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Simple Bar and Grill Coming to Brightwood

by Prince Of Petworth — June 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm 30 Comments

5828 Georgia Avenue, NW

Good news for Brightwood residents – a casual neighborhood spot is coming your way. The former Kendejah restaurant and lounge is going to become ‘Simple Bar and Grill’ (next door to Chocolate Crust formerly Washington Deli.) I spoke with owner Wilfredo Guzman (Wil) who says he hopes to have the space open (at least to sample the food) in a month or so. After that they plan on getting their liquor license in hopes of offering a tasty mojito and more.


Since the space was formerly a restaurant, most of the changes going on inside are cosmetic (though the kitchen has been completely reworked.) But right away, for folks who know the area, you’ll notice an improvement because the former cinderblock/bricked front of Kendejah has been replaced by two big open windows. Wil tells me that he plans for the space to be very welcoming. Folks who live in the area can often see Wil cleaning up the area in front of his store (which can be a Sisyphean task on busy Georgia Ave.) not to mention beautifying the tree box and other touches.

Inspired by the many restaurants he has worked at, Wil wants to appeal to everyone’s taste and keep it nice and simple – thus the name. The menu will develop over time but he plans on serving grilled meats and other simple dishes at a very reasonable price. Inside folks will find a small bar in the back and lots of booths and table seating for up to 95 (the space is two storefronts combined and deceivingly large.) There will be tvs as well so folks can watch football during football season and watch other big sporting events as well. Though Wil emphasized that the spot will not be a sports bar and restaurant rather it will be a neighborhood bar and restaurant.

I asked Wil how he decided to open a restaurant while currently owning a tattoo shop and he laughed and said he’s always had two jobs. While Graphic Box is only about 2 1/2 years old and will remain open (5816 Georgia Ave NW) – he’s worked at restaurants for over 16 years. He had to work two jobs to pay his way through the Corcoran School of Art while also supporting a daughter.

I have very high hopes for Simple Bar and Grill to become a casual but comfortable spot. Stay tuned for updates as they get closer to opening.

  • Anonymous

    Simple Bar? Oh my, the jokes that will follow.

    • beabeth

      I like the name!!

    • :{)


  • anon

    As opposed to Complicated Bar & Grill.

  • Victoria

    Looking forward to it. I hope it works out and it can be a neighborhood place.

  • Thanks for keeping hope alive, but I’m a bit skeptical…to say the least. I mean the owner can’t even think up a decent restaurant name. And whats wrong with a sports bar? i think a cool sports bar, perhaps one that serves tasty mojitos alongside a good microbrewery selection would do well in this neighborhood.

    • hungryman

      Does the name of a place really have ANYTHING to do with how delicious a perfectly grilled meat and well mixed mojito are prepared. I know first hand the skill that Wil has when hes in front of quality seasoned meats and a fired up grill. I have literally eaten tens of pounds of his grilling over the last several years. The man makes animals taste amazing. I can vouch for that. I cant wait for it to open! Great job Wil. The hardest working man on Georgia avenue.

      • Good luck, Wil. I wish you luck. Though the family concept doesn’t work for me ill make sure and pop in give it a shot since we are neighbors :).

    • :{) Simple Bar and Grill was design and create to be Simple including the name. This place will have creativity,design and taste. We are not 100% sport bar because we want families to join us too. And we will have many good beers too :{)


  • Lisa G.

    I would be so down with a nice drink spot with no tvs.

  • Awesome. This area desperately needs a place where you can sit down, eat dinner, and have a drink.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds great – and I’m so glad to see those cinder blocks/bricks go! Nothing says “Come on in” like a black bricked-in box.

  • This kind of establishment can bring a neighborhood together- local bar/restaurants were key in some areas during snowmageddon (snowpocalypse? I dunno), where even families with small children appreciated the outlet.

    • anotherneighbor

      totally agree.

    • That is are goal a place where families and friends get bite to eat and have a good time and maybe watch a soccer game :{).


  • Anonymous

    This is great! I’m excited to stop in for a beer.

    Any chance you’ll serve breakfast?

    • Simple will offer lunch, diner and sunday brunch too, but no breakfast yet
      :{) sorry.


  • David G.

    Woo hoo! I’m excited.

    I agree with the poster above. The fewer TVs, the better.

  • beer?

    why is the first comment always negative? simple is a fine name by me. I wish them the best and guarantee that I will at least give them a shot. I live right around the corner and would love to have a place like this nearby. good luck simple!

  • anotherneighbor

    Great news!! Thank you, Wil, for opening just what I’ve been craving here. And thank you for making this spot prettier with those beautiful future window seats instead of those ugly cinderblocks! I’m nearby and look forward to dropping by for a bite and a drink. Please include a few vegetarian options with that grilled meat so my husband and I can eat together. And ignore whoever doesn’t like the name–it speaks for itself–I like it and the concept.

    • I love a good nice meat, but I also love a powerful Salads we have to have a good vegetarian dishes for sure!


  • beabeth

    Looking forward to checking it out. Hope the place is hip with reasonably priced and good food and beverage options.

  • Welcome Wil! I am super excited to have a sit down place in the area, expecially since Chocolate Crust was a bust (bad food and even worse customer service). I hope someone also leases the old Brightwood Bistro space after the WalMart comes in.

    • anotherneighbor

      Really? I’m a big fan of Chocolate Crust. Their pastries are incredible. I do wish they had more seating space, but I think that’s the nature of that space with the floor on different levels.

      • yetanotherneighbor

        I’m also a big fan of Chocolate Crust. I love to stop by for breakfast on the weekend or a quick treat. I’ve never had a problem with the service, either. Maybe notlawd caught them on an off day? I’m delighted about the addition of Simple. It’s already a huge improvement with the work he’s done on the exterior; I got a tiny peek through the window the other day and it looks like things are coming along nicely inside. Graphic Box has always done a nice job maintaining their exterior and the street in front of the shop. Can’t wait to try Wil’s food!

  • This is great new for our neighborhood! Very excited to have a locally owned bar/restaurant.

    Growth is happening in Brightwood Park 🙂

  • Karrye

    this is totally exciting!!!! I’ve been looking for a friendly place to hang out, eat and drink with friends and neighbors since Brightwood Bistro closed! Wil, as a fellow small business person, I’d like to toast your courage. Right around the corner, did I already say that I’m excited???

  • BP

    Very excited…hoping for draft beer (dc brau or other locals maybe?) … Should be a great addition to the neighborhood.

  • Redraiderdc

    This is fantastic news. We’ve been looking forward to something like this coming along since we moved in around the corner two years ago. We will definitely be in and more than once. Can’t wait.


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