Being a Part of D.C.'s Heritage

October 26, 2009

DSC_0879 As many of you know, our company started out as a small, nine-stool A&W root beer stand in Washington, D.C, more than 80 years ago.  We quickly evolved into the restaurant business, opening a chain called Hot Shoppes.

One of our very first Hot Shoppes was in the Columbia Heights neighborhood on 14th Street.  The last Hot Shoppe closed its doors years ago, but the memory of that one on 14th Street is being commemorated as a site on the Heritage Trail of Washington, D.C.

The Heritage Trail is a system of self-guided walking routes through the nation's capital with illustrated signs along the way, telling the stories of some of the city's most historic neighborhoods like Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan.

This past Saturday, a sign was placed at the site of our Hot Shoppe and information about this location will be included in the booklet provided to visitors that walk the trails.  I'm very honored that this little restaurant started by my mom and dad is now a part of the history of our nation's capital.

I hope if you're ever in town, you will take a walk on the trail and see where it all began for us.

I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Being a Part of DCs Heritage

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Just a quick note I remember when I was between my college degrees at AU, Wash., D.C. That I took a summer job at Hot Shoppes, Wisconsin Ave., Wash., D.C. And learned the art of total diplomacy. That year was about 1977 and I have memories of service and self realization. Anyway it is always good to reflect to the past... All the best Sheila

Dear Mr. Marriott,
You took the time to call my mom on her death bed. She could not talk at the time but she knew it was you. Her eyes were wide and her mouth opened but couldn't express thanks for the kindness. She loved you and your dad. She loved working for Marriott. Your hospitality goes beyond the obvious things your known for, and beyond usual kindness. Mom passed away the next day. My family wont forget the warmth you showed her that day.
God Bless you and your family Bill.
People don't know all the nice "little things" you do that profoundly inspire us to do likewise,
but God Knows

It was so great to have the kids see there grandfather Bob Smice on the marker with Mr. Marriott. Makes the family a part of Washington D.C. history. Thanks
Bill Smice

p.s. Do you still have the original photo of the Hot Shoppe my Dad gave Mr. Marriott at the opening of the Great Americas Park in California.

Dear Bill,
I cannot tell you how many time my mother has told me the stories of the good old days working in the Hot Shoppes. My mother Simone Wallace work at the Washingon DC Hot Shoppe in the late 50s before she moved to HQ on river road and has shared so many fond memories. She talks of sharing her lunch with JW and serving Leonard Lafave the best fried eggs he ever had and working with Elenor Haney in the menu department. Yes, she has a lot of tales about you, too. Those were the days!

their should be a website or a facebook page of all the past employees of the hot shoppes.

My Dad, Bob Smice was Mr. Marriotts first employee and is in the Photo with him standing in the window. I am going to be in D.C. this easter and plan on stopping by this section of the Heritage Trail and show my son and daughter this part of our heritage.

My Dad corresponded with the Marriotts until his passing and was very proud of there long friendship.

Whenever I think back to my days as a student at American University in Washington, D.C., during the early sixties, I remember with great fondness the ritual of Sunday lunch at the Hot Shoppe on Wisconsin Avenue off Nebraska. The delicious food at affordable prices was probably a factor in my having gained the proverbial "freshman 15 lbs.," and was a real treat. The restaurant had a small gift area, and I still have the stuffed bear that I talked my parents into getting for me when they came to visit me at school. Thank you.

Whenever I take a "stroll down memory lane" of being a student at American University in Washington, D.C., I remember with great fondness the ritual of having Sunday lunch at the Hot Shoppe on Wisconsin Avenue off Massachusetts. I'm not sure why the Hot Shoppes sold anything but the delicious quality food that I wish still exists, but I still have the stuffed bear that my parents bought for me there when they visited me at school. Thank you.

That's a great story and delicious comments. Congratulations on being included on the Heritage Trail. I'll have to take a walk on it next time I visit Washington D.C.

I never realised Marriott had grown from such humble beginnings. Nice to hear a bit about your history, and even better to hear it's being incorporated into a heritage trail.

Hi I recently moved back home after working for Marriott I must say I enjoyed my job with the company and miss the spirit to serve mandate. I would love to be a part of the family again could you tell me when the next Marriott will be opening in Trinidad and Tobago so that I can apply?

I am in the Hospitality Program at the University of Arkansas. We studied the Marriott Company history in my Resort Management class last semester. I remember learning about the Hot Shoppes that your family started. I was excited to read that yall will be honored in the Heritage Trail. Congratulations.

Recently my wife and I had the pleasure of staying at the Shelborne Renaissance in Dublin Ireland. Like all of your hotels the bed was covered with a feather bedspread. Unfortunately I can't sleep under those because they are just too hot. Most of your hotels have a lighter blanket in the closet. The Shelborne didn't. I went down to the front desk and asked Marta if she could have housekeeping deliver a lighter blanket to the room. We then went into the resturant for dinner. When we returned to the room we saw a note from Elnie Regalado, the accomodation supervisor. She explained that they didn't have a lighter blanket but that she had swapped out the feather duvet for a foam one that would be lighter. i wish I could include the note for you to see but there doesn't seem to be a way to attach files to this site. This is an example of someone going out of their way to accomodate a guest. She could have just said that they didn't have a lighter blanket and left it at that. She could have just dropped off the blanket. Instead she came up with a solution and then remade the entire bed. I would like to see this young lady received some recognition for her devotion to customer service. If you give me an email address I would be happy to send you a copy of the note.
Ernie Lamberski

Growing up in Northern Virginia in the 60s, we were Hot Shoppes regulars. I remember 3 of the locations very well:
Route 50 at Patrick Henry Drive (near 7-Corners). This location had a nice dining room and a separate carry out space. We enjoyed many a Mighty Moe at the curb service.
Lee Highway at Kirkwood Road in Arlington. Often met my father there for lunch. Great staff and a nice facility.
Baileys Crossroads. A newer, open-kitchen concept, I got my first job there as a busboy at age 14 and worked there through high school - eventually doing just about every job in the store.
Today, one of my roles is to teach effective customer service. I often use stories and examples from the Baileys Crossroads Hot Shoppes to illustrate and reinforce good customer service principles. After all, the Hot Shoppe was where I learned how to do it!
I'm glad to see Marriott honored for the company's (and your family's) many contributions to the Washington area.

I have fond memories of going to the Hot Shoppe drive-in on Georgia Ave. as a child with my parents. My father had a small table built that fit over the hump in the back floor of the car. As children, that's where we put our hamburgers and soda when we ate in the car. I remember the Hot Shoppes waitresses coming out to the car to serve us. Indeed, Hot Shoppes is a part of my heritage as a native Washingtonian. I am glad to see Marriott honored in the Heritage Trail.

Bill your brand is and always has been first class and ive enjoyed being a loyal platinum member for over 15 yrs. You might want to check out whose dropped the ball on posting the platinum elite exclusive offers on time today. I know you wouldnt like that. All the best look forward to more great experiences

Thank You for sharing your experience- Going back has a way of making one appreciate the growth of our beautiful America. I use to work at SATX Global Res. Plat.Desk. tll I became ill- Its the best job and the best famly I have ever been part of. When I look back at how your father and mother believed that if you treat your employees good they will work hard for you. Your Good People Sir, and I thank you,and for all the good Admin. Staff keeping Marriott on the move.

I never realised Marriott had grown from such humble beginnings. Nice to hear a bit about your history, and even better to hear it's being incorporated into a heritage trail.

Great story! Thanks.

I grew up in DC and I sure miss having a Mighty Mo, french fries with gravy, and of course the hot fudge sundae cake. Spent just about every weekend in high school hanging out at the Hot Shoppes.I have wonderful memories as a kid and having the Hot Shoppes part of the Heritage Trail is well deserved.

I had heard the history a while back but had forgotten. It was nice to hear it again in your blog on DC Heritage. Thanks

My husband, Geoffrey, died 19 years ago, but before he did we visited his parents in D.C. often and Grampa would always insist on eating at The Hot Shoppe

Congratulations on becoming part of the Heritage Trail. My parents have actually walked portions of this during their annual visit to Washington, D.C. I will be sure to tell them about the Hot Shoppe being added so they can be sure to visit the Columbia Heights neighborhood.
They have enjoyed staying at various Marriott properties in the area.

Growing up in the Washington DC area Hot Shoppes brings up pleasant memories. I remember many unique preparations such as Mighty Mo and Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake with a cherry, a real treat growing up a part of simpler pleasures of life. I wish you could bring back some of the things the Restaurants served to the Hotel restaurants. Thank you for many years of service.

How do I share a customer service experience?