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The Navy - Merchant Marine Memorial (Paul McGehee)
The Navy - Merchant Marine Memorial (Paul McGehee)
Drive-In Memories - Hot Shoppes (Paul McGehee)

"Drive-In Memories - Hot Shoppes" by Paul McGehee. In 1927 a man named J. Willard Marriott started a small food stand selling root beer and Mexican food...and the rest is history. Born in 1900 and raised in Utah, while performing missionary work for the Mormon church on the east coast he fell in love with Washington, D.C. and soon decided to move there with his wife Alice. On his initial visit, he had observed that with the large number of tourists in the Nation's Capital it was a lucrative market for commerce. With the help of his wife and a business partner named Hugh Colton, Marriott secured the rights to the A & W Root Beer franchise for D.C., Richmond and Baltimore. He opened a 9-stool stand that sold the sugary brew at 3128 14th Street, N.W., and with its success soon added Mexican food items to the menu. It became known as The Hot Shoppe. It wasn't long before Marriott expanded his business to several different locations. The Hot Shoppes also supplied food to government agencies and Marriott began offering his expanding menu of culinary delights to airline passengers passing through the local airport (located where Arlington Beach once was, now the site of the Pentagon) beginning the first full-scale airborne food service operation in the country. Hot Shoppes restaurants were springing up everywhere by the 1940s and 50s, and Marriott soon got into the hospitality business opening hotels which were oftentimes paired with a Hot Shoppes restaurant. A real American success story...and it all started with a root beer stand. The scene depicted is of the drive-in Hot Shoppes which the artist remembers frequenting with his family as a child. The 1965 view of the Arlington, Virginia location across from Lyon Village on Lee Highway holds many memories of fun times and wonderful food. Mighty Mo's, Teen Twists, cheese rolls, thick all comes back when you look at this nostalgic artwork. Inside the Hot Shoppes it was tastefully-decorated in colonial style, replete with long-handled bed-warmers mounted to the wall next to pictures portraying life back in the 1700s. Adjacent the dining room was a magnificent gift shop with everything from D.C. souvenirs and Pennsylvania Dutch handmade soaps to imported Japanese litho-tin battery powered toys, space ships, cars and robots. At night, the drive-in strip, its awning lit with yellowish fluorescent light, was a major local hangout for families and teenagers from the local high schools. You would pull your car into a parking slot, peruse the menu on the tray kiosk, speak your order into the microphone speaker, and soon a tray of wonderful-smelling delights would be delivered to your car by a cheerful young lady dressed in the Hot Shoppes uniform. Those were the days. "Drive-In Memories - Hot Shoppes" is faithfully reproduced from Paul's original color pencil and acrylic paint artwork as an archival quality print issued in a strictly limited edition of only 2,000 pieces each hand-signed by the artist. Image size 10 1/2" x 24 1/2".

For more information, please visit this artwork's webpage.
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