Credit: Via Matchbox

Updated at 3 p.m. on Wednesday: Pizza bistro Matchbox will open in Bethesda this summer, replacing the former American Tap Room, according to a Wednesday announcement.

Both are owned by restaurant company Thompson Hospitality, with Matchbox taking over the 3,000-square-foot space at 7278 Woodmont Ave.

Thompson Hospitality took over Matchbox in July, which allowed the chain to turn some of the company’s locations into Matchbox restaurants, Matchbox Vice President of Operations Fred Herrmann said.

“We thought Bethesda was a no-brainer,” Herrmann said. “Silver Spring same thing.”

The Silver Spring location at 919 Ellsworth Drive will open on Feb. 4, Herrmann said.

The chain currently has 11 locations primarily in Virginia and the District, in addition to one in Rockville and restaurants in Texas and Florida.


The Bethesda location “marks a deliberate shift toward smaller, neighborhood-focused restaurants that emphasize a warm, energetic atmosphere and more intimate experience,” according to a news release from the publicist Know Public Relations.

A small sign posted on the American Tap Room main entrance announces its closing.

The restaurant will have nearly 190 seats in the dining room and a reconfigured bar area, as well as with additional outdoor seating on two patios along Woodmont Avenue and Elm Street, the company announced.

Culinary director Jim Drost’s menu will add several new dishes to Matchbox’s signature lineup of wood-fired pizzas, mini burgers and tuna tartare tacos.


The Silver Spring location will be the first Matchbox to have separate lunch and dinner menus, Herrmann said. The Bethesda location will do the same.

“Our guests are telling us they want more options,” Herrmann said. “We want to remain appraochable while still statisfying that need.”