The Petworth community, a mix of brick row houses and single-family homes tucked between Arkansas Avenue and North Capital Street Northwest, has come a long way from its origins as two privately owned country estates in the 1800s.
Petworth, which started to blossom as a community with a streetcar stop on a route from Silver Spring to downtown, is still bulging with project. They include a new and long-awaited Safeway, more bars along Georgia Avenue and at least one new restaurant on Upshur Street that are already receiving strong reviews from patrons.
The area’s first development came after Washington D.C. annexed the 204-acre Petworth site owned by Col. John Tayloe and the 183-acre Marshall Brown Estate. Two private development firms purchased the properties for development in the 1880s and soon thereafter Petworth's business district got rolling. The community's metro station opening in 1999 triggered a second surge in development that's still thriving today.
Petworth’s Safeway along Georgia Avenue is perhaps most anticipated among residents. The old Safeway closed in September and developers Duball LLC are clearing the site to prepare for a two-year construction process of a new Safeway, about triple in size, that will boast apartments.
Plans for the 62,000-square-foot store include a Starbucks and full deli onsite and the number of employees will triple to about 150. It’s on track to be the second-largest grocery store in the district. Aside from the new Safeway, Petworth is also welcoming more bar and restaurant options. A little place called Ainsworth & Alexander, which supposedly has amazing pineapple upside down cake, opened just before the November election at 221 Upshur Street.
Along Georgia Avenue, newer bars include D.C. Reynolds, which opened earlier this year with patio full of outdoor seating, and Chez Billy Bistro and Bar, a more upscale French eatery a few blocks north. With solid four star ratings on Yelp, both restaurants seem worth stopping in along with the other new eatery projects in Petworth.