GAITHERSBURG, MD--(Marketwired - May 18, 2015) - Marriott raises a glass to the entrepreneurial spirit with CANVAS, a global incubator designed to bring amazing, locally relevant food and beverage concepts to life at the company's hotels. Beginning today, bartenders, restaurateurs and dreamers have a shot at opening a one-of-a-kind bar that's already built inside a 20 ft. by 8 ft. shipping container at Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center hotel in Montgomery County, Maryland.

With a nod to its own entrepreneurial heritage, Marriott will infuse the winning idea with the resources needed to flourish, including up to $30,000 in seed money, expert guidance and a purpose-built facility in suburban Washington, D.C., that turns the notion of "pop-up bar" on its ear. Business plans can be submitted at through noon June 9, 2015. Together with a panel of local mixologists, business experts and hotel operators, Marriott will determine which entrepreneur brings the most creativity, sustainability and business acumen to the table. After an initial span of operations, the concept will be evaluated for success based on popularity and return on investment.

As Marriott focuses on next-gen customers who thirst for local culture and cuisine, CANVAS pushes the envelope to allow Marriott to deliver distinctive food and beverage options more quickly than the typical industry model. As the program expands, Marriott will be able to attract, motivate and retain more talent -- and create a robust food and beverage idea pipeline -- while supporting smart, savvy entrepreneurs on the local level.

"Containers are the new hot thing, and we got one... our first! Our newest outpost of CANVAS, Marriott International's global food and drink incubation lab, will go lakeside to Gaithersburg and we can't wait," said Wolfgang Lindlbauer, global leader, Food & Beverage.

Marriott is firmly rooted in the food and beverage industry -- not just for restaurants and bars in its hotels around the world, but for the nine-stool root beer and tamale stand at its founding. In May 1927, J. Willard Marriott opened an A&W root beer stand in Washington, D.C. When the weather turned cold, Mr. Marriott and his wife Alice, who had learned how to make tamales and chili con carne from a cook at the nearby Mexican Embassy, began selling hot food that would later inspire a name change. The newly minted Hot Shoppes rapidly grew in popularity throughout the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. well before the company opened its first hotel in 1957.

Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, near the Rio Washingtonian Center, just 30 minutes from Washington, D.C., where the Marriott family started it all. Foodies looking to sample the Gaithersburg hotel's famous restaurant selection can follow along on Facebook or call the hotel for more details.

About Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center:

Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center is located at 9751 Washingtonian Boulevard in the popular RIO Washingtonian Center shopping, dining and entertainment complex in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With a new Marriott Hotels Greatroom, The Bench kitchen, bar and lakeside patio, and 284 relaxing guest rooms, Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center is close to the culture and excitement of the nation's capital, wineries and other local attractions. Both business and personal travelers can take advantage of the Gaithersburg flexible meeting and event spaces. While the hotel offers free parking, close proximity to the Shady Grove Metro station makes travel into the city a breeze.

For information regarding the Gaithersburg, Maryland hotel, visit Follow Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the CANVAS project.

For media inquiries regarding CANVAS at Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center, contact Lisa Clark of iThink Communications at or 724-448-5625.

Contact Information:

Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center
9751 Washingtonian Boulevard Gaithersburg, MD 20878