Chez Billy’s New Back Patio Opens 5:30pm Today


Chez Billy‘s renovated patio opens today at 5:30pm. Out go benches – in go four tops:


Tables are for dinner service but the back bar will be open as normal too:


3815 Georgia Avenue, NW



38 Comment

  • A bit less kid-friendly, no?

    • My thoughts exactly (and after I’d promised my kids a trip there for hamburgers!). Maybe I can teach my 3 y.o. to balance on a barstool…

  • Looks nice, but I really liked the picnic tables.

  • Those tables are nightmares for glasses. Can see stuff being knocked over left and right.

  • epric002

    aw, i liked the community tables.

  • I dislike those heavy metal chairs–they’re hard to maneuver, and heavy to drag around. And they seem like they’re eating up a lot of space out there with their giant footprint.

  • Also prefer the picnic table, although I guess the tables fit more with the white table cloth vibe of the rest of the restaurant. I suppose some of the new bars in the neighborhood will be filling the shared table niche for outdoor patios soon.

  • And while we’re complaining about a place we otherwise enjoy, would it kill them to clean the tap lines / rotate the beers every now and then? That Founder Centennial IPA has been on tap since opening day and just does not taste how it should.

    • All their beers have been the same, and they’re all kinda sub-standard! I know its a French-influenced place, but Kronenbourg is basically France’s Bud Light. Ditto for Stella:Belgium and Hofbrau hefeweizen:Germany.

    • Sadly concur. I love Chez Billy, but never order beer there. All the taps taste bad.

    • This extends to some of the other places under the same ownership. Marvin’s taps upstairs are also blah and never change.

  • another vote for the previous vibe. Also, why take down the great Paris photo mural?
    The previous set-up had a much friendlier and relaxed feel. Bring it back!

  • It’s ironic that people are always complaining how Petworth needs more “upscale” places, but when a venue decides to do exactly that they whine about it. Or does “upscale” actually mean something else?
    I think it looks fine for a place that’s try to aim for the upmarket. Yes, it’s less kid- and day boozing-friendly. But I think that might be the intention; they don’t want to be a beer garden.

    • The rest of the place is upscale and that’s great. I’ve never seen the place full so it’s odd that they would change this portion of the restaurant to accommodate the clientele that is seeking “upscale” table service.

      I do agree though, that they do NOT want to be a beer garden, if that tap selection/sanitation situation is any indication.

    • I don’t recall people complaining about the lack of “upscale” places in Petworth, unless you are interpreting anything that is not a take-out place as upscale. I usually hear more demand for family-friendly sit-down places, which the patio was prior to the renovation. Now it is more like the rest of the restaurant.

  • west_egg

    Will the new furniture stop the kitchen from consistently overcooking the steaks and burgers?

  • justinbc

    Previous version looked much better.

  • “Upscale” dining on a concrete slab between brick walls, a garage door, and in an alley? I love you Chez Billy, but no.

    While I applaud Chez Billy for erecting a new barrier to discourage the stroller-pushing masses from bringing their rowdy and annoying kids (sorrynotsorry) to what is obviously an adult-focused restaurant, this “for dinner service only” patio set-up is weak sauce. They may not want to be a beer garden, but their patio is terrible and better suited for casual drinkers/diners and groups. It’s an alley. There’s no view of anything. I wouldn’t want to sit there for a $100 dinner, especially on a 90-degree summer evening.

    • The patios at the Iron Gate and Tabard are also fully enclosed but they’re decorated so beautifully you wouldn’t even notice. (The brick floors help too.) This probably looks a lot more romantic at night, but it’s still kind of blah.

    • Last year they reached out to the Petworth/Columbia Heights parent listservs asking what they could do to make the restaurant MORE child/family friendly! They installed a changing station, added a kids’ menu, and I forget what else. So it’s possible they’ve changed their minds, but us stroller types were there in part because of their asking what they could do to get our business. Not because we are trying to turn an “adult-focused restaurant.”

      • If Petworth had more kid-friendly, family friendly restaurants that were clean and had solid food; then this wouldn’t be an issue. We need more. Im happy Slim’s Diner is coming, but honestly, the neighborhood could support two to three more similar places.

    • Quoting from their manager’s email to the Petworth Parents listserv:
      “Some of our favorite customers are the parents and young children of Petworth (the Petworth new moms listserv happy hour a few weeks ago was great!), but I’ve heard from others that Chez Billy doesn’t always float to the top of people’s minds when looking for a kid-friendly brunch or dinner. I think a visit would dispel this sentiment, so maybe the perception extends from some of the other more nightlife-oriented places our owners run (Marvin on 14th and U., etc.). In any event, I wanted to make sure that the neighborhood families know how welcome they are at Chez Billy and how much we enjoy your little ones’ company. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to better accommodate you”

      • I’m sure I’m not losing any fans among the parents in Popville’s readership, but there was a perfectly good family-oriented restaurant in the area, it was called “Ruby Tuesday,” and y’all were apparently “too good” for the place. 😉
        Anyway, Chez Billy can’t go upscale by catering to the DC Reynolds/Looking Glass yuppie-and-hipster crowd. They need the slightly older professionals and family demo. That said, seeing a four-year-old taking up a seat at the bar (ok, I’ve only seen this once) during a busy happy hour, or running around making noise at what’s otherwise a pretty solid date spot, is a definite turn-off for THIS young childless professional. I’ve been pretty loyal to CB over other spots in the neighborhood, but a lot of the changes they’ve made over the last year (closing before midnight, no more smoking on the back patio, understaffed bar during happy hour, etc.) makes it clear they’d prefer to cater to a different type of customer. So be it. The more strollers and little kids I see, the less inclined I am to drop $9 – $14 for a drink.

  • Damn! I loved going back there for a drink…. Wish a place like Dacha would open up in Petworth. I get why Chez Billy would expand their dinner seating because I know they are doing very well, but perhaps they can open a new space somewhere in the neighborhood with more casual fare (like that great burger!) and beer garden. It’d be huge! Maybe on upper 14th St?

    • What’s wrong with the patio at DC Reynolds or Looking Glass?

      • Nothing- the more patios the better! That’s why it’s a shame to see one taken out of commission like this.

        Anecdotal, but I’ve also noticed more smokers at Reynolds than at Chez Billy, which made me more inclined to go to CB.

      • west_egg

        The dirty taps are what’s wrong with the patio at Looking Glass. Never order anything from them that doesn’t come in a can or bottle.

    • Petworth Patio was a similar concept as Dacha, but never caught on.

      • Sorry, Park View Patio.

        • Parkview Patio never caught on because they didn’t have food… No kitchen. They also lacked an identity. They claimed to be a sports bar, but then had live music some nights. and said they were a live music venue… Lack of food is what killed them in the end. If you put a Kangaroo Boxing Club or Ivey & Coney place in there; it’d do a killing. Trust me.

  • I prefer the old look too. What I’m really surprised at is that they got rid of the photo. I get why they might replace the picnic tables, but not the photo with a boring yellow wall. Is this an unfinished version we are seeing?

    • We tried to restore the old photo but it literally fell apart. Smoking will not be allowed any longer on the patio. Smoking will be restricted to the balcony off the 2nd floor bar. We like to think the entire establishment is a good one for families. Upgraded furniture isn’t supposed to indicate otherwise.

  • Such a great space and I love the new wrought iron 4-tops! But I also loved the b&w photo mural which looks like it’s no longer there. (To Chez Billy peeps, if you still have it and don’t want it, I’ll take it.)

  • Honestly, every change seems to be for the worse since the last manager Justin left. Here are a few things I have noticed as we live next door.

    1. They close earlier
    2. There is no more live jazz
    3. They painted over the cool artsy mural in the back.
    4. They got rid of the community picnic tables.
    5. As others have mentioned, glassware (ESPECIALLY MIMOSAS????) will not do well on the iron outdoor tables?

    Honestly, what are they thinking?

    • As a side note though, they have a bunch of new staff and new management who all seem very cool and nice so curious why all the changes?

    • 1. We don’t close earlier.
      2. We had to stop live jazz because BMI shook us down for many 1000’s of $ that we don’t have. Ironic that we had to stop paying actual musicians because of the cartel that supposedly represents them
      3. Like I said, we tried to restore the wall paper – it wasn’t a mural – and it fell apart.
      4. People choose to dine on our patio. Makes sense. The picnic tables simply didn’t match the product. We had to make a change.
      5. Glassware will do just fine on these tables.

      We’ll keep trying. Thanks for your support.

      • I feel like you guys have been closing sooner. If the place is not busy the bar has been closing before ten! I like right across the street and would go more often however there is no assurance I will be served until 10pm. I have been really trying to love this place since you guys opened but everything here is so inconsistent.

  • New Set up is not as good as the old. Went for happy hour last Thursday at 530 and unless your getting dinner service you can not sit at the new tables. With the picnic tables you could just seat yourself. too bad Petworth is laking in outside happy hour options.

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