I received word that Chez Billy was closing its doors on Sunday night without notice. I reached out to the restaurant, and spoke to an employee who confirmed the story. The employee said they weren't told any details of the closure beyond it was "closed for good." Today we're getting a tad more info.
It appears they're closing to "refresh the decor" and to change the "concept" of the restaurant to something new (see update below). They plan to be closed for a month, though if major work is happening inside that will require permits to be issued, expect it to take longer. Hopefully they publish an official announcement to clear up these rumors.
Update 1pm: According to the Washingtonian, the owners of Chez Billy (Ian and Eric Hilton) confirmed the closing of Chez Billy, with the intent of reopening a new restaurant in the same location in 6-8 weeks.
[Ian] Hilton says the goal in Petworth is to create more of a neighborhood hangout than a “special occasion place.” Though the bistro was known for great happy hour deals and their burger royale, the price point for entrees still hovered in what many would consider the date-night category of $24-plus.
According to Popville, he received a message from Chez Billy saying the restaurant is closing for August and plans to open after Labor Day, after a "vacation and refresh" of the decor.
Chez Billy Petworth will be closed in August for vacation and a decor refresh. Our Georgetown location will be open for business as usual. We’ll look forward to serving you after Labor Day.
Popville reports he received a follow-up statement from Chez Billy:
Renovation on the space has "started for a new concept" today. What exactly the new concept will be still needs to be "ironed out." They are hoping renovations will only take a month but realize in reality it could take longer. Maybe two months. No employees were laid off. All will be invited back when they reopen with the new concept. Also employees can transfer to their other restaurants.
According to that statement, it's a temporary closure, not permanent as they first confirmed last night. If it's simply a refresh of the interior, I wonder why they didn't announce this earlier, or at least prep their employees? According to what I was told last night, employees were notified on the same day the restaurant was to close.
Definitely not a great public relations effort by the owners to get ahead of this issue and inform the neighborhood.
- Chez Billy closes for good tonight (July 31, 2016)