Update on Billy Simpson’s Coming to 3813 Georgia Ave, NW in Petworth

I’m happy to finally be able to share an update since the groundbreaking took place over a year and a half ago. We’ve got some serious progress! I was super psyched to a new permit go up on the front window:

A Demolition permit had been up for a while and while major demolition was accomplished we can now see a Building permit posted which is when the real build out takes place. Every time I walk by the space at 3813 Georgia Ave, NW (just north of the metro) I hear work going on. It seems like a late Autumn/early Winter opening isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

And another sign of more good news is that ANC rep Robert Mandle says that they’ve applied for an ABRA alcohol license which will likely be on the ANC’s September agenda (which is when you can show your support if you’d like, I’ll send a reminder at that time.)


For those not familiar with the project from the folks behind Marvin, Gibson, Blackbyrd and more you can read some background info here.

24 Comment

  • It’s great that there’s progress, but do these things really need to take so long? Why is it every time we hear of a new bar/restaurant etc trying to open, the dates are constantly pushed back? Is there some law or regulation that can be changed to make this process move faster?

  • This is more often than not an issue of capitol rather than regulation. DC is fairly business friendly and has a good number of liquor licenses available. The challenges of taking a building that is, and many times has been, abandoned for years and retrofitting it for modern food service is where the hold up can often lie. You have to throw out an opening date to get some early buzz going, but once you rip open those walls…all bets are off

    • While this sounds like a reasonable argument, the team behind the project (Hilton Brothers) has started and completed numerable projects since they announced this one. They clearly thought they’d get more bang for the buck elsewhere.

      I suspect they were waiting for some progress on the apartment building next door, which I can’t really argue with. Seems it would be hard to drive a crowd into a new place next to an open pit/construction site (not that it’s been a problem for H St). Now that it seems nearly ready (at least from the exterior), I’m guessing they’ve finally put some priority into this.

      Once the Safeway across the street gets moving and we have Billy Simpsons going, I’m guessing we’ll start to see more of those vacant properties on GA Ave getting snatched up/fixed up.

  • Any idea what type of food this place will be serving?

  • I’ve been a bit frustrated to see restaurant openings in Petworth delayed only to see the same group opening a new place in NOMA, H St, etc. I’m very happy to see Billy Simpson’s moving along finally but frustrated by the delay. And what about Gillian Clark’s supposed new place? How long can you postpone before they give the space to someone else?

    Silver lining: at least my sister finally is getting a new restaurant where she lives…if you’re frustrated by the pace of development in Petworth, it could be worse. But something has finally happened: we’re going to Busboys & Poets in Hyattsville this weekend (!!)

  • That stretch of Georgia north of the metro is amazing to behold, once the Safeway comes it, that will be the last step, but already tons of new apartments and now retail starting to follow. The city infrastructure investment also makes a huge difference, the road has a totally different feel now. Too bad the lower Georgia Ave. project has been interminably delayed and now, supposedly, the Mayor’s Office is trying to shift funding away. Georgia Ave. south of the metro is badly in need of the long-promised infrastructure improvements, as there could be a ton of cool local businesses on that stretch, if made to feel safer, more pedestrian-friendly, and less sketchy.

    • There is potential for mostly contiguous development northward from the metro all the way to Kansas. In five years, I wonder what will become of the two gas stations, the Wendy’s, the church across from Yes!, the Pizza Hut, and the underutilized office building adjacent to Pizza Hut. There are other buildings with potential, but those spaces alone are quite large.

      • I hope the Wendy’s doesn’t go anywhere.

        • saf

          We wish it would go far far away, but it has a 99 year lease, according to the devloper who did the parcel just north of the Wendy’s. (I’ve lived fairly close to there for 21 years, and the Wendy’s has been there all along, so I don’t know if it now has 76 years or less to run, or what.)

          • 99-year lease or not, I’m guessing it won’t be there in 10 years. At some point, that property will become too valuable to sustain such a place. Wendy’s may have a lease, but they not be willing to pay what the owner starts asking.

          • Re: caballero @ 2:38

            I don’t think that’s necessarily true, as there are fast food restaurants in every neighborhood in this city, regardless of what is surrounding them. They’ve been there for a long time, and I doubt they are going anywhere in the future.

          • I’m with anonymous. What’s wrong with Wendy’s? It’s delicious!

    • While I appreciate the optimism, I’m not sure I really share it with regards to the “retail starting to follow” argument.

      Yes! and Qualia both opened in 2009, and there hasn’t been much else since. The only exceptions I can think of are the Pink Snapper and the in-progress remodel of the Shell to be a 7-11. I hope the new apartment buildings do indeed bring more – there are a lot of storefronts that could really use filling/changing.

  • So exciting!

  • Glad to hear that this is moving along!

    Really looking forward to new things coming in along Georgia Avenue both north and south of the Metro.

  • I heard they are waiting until after Football Season because they know between Blue Banana, Looking Glass and the soon to open DC Reynolds there is not enough business for them.

    • Isn’t this primarily going to be a food establishment? I can’t see them delaying opening because they may lose out on the football watching crowd to competition which will probably happen anyway. From what I understand this isn’t going to be a sports bar. I think it is much more likely as previously pointed out they are waiting for the apartments on the block to fill in.

  • I hear there is neighborhood resistance to Billy Simpsons. Anyone know the story behind this? Thanks!

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