Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood and Steaks: A 2009 National Register of Historic Places Recipient

billy-simpsons-house-of-seafoodRecently, the Washington Business Journal  reported that 16 District properties had achieved historic status. Among them was Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood and Steaks located at 3815 Georgia Avenue, NW, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 17, 2009.

The two-story building was constructed in 1923 as one of a row of four nearly identical attached brick commercial/residential buildings on the east side of Georgia Ave. All four buildings still exist today.

The structure at 3815 has been altered from its original design over the years. There was a fire in 1947 which may be responsible for the destruction of the original storefront. The change to the Tudor style, including herringbone and basket-weave patterned brick, simulated leaded-glass windows, and the use of false half-timbering may date to 1956 when Kushner’s Restaurant changed to Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood and Steaks.billy-simpsons

Billy Simpson’s is historically significant for playing a notable role in the social and political culture of the District of Columbia’s African American community. The restaurant was frequented by many notable people in politics and government, and the owner, William W. “Billy” Simpson, was an avid supporter of civil rights and anti-war causes.

The entire National Register of Historic Places paperwork on this property, which includes the historic images found here, can be found by going here>> billy-simpsons-interior

(Edith and Billy Simpson. On the ceiling is a light up map of Africa)

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22 Responses to “Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood and Steaks: A 2009 National Register of Historic Places Recipient”

  1. [...] that the owners of Marvin are thinking about opening a similar concept in the former location of Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood and Steaks, a historic Petworth restaurant and civil rights rallying [...]

  2. [...] to Petworth According to the Washington Business Journal, there may be new life in the former Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood and Steaks located at 3815 Georgia Avenue, [...]

  3. [...] and American Ice Company), takes its name from a historic restaurant on the same property, Billy Simpson's House of Seafood. In its heyday, Billy Simpson's was one of the few white tablecloth establishments that served [...]

  4. [...] building itself looks great inside and out and I certainly like that the former Billy Simpson’s is on the National Register of Historic Places. I predict that this will be a very popular destination in the Petworth/Park View area. Spirits [...]

  5. I grew up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in the 60′s, but both my parents went to Howard University. Every year, my family went to D.C. at least once, and Billy Simpson’s was de rigueur. I am now 56 years old, and there is no restaurant on the face of the planet that fills my heart with as much warmth and love as Billy Simpson’s. I can still taste the grilled pork chops and still see the cozy, dark-lit warmth. Thanks for the memories.

  6. I’m glad to learn that the restaurant hasn’t been forgotten. My father was a part of the local political scene and I remember going there once, although it may have been twice. Left a big impression of a twelve or thirtheen year old- myself. When we traveled to New York City I remember going to the “Red Rooster” restaurant which has reopned with new ownership.

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  8. [...] Engine Company No. 24 (since moved and incorporated as the Metro chiller plant), and the former Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood and Steaks (now Chez Billy). Of those, only 750 Park Road is officially in Park View. Recognizing that we do [...]

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