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Checking in on Chez Billy Bistro and Bar Coming to 3815-17 Georgia Ave, NW in Petworth

by Prince Of Petworth February 29, 2012 at 4:20 am 37 Comments

I have to warn you straight away, this is gonna be one of those posts where I can’t really contain my enthusiasm. But cut me some slack, it is the enthusiasm of someone who has been waiting nine years for something like this. Holy freaking awesome, you’re gonna have to trust me a bit too because the photos are obviously rough and don’t do the space justice. But here goes! Holy freaking awesome. Alright I’m calm now.

For those who are not familiar with the project – it is from the Hilton brothers Eric and Ian – the guys behind Marvin, Gibson, Blackbyrd, soon to be Brixton etc. We took a peek (and some lucky ones a taste) at some preview menus here and here. While, I’m guessing it’s still 4 weeks or so from opening now it’s time to take a peek inside 3815 and 3817 Georgia Ave, NW. Not shown is the outdoor space. This is just a taste:

Booths on the first floor

Sweet ceiling

Upstairs looking downstairs

Continues after the jump.

Upstairs bar

First floor (it actually extends outside the frame of this photo)

Opposite bar on first floor

  • Anonymous

    Looks great, but I’m surprised they aren’t calling it Marvin II. It looks very similar.

  • Anonymous

    exciting! all their places look exactly the same, but at least they’re working with a decent formula.

  • I bit like a jailhouse, but, hey, that may be in vogue for all I know. Maybe they will have some jazz/blues bands play in the evenings? Great to see and looking forward to first visit.

    • David

      There was jazz Friday nights at Sala Thai across the street. You should give them a call to see if they are still doing it.

  • Finally a DC bar with exposed brick and filament light bulbs.

    • Anonymous

      seriously. give me some drywall and fluorescents.

    • Rukasu

      Might as well stock up while you can still buy em

  • The ceiling is really cool. I’m not sold in the booths (maybe they’re not finished?), but overall, the place looks nice. I’m sure it’s a huge improvement on whatever was there before.

  • ErinC

    So awesome! Really excited for Chez Billy to join the neighborhood!

  • Sign Slayer

    PoP, I echo your excitement and enthusiasm, I can’t wait for this place to open! Thanks for the pics!

  • Looks fantastic.

  • Marvin the Sequel: This Time We’ve Got Booths!

    • Love the interior. So what if it resembles Marvin – there is a reason that place is so successful! Good food, good drinks, and good vibe. And now we will have that in Petworth! Plus, my impression is that the menu is going to be quite different from Marvin.

    • jm

      without the 14 & U weekend crowds? sounds like a winner!

      • Anonymous

        Oh no, you just wait, they’re coming.

        If anything, it’ll take a bit of the pressure off Marvin 1 and Marvin 1.5 (the place next door).

  • Anon3

    Lovelovelove it! This is the first thing that has made me smile today. So excited for it to open! I esp love the brick and the ceiling.

  • BitterElitist

    Anaglypta! Wish I had the ovarian fortitude to try that.

  • beautiful!
    We tried their tasting menu at their pop up event on 9th St. It was so delicious! The fish was delectable, the wine and cocktails were great!
    I can’t wait for this to open!

  • Bill Crandall

    Super cool! And yeah, if it ends up looking like Marvin, great. Marvin is very well designed.

    Though I have to say, still looks more than four weeks away from opening. Godspeed to ’em :).

  • I know I’m just being impatient, but I’m feeling totally stood up by Chez Billy. It seems to always be a few weeks away from opening.

  • NoLongerNew2CH

    I think it looks fantastic, really excited to try it. Five years ago, a place like this on Georgia Ave. would have been unimaginable. And I think when all is said and done while having the same type of vibe, it will be readily distinguishable from Marvin — I don’t see Marvin being quite as rustic / warm / cozy as this place once it is finished, nor having the chandelier type of vibe going on. MOre importantly, this is the ONLY French restaurant in the general viscinity, so if the food is good, it will do a stellar business.

  • One the one hand, as someone who’s lived in the neighborhood for quite a while, it’s exciting that a place like this would be opening here. A nice sit-down establishment, cooking up good food and serving good drinks.

    On the other hand, my excitement is dulled by the idea of yet another new DC establishment priced out of line with the neighborhood—yet another turbo-trendy place serving up $7-8 beers and $30 meals. Sure, it’ll be the only one in the neighborhood, but it seems like the only kind of place opening around town.

    • NoLongerNew2CH

      Springroadinaction, I beg to differ. In Logan Circle where the real estate is super expensive, sure. But many, many new places opening all throughout the city don’t fit into that definition. In Columbia Heights, in the last few years (or coming soon) we have tons of non-trendy, affordable-type places: the two new Pho places, Paila Chilean, Limefresh Mexican, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Z Burger, Thaitanic, the three forthcoming restaurants on 11th Street (a Diner, a taqueria, and an Italian panini type place), etc. Same thing applies if you look to what’s been coming in on H Street (a very diverse mix), Bloomingdale, and other up and coming area. Even on Georgia Ave., Blue Banana and DC Reynolds don’t fit into the category you are talking about. If you are going to do a build out of this complexity and scope, you are going to have to charge high prices, but I don’t see a problem with ONE higher-end restaurant coming into Petworth, when really, there is nothing else like it around.

      • PetworthRes

        +1 I’m a little weary of people arguing that people living in Petworth can’t afford anything but the least expensive restaurants. When I last checked the stats 400 houses a year were selling in 20011 – that means since the metro opened 5,000 homes have sold in this zip code. It’s a very dynamic place and not a senior citizen’s community and not an impoverished area (80% of people own their own homes…and there’s very little public housing). We have a great variety and diversity of people living in Petworth and I’m sure this restaurant will be very popular.

        • Well put. There are a lot of new residents moving into our great neighborhood. In addition, when walking/driving around, there are a lot of nice cars, which says to me that people do have some disposable income.

          I think the other thing to remember is that for the long-time residents of Petworth, they most likely own their home outright, meaning they aren’t paying a $2,000 mortgage either.

          Regardless, my wife and I are excited, we will definitely be in!

      • Yeah, I was being a little myopic with my comment. There have been a great number of (great) new places opened recently that do fit that bill. I really was just subconsciously reacting to the list of the other Hilton establishments (and selectively recalling the other newly opened places that are also more on the expensive side) and missing the forest for the trees. Really, good on them for opening a nice new place right in my (our) backyard. Even if I’ll probably never go there, there will be lots of folks who will.

  • Anonymous

    CANNOT wait for this! Definitely excited for a french place to come into the area! I will be able to get my french food fix, chilled red wine next door at 7 round, and a Wendy’s frosty on a my way home! haha

  • saf

    Dang, it’s gonna be loud in there.

    • David

      The better to drown out the sound of my crying children right, saf? :)

  • Anonymous

    The pop up with the Chez Billy chef and some of the staff was delicious. I’m super excited about it. Every neighborhood needs a balanced mix of businesses (higher and lower price points) and I’m so happy that this restaurant is helping to add to that mix.

  • Yes its more expensive than other places in petworth but that doesn’t mean its TOO expensive. I would argue that most people who have moved into petworth and parkview in the last two years welcome a little more variety from what we have now and will find the prices fine for what it is. I went to the pop up and thought the food was amazing and would be willing to pay, on occasion, for something nicer than pub grub, take out, or sala thai (not knocking any of those place, they get plenty of my business!). This is just one piece in retail diversity that makes any neighborhood more vibrant and welcoming. And don’t forget, DC reynolds is coming very soon and that will be more comfort food/bar food so we have a lot covered on the price points.

  • lmn

    Is there any word on the pizza place that was to open on Upshur Street? Domku badly needs some competition to become a competent business.

    • lei

      I wish just one more decent place to eat would open up on Upshur… it would really change the whole block… I really like Domku but one more place would be awesome.

  • I’m so excited! Two blocks from my house, really good food and beer, and a needed addition to the neighborhood. I absolutely agree with the comment about needing a variety of price points, and finally we’ll start to get them with this. I’m sick of Sala Thai, and sitting down for dinner anywhere else is not a short walk for most of Petworth. And yes- Domku does need the competition, as does just about everything else in Petworth!

  • Great news! I’m very excited about this too.

  • uknowit

    So pumped for this. I’ll gladly throw down for a meal of food and drinks here. awesome news.

  • TheDub

    It’s about time!!! I’ve lived in Petworth for almost a decade. I welcome this refreshing addition. Another sitdown restaurant besides Sala Thai and Domku is exact what the neighborhood needs. Can you say *variety*?


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