[Photos: Missy Frederick/Eater.com]
The city's largest hotel opened its doors when the Marriott Marquis debuted next to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center May 1. Eater took a tour of the new hotel to get a better sense of the food and beverage offerings. Here's the rundown:
Anthem: This casual American restaurant has a nine-seat diner counter inspired by Hot Shoppes, the root beer stand owned by Marriott's founder before he transitioned into the hotel dishes. That means the menu reflects a mix of classics from Hot Shoppes, like an orange sherbet milkshake and a "Mighty Mo" double decker burger, along with new menu creations (kale chips weren't exactly a thing during Hot Shoppes' early days). The hotel hopes the counter seating will be appealing for solo diners, which are often found at hotels.
The Lobby Bar: The sleek-looking Lobby Bar has extensive bar seating and a six-screen television wall along the bar, plus more comfortable couches and chairs and free wi-fi available for working guests.
The Dignitary: This whiskey bar has kind of masculine-leaning decor, with lots of woods, leather and plush red accents. There's an impressive whiskey and Scotch list (including a $50 pour of Pappy Van Winkle), with fancy bar food to match. They're eventually going to add a patio alongside 9th St. NW, which may offer cigars.
High Velocity: A fairly typical sports bar with plenty of televisions and 48 beers on draft. They've got 10 types of Moscow Mules (no real reason for singling out that particular cocktail beyond the fact it's a good one, according to a spokesman). They'll eventually add a ticker tape outside the bar with sports scores and news briefs.
For hotel guests: The hotel boasts a high-end lounge called the "M Club" (Marriott's director of sales calls it a "concierge lounge on steroids") available for members of Marriott's higher-end rewards clubs (or for those who pay a fee). Those who venture there can experience a patio with a great view, free breakfast, drinks and snacks and other amenities.
Still to come: Another restaurant will open alongside the Massachusetts Ave. NW side of the hotel. It's a lease and will be operated by a Chicago-based restaurateur/restaurant group with locations in Miami and New York. An announcement on that will come later this summer, with an opening expected by fall. Eater's been trying to brainstorm what that might be — Mercadito is Chicago-based with New York locations, but their Miami restaurant recently closed.
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