Holy Cow – Chez Billy’s Exterior Looking Sweet in Petworth

Holy freaking awesome. Ed. Note: Those who’ve not followed from the beginning might not get my enthusiasm. But trust me, this is huge for the neighborhood. It’s been such a long wait for Chez Billy’s (nee the old Billy Simpson’s place) coming to 3815 Georgia Ave, NW in Petworth. We’re getting so close. (See a rendering of the inside here.) So how do you think the exterior has turned out so far?

Hard to imagine it looked like this in September:

30 Comment

  • I’m excited about the new place, but the exterior is pretty nondescript. I suppose that is intentional, but still, there isn’t much flash there.

    • really? i think it’s plenty interesting. sure beats the crap out of the other new developments around it in terms of “interesting.” the tudor is a cool touch, as is the copper awning. cannot WAIT for this place to open – high hopes!

  • other than the X & N marks at the top of the left bldg – awesome!

  • only two bathrooms..why…? i can see the long lines on the weekend…

  • Can’t wait to try it out!

  • I walked by it a couple days ago – looks great in person. I also love how they’re keeping the Tudor/brick part yet updating it.

  • Anyone know which architects designed this project?

  • Awesome, looks gorgeous, excellent job updating the historic vibe without losing the flavor. So psyched for this place to open.

  • andy

    Anybody know why they’re going with the Tudor look? Is that the former or existing appearance of the building?

  • Huffington Post said they are aiming for a January openning. Very exciting. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/20/chez-billy-french-bistro_n_1020762.html

    The space looks great, but I’m anxious to see the menu and prices. I think french food, and I think heavy, rich, and expensive; but I like the line in the Huffington Post article that says some items will give a nod to the historic past of Billy’s House of Seafood, just with a french twist.

  • Second Dave’s question, anyone know who their architect is?

  • The name of this place makes me chuckle. In French, “Chez” implies “place of” rendering the possessive on Billy’s unnecessary. Should just be Chez Billy. Nitpicky to the extreme, but I’m sure the place will be great…although I personally don’t make it to Petworth much, I’ll bet it is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood if PoP is so excited 🙂

    • haha, nitpicky yes, but funny because it’s true. 🙂 Super excited for it to open!!

    • I think the name is actually Chez Billy, which the Huffington Post link supports. And previous PoP coverage has referred to it as “Chez Billy,” not “Chez Billy’s.”

      I think PoP was so excited about the latest developments that he got carried away and added a possessive to the name. 😉

    • Pretty sure the “Place of Billy” is owning its exterior – that is why there is the possessive.

  • I think the restaurant name is actually Chez Billy — if you look at past posts and basically anywhere else on the Internet where this place is mentioned, Chez Billy is the name. I think the “‘s” is appropriate in the headline, since it is the roof of Chez Billy, and it’s probably just a — really minor — error, where it appears later in the post. So, relax, s’il vous plait 🙂

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I almost always put an ‘s on posts. People get pissed when I call Taylor Gourmet – Taylor’s. But I write the way I talk. And I call them Taylor’s and I was talking about Chez Billy and I say Chez Billy’s. If this is really going to bother you – I’m very sorry but I ain’t changing. I’m still looking forward to going to Chez Billy’s and I hope you are too whatever you want to call it.

  • We’ll have to do a PoP happy hour at Chez Billies.

  • Not from the neighborhood but I know it’ll be worth the trip (I totally respect and patronize most of the other Hilton crew’s products). That said, I, for one, am waiting with guarded optimism to see how the historical significance of this structure – at least in its most recent iteration – is interpreted by the Hilton crew. I don’t lump them in with ‘hipsters’ – whose world view seems to lend to the creed of ‘all life, culture, history, existence began when I/we showed up on the block’. However, the prospect that so many African Americans of note gathered, ate, drank, conspired in this building just boggles my mind and hopefully made a similar impression on the new owners. Just imagine: Ralph Bunche, the Congolese Amb. to the US and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the upstairs lounge having a pow-wow about the status of the post-WWII decolonization movement in Africa. Or, the president of Industrial Bank holding court about the need for African American wealth (i.e. multi-generational) creation. The list goes on… A privileged crowd? For sure. However, given the historical era of its last operation, this city and the world needed those folks, too. Hopefully, Chez Billy will provide a few teaching moments…in addition to a stellar Coq Au Vin….

    “Billy Simpson’s is historically significant for playing a notable role in the social and political culture of the District of Columbia’s African American community. The restaurant was frequented by many notable people in politics and government, and the owner, William W. “Billy” Simpson, was an avid supporter of civil rights and anti-war causes.”

  • The history behind this restaurant is fascinating. It was the place to go for white table cloth service back when DC was segregated. The list of former patrons, including famous jazz greats that played U Street, is impressive. I’m going to check it out just for that reason.

  • so psyched for this place!

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