The Gateway Hotel and Suites on 1st Street and Baltimore Ave. is known for its prime location across from the beach, along with amenities like an outdoor pool and a free continental breakfast. Now, as of spring 2019, the Gateway is also known for hosting the second Ocean City location of an up-and-coming, family-run business.
Marisol’s Market & Cafe is a grab-and-go snack shop and general store that’s taking the Eastern Shore by storm this summer. While its second location just opened inside the Gateway, it was only last year that Kathleen Kropp opened the original Marisol’s on Sunset Island, the 37-acre bayside community off 67th Street.
“I personally live in Sunset Island all year round — there was a Dunkin Donuts that opened up on the outside of Sunset Island and I said, the only thing that could compete with a Dunkin Donuts would be a Starbucks, right?” Kropp said. “So I got in touch with Starbucks and they enabled me to do this.”
The Marisol’s in the Gateway Hotel will have the same hours as the hotel and serve Starbucks coffee, Boar’s Head deli sandwiches, ice cream, acai bowls, beer, wine and sundries that visitors might forget when packing for vacation. The cafe is accessible from the hotel’s patio and its lobby inside.
In addition to its Sunset Island and Gateway Hotel locations, there’s also a brand new Marisol’s in the Marina Bay Hotel on Chincoteague Island and one coming soon to the Cambria Hotel, currently under construction and slated to open in Ocean City in 2020.
“Marisol” in Spanish, translated literally, means “sea and sun.” The business was christened Marisol’s by Kropp’s daughter, Kimberly Freund, who helps Kropp run the family business with her daughter, Hannah Freund.
“I think Marisol’s is a great concept that works for any community or hotel because people always forget something that they might need,” Kropp said. “If you’re in a hurry, we have the grab-and-go, and it’s just so nice.”
In addition to Marisol’s Market & Cafe, Kropp and her daughter Kimberly own Sanibel’s Oceanside 32, a restaurant serving contemporary American cuisine, which also opened its doors this spring. Sanibel’s Oceanside 32 is located in the La Quinta Hotel on 32nd Street, and a second location will open in Sunset Island on May 24.
The Gateway Hotel & Suites (formerly the Sleep Inn & Suites) is located in the heart of Downtown Ocean City, just a block from the beautiful beach and famous Boardwalk. Each room has TV, refrigerator, coffee maker, hair dryer, and iron and ironing board.