A venerable but bygone name in American hospitality will be resurrected in the city where it began.
Hotelier J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr. disclosed in an interview with Washingtonian published today that a Hot Shoppes would open in the new Marriott Marquis hotel now under construction next to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
It would be the first Hot Shoppes since the 1999 closing of the last outlet in what was once a dozens-strong chain of
cafeteria-style restaurants. Hot Shoppes was the foundation of the Marriott family hospitality empire, which grew from a single storefront restaurant opened at 14th Street and Park Road NW by J. Willard Marriott in 1927.
Bill Marriott, Willard’s son and executive chairman of Marriott International Corp., said the menu will feature the classic “Mighty Mo” — a triple-decker hamburger that some say
was ripped off by inspired the McDonald’s franchisee who invented the Big Mac.
[UPDATE, 3:50 P.M., 12/21: Having heard from many Teen Twist and Orange Freeze enthusiasts, the post had been corrected to reflect that not all Hot Shoppes outlets were cafeteria-style, only some. Also, head over to Rosenwald, Md., where Mike Rosenwald shares the official Marriott-endorsed recipe for Mighty Mo sauce.]
The hotel is expected to open in spring 2014.
Marriott offered a few details in his interview with Carol Joynt:
Will it be faithful to the old menu?
Chicken croquettes might not adapt to today, but you can’t mess around with the Mighty Mo.
I loved the steak-and-cheese and the orange freeze.
The orange freeze is easy: orange sherbet and vanilla syrup.