Now and a Long Time Ago: Billy Martin’s Carriage House Restaurant

Carriage House

This week on Now and a Long Time Ago, GM is taking a different tack. In searching for old postcards of Georgetown, he found one that confused him. It said it was Billy Martin’s restaurant, but it looked nothing like how the tavern looks today. Could it have changed that much?

Looking closer GM realized that the name of the establishment was “Billy Martin’s Carriage House Restaurant”. A little more digging confirmed that this was a totally different restaurant opened by the same Billy Martin. And it was just up the street in the building seen here.

According to records, this restaurant opened in the spring of 1953 (the original tavern opened in 1933):

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The initial reviews were generally favorable:

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Here’s what the exterior looked like (which the citizens association gave an award to in honor of the recently adopted Old Georgetown Act):

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Here’s a menu (probably from the restaurant’s later days):


According to the 2004 obituary for Billy Martin Sr.: “In 1953, Mr. Martin opened Billy Martin‘s Carriage House at 1238 Wisconsin Ave. The 700-seat eatery had six dining rooms and a piano bar called the Snuggery. He sold the Carriage House in 1982.”

But it stopped being what it was before 1982. In 1978 it went disco:

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(When Tramps closed in 1982, it inspired its own laments):

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And there you have it, a second Billy Martin’s. And possibly even more interesting than the first.



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7 responses to “Now and a Long Time Ago: Billy Martin’s Carriage House Restaurant

  1. Billy Martin’s Carriage House Restaurant was a popular prom night dinner choice in the 1960’s. I had dinner there on three different prom nights over two years. Ellie

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  3. Billy Martin’s Carriage House had a special room named after Tip O’Neil, a frequent visitor. Michael O’Harro owned Tramps in the same building after the Carriage House closed. Billy Martin was still the owner of the building, all through the disco years. When Tramp’s closed, O’Harro opened a punk rock club in the same building. O’Harro brought disco and punk music to D.C., quite an accomplishment I would say.

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  5. Ellie Budic

    Sent from my iPad


  6. Pingback: Georgetown Time Machine: Punk Rock | The Georgetown Metropolitan

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