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Matchbox Food Group Sells Ted's Bulletin Restaurants

Ted's Bulletin's 14th Street location

Popular D.C. restaurant brand Ted's Bulletin has a new owner who plans to revamp its five locations and expand to new markets. 

Salis Holdings, in partnership with JPB Capital Partners, acquired the restaurant brand Tuesday from Matchbox Food Group. Matchbox underwent a major leadership shakeup in December, and its two co-founders are now suing investor Ron Paul, who they say conspired to oust them. 

A co-founder of &pizza, Salis Holdings principal Steve Salis also owns Dupont Circle bookstore and café Kramerbooks, Adams Morgan restaurant Federalist Pig and a development company, PFP Partners. 

The first Ted's Bulletin location opened in 2010 on Capitol Hill, and its parent company, Matchbox, opened additional locations on 14th Street and in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Reston and Merrifield, Virginia. The restaurants serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have a cocktail menu, draft beer and milkshakes. 

Before expanding to more locations, Salis said he plans to improve the existing restaurants with operational changes and aesthetic enhancements.

"The brand has tremendous resonance, it has strong bones and a lot of wonderful attributes," Salis said. "But when looking at the brand today, in my estimation, it has been a neglected brand almost like a neglected kid in the family." 

Salis said he is in talks with a James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and hopes to bolster Ted's Bulletin's bakery, famous for its homemade pop tarts, and coffee offerings. He also wants to create a more vibrant environment by improving the bar and better connecting it with the restaurant.

Once he feels satisfied with the existing locations, Salis then plans to roll out what he calls a "2.0 model," with additional D.C.-area locations in late 2018 or early 2019. The original Capitol Hill restaurant occupied 2,500 SF, while the later ones had more than double that. Salis said somewhere in between, around 4K SF, would be ideal for the brand. After introducing some new D.C.-area locations, he plans to expand to new markets. 

"I wouldn't have been as interested in buying it if I didn't see expansion opportunities," Salis said. "I don't see any reason why there aren't many communities around the country that wouldn't want a Ted's Bulletin ... the opportunities are endless."