Duke Ellington for Hot Shoppes

This rare gem is in the collection of a friend. Songs recorded by Duke Ellington and his band for Marriott/ Hot Shoppes

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5 thoughts on “Duke Ellington for Hot Shoppes

  1. I went to high school in Alexandria (FC Hammond), and many a night we’d go to the Hot Shoppes at Shirlington (we were supposed to be at the library). The girls were in love with the chicken soup, but we guys always ordered Mighty Mo’s.

    Occasionally, we’d go to the Bailey’s Crossroads Hot Shoppes, as it had car-hop service.

    I sometimes find it hard to fathom how a business like Hot Shoppes could fail. Convenient, plenty of parking, good food, fair prices and a 60’s-chic interior to die for. I don’t get it.

  2. Lots of girls from St. Mary’s Academy, Russell Road waitressed after school and weekends at the Shirlington Hot Shoppes in the 1970s under the stern tutelage of hostess Mrs. Keifer. We would go out on our lunch break when the Mixing Bowl was being constructed to climb on the huge mounds of dirt. Even as high schoolers, we understood that Mixing Bowl would be the end of the Shirlington Hot Shoppes because once it was built no one could ever figure out how to exit to get to the HS. During the “Remember the Titans” time, our shift work changed dramatically. We had been used to a huge Friday night crowd after the TC football games. But the games were switched to daylight during the Titan time on Saturdays for safety reasons. All of us usually worked a Friday 5-9 pm shift, then came back the next morning for an 8-hr Sat breakfast to 2 pm shift. Just as we were supposed to get off, we’d get inundated with the rowdy crowd from the afternoon football games. We were so exhausted and worked hard to smile for and serve age peers who stacked 50-100 pennies to leave as small tips. Despite what some bloggers fondly recall as teenage fun in throwing pickles from the Mighty Mo on the windows (even thinking that the old waitress Edith thought it was cute), we had to stay later (off the clock) to clean up this mess. Edith really was upset. She was old. She wanted to go home to put up her feet. We’d chip in to help each other clean up depending on who was the least tired. It was so physically exhausting to us teens trying to make money for college. Those poor old ladies. How did they do it decade after decade? We privileged girls kept going in our education because we saw the example of the older ladies just trying to make ends meet. Unlike us, they would have no other life than this drudgery. Reality check? Marriott paid 72.5 cents/hr. If the check wasn’t added up right by the waitress, she had to pay the diff out of her next paycheck. We really depended on our customers for decent tips. The older ladies pieced together jobs just so they could pay their rent. Hot Shoppes taught me about economic disparity, the value of staying in school, and how to get along with others. To this day, I will never short a waitress her 20% tip no matter what the service because of what I learned waitressing at the Shirlington Hot Shoppes for four years.

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