MIKE VOSS | DAILY NEWS CHANGE IS COMING: Michael and Danielle Hunnings are making changes at the Mecca, including remodeling so the restaurant will be better able to add dinner hours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
MIKE VOSS | DAILY NEWS
CHANGE IS COMING: Michael and Danielle Hunnings are making changes at the Mecca, including remodeling so the restaurant will be better able to add dinner hours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Mecca preparing for changes

Published 8:56pm Monday, February 10, 2014

The Mecca is getting a new look … and more.

Owners Michael and Danielle Hunnings want the Mecca, which has been in downtown Washington since the 1930s, to be more family friendly. To that end, they want the Mecca’s menu and its interior to be more inviting to families.

“The main thing is we want to make it more of a restaurant. We feel that we’ve started changing it from a pool hall to a restaurant, but it still has the pool-hall atmosphere in some ways,” Danielle Hunnings said. “We have redone the kitchen and things like that, but it still had a lot of that Mecca pool-room stigma with it. … We want to make it to where — our main goal is — we can serve dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. We want to make more attractive, pleasurable, warm to where we can do a full dinner service with a full bar, but also with affordable prices.”

The dinner menu would feature steaks, fresh seafood, homemade pasta at prices where people can “bring their families in and not break their bank,” Danielle Hunnings said.

Adding dinner hours is about six to eight months away, according to Michael Hunnings.

Currently, the focus is on remodeling the back section of the Mecca, according to Michael Hunnings.

“We’ve already repainted the back. We’re actually going to come through and keep this hardwood floor so when we cater events for people, we’ll have a dance floor for them. We’re going to take up all this old, nasty tile and put down new carpet. We’re going to finish the front, completely redo our bathrooms, put new paneling up in the bathrooms,” Michael Hunnings said. “We’re going to take the old stainless steel sinks out and replace them with nice porcelain sinks.”

Adding dinner hours and expanding the menu will allow her husband to show off more of his culinary skills, Danielle Hunnings said.

“He enjoys what we do now, but there’s so much more that new knows how to do and enjoys doing it,” she said. “He’s been doing the same thing for 10 years. He’s as the point of asking himself, ‘What’s next?’”

“For a small business like the Mecca to succeed, you’ve got to change things up periodically,” Michael Hunnings said. “It’s just human nature. People just tired of the same old thing over and over and over again. … There’s no reason why we can’t grow.”

 

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