Things are almost suspiciously quiet on opening day at Serendipity 3, a New York institution that started serving sweet tooths in Georgetown on Monday. There was no line at the door, at Wisconsin Avenue and M Street. (Lavanya Ramanathan-The Washington Post) (Lavanya Ramanathan)

The shoppe, famous for its $9-a-pop “Frrrozen Hot Chocolate,” opened its third national location at Wisconsin Avenue and M Street in Georgetown on Monday in the old Nathans restaurant and bar, which had called that corner home for 40 years before closing in 2009.

The big surprise? There wasn’t much of a line at all — probably because the temperature was an unforgiving 95 degrees, and Washingtonians had poured out of the city for Memorial Day. There were hour-plus waits for tables, but it was easy to belly up to the bar on opening day for a sugary lunch; the place also takes reservations, a blessing in this age of the 40-minute wait for lunch, if you ask us.


The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is the restaurant's signature dessert; if you want to get all fancy, there are seven other varieties. (The Washington Post)

The reason people go to Serendipity, of course, is for the sweets, which fill the back page of the menu but were often the first things tables were ordering. (It’s legend that Andy Warhol was a fan of this sugar shop decades ago.) The restaurant’s icy hot chocolates — billed as being loaded with 20 types of chocolate — are creamy shakes topped with a four-inch mountain of whipped cream and two straws.

On opening day, many people were ordering the peanut-butter incarnation, or the red velvet sundae, which comes with a whole slice of cake nestled in ice cream.  (If you are the sort to have sugar cravings, at oh, 2 a.m., you can add Serendipity to Washington’s ever-growing list of late-night eats. It will be open 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.)

The D.C. location of Serendipity 3, like the New York and Las Vegas restaurants, also offers the Golden Opulence Sundae, a confection of vanilla ice-cream scented with pricey Madagascar vanilla beans and topped with expensive chocolates, marzipan and a swath of edible gold leaf, all served in crystal with a gold spoon. (You have to order it two days in advance.) 


One of the dining rooms at Serendipity 3.