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French Restaurant, Plateau, coming to new development in former Brutalist Church spot on 16th Street

by Prince Of Petworth July 29, 2016 at 10:20 am 12 Comments

900 16th Street, NW

The liquor license placard for Plateau says:

“Full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring French cuisine with live entertainment indoors on the weekend. Total occupant load: 180. Total number of seats: 147. Total number of sidewalk café seats: 66.”

16th and I St, NW

Brutalist Church no more



  • lmfb

    Interesting name selection–seems like it would invite some not so great puns. “This menu has really plateaued…”

  • Irving Streete

    I liked the church better than the Leggo heap currently on the spot. That would have been a cool spoace for a restaurant.

    • Anon

      Nothing like day-drinking in the morning, eh?

  • nancy

    I miss the church. It was something different and loved the bells.

  • Duponter

    Wow, I never thought I would miss a brutalist anything, but that building is really unfortunate.

  • Anon

    What’s up with the awkward ground floor windows? The smaller “transom” windows are so poorly proportioned and seem completely overwrought. Can someone please explain the possible reasoning behind this? Because I can’t seem to find one rational reason to do what they did.

    • Linc Park SE

      Agreed- it looks like they started building with one design in mind and then switched plans after the first floor.

      • annonny

        The one building/two design theory hadn’t occurred to me but looking at the result, it actually makes perfect sense. Plus, once you see the weird “crystal” entrance, you’ll think it was three designs tossed together into a Shark Blender.
        While I was never a huge fan of the old church, this replacement is a really lost opportunity to have done something much better at a prime downtown location.

  • P. Lecheval

    At least it’s not another steakhouse. Unlike the one that’s going in across the street.

  • Anon. no. 5

    It’s a shame that the Brutalist church building had to go, because it was one of the best examples of such a structure in all of the country. I wish somehow it could have been kept. Now the FBI building on the other hand…

    • Belinskaya

      Unfortunately, Brutalist architecture tends to have some pretty bad window and roof problems that are major reasons for so many of these buildings needing replacement at the end of their useful life. Nonstandard window sizes, weird shapes to the building, etc. all make renovation that much more expensive, and a church with declining membership couldn’t afford the necessary work, didn’t need that large a space anymore, and had no one stepping up to finance. Also, this one is weird in that they didn’t want the building in the first place – it wasn’t commissioned by the church so much as one patron commissioned it and gave it to them. It never filled their needs well, it aged poorly, and in the end it was an albatross. But it’s hard to say no to a free new building, and they got 40 years of use out of it, so it’s hard to say accepting it was the wrong decision.

  • Colin

    Don’t miss that church in the least. New building is generic but inoffensive and gives the block a more filled-in and complete feeling.


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