J. Lawrence Giuliani Sr., 76, co-owner of Jimmie's Cafe, a popular Capital Hill restaurant for more than 40 years before it was sold in 1973, died of congestive heart failure Friday at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Guiliani joined a brother, Orlando, in the operation of Jimmie's in 1963. The restaurant's regular customers included such Washingtonians as the late House speaker Joe Cannon and Supreme Court associate justices Harry A. Blackmun and the late William O. Douglas, who praised Jimmie's for its "human touch."

"Jimmie's is the place to take your wife," Justice Douglas, a customer for more than 20 years, said in a 1971 Washington Post magazine story, "if you think she needs to get-down-to-earth or if she likes an off-beat place."

Mr. Giuliani was born in Winchester, Va. His father and uncles had operated a chain of food stores ranging from Pennsylvania to West Virginia and he himself became a wholesale and retail food merchant. In the late 1930s he was one of the first to introduce frozen foods to the Shenandoah Valley region.

In 1949, he moved to the Washington area, where he worked as a wholesale and retail grocer before joining his brother's restaurant business at 209 1/2 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

Mr. Giuliani lived in Chevy Chase and was a former member of the Knights of Columbus and Rotary International.

Besides his brother, Orlando, of Washington, survivors include his wife, the former Fede Betti, of Chevy Chase; three sons, Joseph, of Potomac, Benjamin, of Bethesda, and Dr. John L. Jr., of Princeton, N.J.; two sisters, Pasqua Ambrogi of Washington and Rina Chifenti of Tuscany, Italy, and seven grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Holy Trinity Church Restoration Fund in Washington.