Update on Chez Billy – New French Bistro Coming to Petworth (from the Folks Behind Marvin, Gibson etc.)

Rendering of Chez Billy to be located at 3813 Georgia Ave, NW

“Dear PoP,

I was at the ANC 4C meeting last week and was pleased that the commission voted unanimously to support the liquor license for Chez Billy (in the Billy Simpson’s space). The general manager made his pitch and it sounded great. They passed around a floor plan and rendering that differs a little from the last one you posted. Most notably, the main bar will now be open to the floor above with 2 interior balconies overlooking it (with bar stools and counter space) as illustrated in the rendering. See attached. It looks awesome! According to the manager, if all goes well, they will be open by December 1st.”

Chez Billy Floor Plans

I also spoke with the owners who confirmed an opening (knock wood, knock wood) of Chez Billy, to be located at 3813 Georgia Ave, NW (just north of the Petworth metro), in 8-10 weeks.

We last spoke about the space back in early August.

Like the idea of a French Bistro?

Between this and the approval for the new Petworth Safeway across the street – we are not going to recognize this stretch of a Georgia Ave in the near future. Sweet!

42 Comment

  • I am so excited for a new sit down restaurant in walking distance where I can get dinner! Yay!

  • Very excited and hopeful development will continue along ga ave, the way it has on h st

  • The first vote of the Zoning Commission for the Safeway was unanimous in support of the project. There are several more steps. The Zoning Commission’s comments and questions were insightful and productive, and will result in some minor adjustments to the plans.

    • So happy to know we have a pro-growth ANC up here. All development is much appreciated by this poster. Very excited for this bistro. We will definitely be checking it out!

    • saf

      If only it were something other than Safeway.

      And not so overwhelmingly huge.

  • Beyond elated!

  • bfinpetworth

    Oh my goodness, those plans look fantastic. And I love the idea of a french bistro. That bar and I are going to get to know each other VERY well!

  • I wish they were doing more to make it like the old Billy Simpson’s, but having ANY place to get something to eat without having to shout through bulletproof glass in that war zone is a real Godsend. I can’t wait to try it!

  • Holy crap this looks great! And it fills a unique niche as their is no French food (that I know of) anywhere north of downtown and east of Dupont. Can not wait!!!! I hope this is a catalyst for the rest of the nearby vacant retail.

  • It’s got my diminutive!

    I’d go.

  • Hurry, please! Dec. 1 is such a long time away.

  • Not to be a downer but … I’m not predicting success. I don’t think the area can support this place yet. I think something that was more mid-level, as opposed to a “destination”-type place (with a corresponding higher price point), might have a better chance. I just don’t see people traveling to Petworth to go out yet; and I also don’t see the locals going here regularly enough to support it in the long term. Hopefully I am wrong, though!

    • bfinpetworth

      I thnk you are underestimating how rapidly lower Petworth and Parkview are changing. I’ve lived there for just one year and the change in socioeconomic demographics is just stunning. Not saying its good or bad but I think there is HUGE pent up demand in the surrounding neighborhoods for a place like this. Already, I see lots of young urbanites travelling to that area to hang out in the Blue Banana and Looking Glass.

      To the contrary, I hope that it does not become a destination-type place that is always crowded with loud and obnoxious 20-somethings.

      • Hmm, I’ve had the opposite impression of Blue Banana (usually empty), LGL (only time I’ve ever seen a crowd is trivia or Friday night), and Sala Thai (tiny dinner rush), but perhaps it is changing. And I don’t think there’s much of an out-of-neighborhood draw for any of those. The pent-up demand in the surrounding neighborhoods can easily be drawn off by Columbia Heights/11th st … anyway, we’ll see what happens. Personally, I’d rather see the development of projects that hit a price range affordable for everyone in the neighborhood, like Sweet Mango and Qualia.

        • There was once an out of neighborhood draw for Temperance Hall, but with Looking Glass practically a clone of Wonderland, fewer people feel the need to go out of their way for it.

      • saf


        I have high hopes for this place, and live very very close. I hope it is not as loud as their other places.

    • Sala Thai seems to be doing fine across the street. It’s been increasingly busy over the last year.

    • Someplace like DC Reynolds?

    • The Hilton Brothers have a good rep – so their place will generate enough buzz to get people walking over from Columbia Heights too. Maybe even Brightwood, Takoma, Brookland. Quick drives, Metro trips, etc.

  • I would love a french restaurant in Mt. Pleasant. If anyone wants to open one, I think a great name would be “Mon Plaisir.”

  • Woo hoo!

    Great news. I’ll spend money here. Welcome to the neighborhood.

  • Huh I never heard of the french bistro on U, I’ll have to check it out. I think this place will do well. It is right next to a metro and one of very few sit down restaurants with atmosphere within a ten to fifteen minute walking radius in one of the most densely populated areas of the city. Plus all those folks in the four (and counting) enormous brand new expensive rental buildings practically adjacent to the restaurant will pack it to the gills from day one. The Marvin folks are savvy and have a proven track record of packing new venues from day one. I don’t see this as any sort of exception.

  • hey pop,

    any news on that place on the corner of 9th and u. the brixton, right? isn’t that by the same people as chez billy?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      The Brixton at 9th and U is owned by the same folks. Serious construction/build out is happening right now – you can see/hear it if you walk by. I forget when the projected opening date is – probably 6-8 months or so. I’ll be updating when we get closer to that date.

  • Awesome news. I’ll definitely be walking down to this place often.

  • orderedchaos

    This is terrific news — Georgia is improving, and this bistro will help move it along. Domku a couple blocks above Chez Billy, Looking Glass a couple blocks below… a couple more places and that stretch of Georgia will have as much draw as 11th!

  • Awesome news! Can’t wait to try it out.

  • austindc

    I’m too scared of the ghosts in the picture to go there. But if the ghosts get trapped in some sort of soul vault, I will go I guess.

  • Any updates on tenants for the vacant retail space in the Park Place building? And what’s the status of the new building diagonally across the intersection at GA & Quincy? Fill these spaces up and things might really get moving in Petworth!

  • I predict it will be heavy on drinks and light on food. Oh and without a sign! Most of their other establishments open with much fanfare but mostly cater to the drinkers and not the eaters. And I just don’t get the lack of signage. Are these places just too cool to identify themselves??

    • If you’ve ever met those trustafarian Hilton brothers, you’d know they think they’re too cool for school.

      Their music is pretty wretched, but I think they do a pretty good job on most of their bars.

  • Or perhaps folks from CH will want to eat something other than fast food typically available in that area and come to Petwoth to visit our new restaurant.

  • I hear that the price points are going to be very reasonable.

  • yeah, I’m excited except that the bar shares a WALL with my BEDROOM. yeah, not so stoked on that. the whole bar shares a wall with my apartment. UGH. I sure as hell hope they have some serious soundproofing, otherwise I’m gonna be raisin’ hell. They tore down all the fig trees in the back too. I think the bar will be dope…but I hope I can sleep.

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