Thompson Hospitality has acquired local pizza chain Wiseguy Pizza, according to a report from Eater.
The Reston, Va.-based restaurant group, which owns Matchbox, Milk & Honey Café, and the soon-to-open Willie T’s Seafood Shack/Be Right Burger, purchased all of Wiseguy’s locations, which include Chinatown, Navy Yard, Rosslyn, and Pentagon City, according to the report.
Wiseguy’s fans claim that the local chain is as close as it gets to true New York-style pizza in the D.C. area. Opened in 2012, they are known for their thin slices, garlic knots, and chicken rolls, along with square Sicilian pies and cheesecake straight from NYC, according to Eater.
Thompson Hospitality CEO Warren Thompson said that Wiseguy founder Nuri Erol maintains a significant equity stake in the company, and the menu will remain unchanged. “Nuri is very much involved in protecting the integrity of the brand,” Thompson said to Eater. “Going forward, we won’t open a new unit unless he’s in agreement. Erol will also have [the] final say on any menu additions or tweaks.”
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company is already looking for additional sites in the D.C. area, as well as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to the report.
Thompson Hospitality acquired Matchbox Restaurants in late 2020 after the chain emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; Thompson had managed Matchbox’s nine company-owned stores for two years before the deal. Today there are 12 Matchbox locations; one is near a Wiseguy Pizza location in Pentagon City. “People might say, why would you buy Wiseguy if you have Matchbox? It’s quite a different concept, experience, and style of pizza,” Thompson said to Eater.
Photo Courtesy of Wiseguy Pizza