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Fenty Administration Celebrates Historic Georgia Ave. Restaurant (You Know The New Marvin Spot)

by Prince Of Petworth January 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm 34 Comments


Mayor Fenty and Ward 4 Council Member Muriel Bowser (pictured above) attended a ceremonial ground breaking for the new restaurant and bar coming to 3813/3815 Georgia Ave., NW on Tuesday Morning. Also making remarks were developers Chris Donatelli, and Calvin Gladney from Mosaic urban partners as well as co-owner Ian Hilton.


We’ve been following this property very closely. It is one of the more exciting developments to hit Georgia Ave in quite a while. We last looked at it back in early Jan. when demolition started. I was pretty psyched to get a look at the inside. Obviously there is a fair amount of work yet to be done but I was able to get a better vision of what it’s gonna look like. The space will be similar to how Marvin on 14th Street is set up with dining areas separate from the bar and lounge. They hope to be able to open the space in June or July.

Both the mayor and council member were very excited that Petworth will be getting another sit down restaurant which many residents have been requesting for years. Mr. Gladney from mosaic spoke about the historic nature of the building which used to house Billy Simpson’s Seafood & Steaks, a white table cloth restaurant in the 60s that hosted many civil rights leaders. Mr. Hilton mentioned that there is no reason why folks on Georgia Ave can’t have a spot like Marvin closer to where they live.

I agree with all who spoke, this was a great day for Petworth, Georgia Ave, Ward 4 and the whole city.

A few other items of note. The mayor said that the nearby Safeway is still planning to improve and renovate their store. And the empty lot a few storefronts north on Georgia is also set to be redeveloped and will host another restaurant.


It was a great day. And I got to meet the famous Channel 4 News Reporter/WAMU Friday Politics Cohost – Tom Sherwood!


More photos of the inside (which should make for interesting before and after photos when it’s completed) and floor plans after the jump.


Where the two store fronts connect




Note the property to the left will be developed on the vacant lot mentioned above.

Co-owner Ian Hilton with Fenty and Bowser

Mosaic urban partners Managing Partner, Calvin Gladney and Chris Donatelli in background.

  • Bring on the gentrification!

  • pluscachange

    Yum! Exciting that the city is (really) focusing on redevelopment of Georgia Ave. I can’t think of a nicer neighborhood in which it should happen :-)

  • Matt G

    Awesome news!

    First naysayer on this post gets an e-kick to the groin.

  • PetworthRes

    What will the name be? A restaurant or a bar, or both?
    Also, I never noticed the rainbow color windows before…hope they are part of the before :)

    This place has been lit up at night lately so you can see all the changes happening. I can’t wait to see it finished!

  • JTH

    Did my post get removed? It was a joke! I thought it was obvious, but maybe not……

  • Bring on the color!

    Along with the other good news, I’m totally loving MB’s coat. Light in winter.

  • PoP and Readers,

    Good post and great news. A couple of questions, if you please:

    1. Do you know the estimated date of completion and opening?

    2. Is the vacant lot being developed as part of the restaurant project? Is it a Donatelli project? Any timeframe?


    • saf

      2. No, yes, no.

  • Cal

    I hope they call it Billy Simpson’s Seafood & Steaks, even if it isn’t going to be a white tablecloth type of place like it used to be.

  • Shawn

    I am excited for the development on Georgia Ave. All I ask is that they make this restaurant more welcoming than Marvin — i.e. you can come in and eat regardless of what type of shoes you’re wearing.

    I do disagree with the Marvin group philosophically for the exclusivity they create at a lot of their venues.

    • NAB

      I disagree philosophically with politicians picking and choosing which private businesses they support/subsidize/prop up. Great that there’s a bar there, but let it stand or fall on its own merits, not the fact that the CM and Mayor are parading around in front of it.

      • PetworthRes

        Um, we already had the version of what Georgia Avenue looks like with no involvement from politicians – it’s exactly what it looked like from 1970-2000. No business owners were going to take the leap without some financial backing (well, maybe some liquor stores), plus all the abandoned land was in city ownership. Without the city being proactive nothing was happening. I like the way it’s happening now a lot better.

        • NAB

          Fine, but it’s not exactly fair to business owners pouring their time and treasure into other parts of town. Fenty, et al taking a step back from their small-scale corporatism and allowing for some creative destruction/reorganization might yield a better result than the zero sum game of pick-a-neighborhood to shower with taxpayer-funded influence and “redevelopment.”

          Of course, if you, say, own a house around the corner or have some interest in a biz that benefits from this, you’ll vehemently disagree with me.

          • PetworthRes

            The city is backing a few large developments near the metro that benefit tons of local, smaller businesses. The local, smaller businesses are a huge reason I bought where I did (in between the Petworth metro and Domku). But do you think all the smaller spots like Domku, Moroni, Fusion would exist without city-backed projects like the METRO and the Donatelli buildings? Columbia Heights is an example – 14th St with all the huge developments and 11th St. with the local developments. I like 11th St a lot better, but I think without DCUSA there would be fewer successful local spots on 11th.

            Um, and I’ll also mention here that without the metro, and Park Place, and the DC Great Streets initiative, promise of a future farmers market and the like, I would still live in Adams Morgan, because i never would have bought in Petworth to begin with.

            I have no interest in any of these businesses except I’d like to shop there when they open.

  • Asti

    Well the one thing I noticed in Petworth, maybe a topic of conversation on this blog, but everyone alwasy seems excited and wanting more restaurants to open. But honestly, whenever I go out to eat in Petworth, I am practically the only table in the restaurant. So I question the enthusiam of restaurants opening since everyone in this neighborhood seems to like the comfort on their own home. I will say that last Valentine’s Day, I was pleasantly surprised to see most restaurants in Petworth packed. But if we want to see more restaurants opening up here we need to frequent them more as well.

  • Eric in Ledroit


    Domku is consistently packed, and there have been at least 3-4 other tables every time I have been to Fusion lately. What restaurants/days are you talking about?

    • PetworthRes

      I also feel the same way – places are getting better business. Also, once Park Place is filled and the new building that will be built at the corner of Georgia and Quincy is in, there will be a lot higher population density around the metro.

      I’ve also noticed that the younger more 30-something neighborhood residents seem to eat out more…and there are a lot more of them in the last couple years.

      And finally, once there are more destination restaurants up here, you will probably see more people from other neighborhoods eating here.

  • New2ch

    Second the idea of still calling it Billy simpsons. Awesome name.

  • John

    Agreed – Domku, Fusion, Looking Glass have all been increasingly busy. I have to say, in the last year alone I would say the percentage of young, and let’s face it, white, people moving into Petworth has skyrocketed — which is probably why these restaurants have seen such a boom.

    • PetworthRes

      Recently I checked to find out about how many homes have sold in Ward 4 since the metro opened in 1999…I was shocked. It’s about 4,500 homes, with 400 or so selling every year. 4,500 new home-owning households has a huge impact, especially when they have more disposable income, go out to eat more, etc.

  • Krssy

    Yeah! What fantastic news!

  • This is great news! I am looking forward to another option in the area.
    Maybe I have just gone on the wrong nights, but the times I have gone to Fusion I have been one of only two or three dining patrons. There appear to be a number of regulars at the bar.
    Moroni Bros. has picked up its sit down business.
    I’m sort of over Domku for food but it’s a good place to have a beer.
    And I (along with a number of friends who patronized it when it was Temperance) stopped going to Looking Glass Lounge awhile back. No idea why the stopped serving brunch on Sundays.

    • new hampy

      agreed. not a fan of domku food. good atmosphere for a drink tho.

      also, used to frequent t-hall, but has gone way down since it switched to lgl.

  • I think it received the mayor and CM attention because of its historical roots.

  • Anonymous

    Great news for petworth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lamont St’s Finest

    One more reason to love Park View!

  • spotter

    Thats because looking glass has no identity they want to be wonderland and copy the model of red derby as a local…You can’t be both and it shows. TH was a great local and they killed that.I am looking forward to development on GA but nothing says overpriced lounge like another Thievery corp enterprise.

  • Heyyaa

    Hellooooo Calvin! Welcome to the neighborhood!

  • Is the lady from Colorado Kitchen still planning something for Petworth or is the General Store in Silver Spring her only venture for now?

    • Anonymous

      Despite being a great cook she’s kind of a nut, so you really can’t rely on anything you hear about her plans.

  • Donnn

    Gotta agree that the Wonderland people killed Temperance Hall. It used to be great but now it’s a bad clone of Wonderland. If I wanted to go to Wonderland, I’d head down to wonderland!

  • Shawn

    Someone has to stick up for looking glass lounge. I don’t get what you guys don’t like about it? I think it’s a fun, relaxed, comfortable place. They offer high end drinks in addition to the $5 natty boh + jim beam special to appeal to all tastes and budgets.

    They also attract a more well-rounded crowd than wonderland or red derby too, which I like as well.

  • Roxy

    Thanks to Fusion,we had agreat time on valentine’s day three course dinner with a glass of wine,great food and service,it’s the only place on georgia ave to have a real restaurant with fine indian food,from chilean seb bass to lamb chops and also vegan friendly,thank you fusion keep up the good works

  • Roxy

    I mean Chilean sea bass


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