Warm and inviting describe the atmosphere of the Hotspot Café at 101 East Third St, on the corner at Pine St. Owner Hector Alverio beams when he welcomes customers. Mr. Alverio has been open since January 2020. He has remained open throughout the COVID pandemic. The menu board is full of homemade specialties. The full meals include meatloaf with potatoes and gravy & rosemary Chicken with rice. Lighter fare includes Italian sausage with peppers and onions, macaroni and cheese, and tacos. There are cookies and muffins to round out your meal. “We serve American and Latin food,” says Alverio, “I have the best chef and we have known each other since we worked at the Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua.” On good weather days he opens up a hotdog stand on the same corner. The business is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 and employs three staff.
Alverio is from Chicago, and currently resides in Fredonia, N.Y. While most of his businesses center around food, he has a successful DJ business that provides entertainment from Buffalo to Cleveland to Pittsburgh. He also owns a catering business, Chicken BBQ business and a Hot Dog Cart. “We make each meal special. Our BBQ is not the usual coleslaw and potato salad, we mixed it up with other sides. Our catering business serves very nice dinners, 4- and 5-star meals, for any size group. A dinner party at one’s home or a 1,500-plate wedding reception. We’ve had drive up chicken BBQ’s this year, at one we served 350 customers,” said Alverio.
While this writer was interviewing Mr. Alverio a steady stream of customers walked in the restaurant and the phone rang a few times as well with take out orders. One of the phone calls was from a fan in Erie who was on their way into Jamestown and wanted to pick up a meal. “I have many repeat customers, probably 65% are repeat customers. I have been in the catering and food business for years. I have customers that come in from Buffalo and Erie often.
“I really enjoy my business, I love it!,” he beamed. It’s easy to see why the restaurant was busy even at 3:30 on a weekday afternoon. He chatted with every customer, knew most by name, and sent them off with a smile and a good meal. When asked what his best seller was, he said, “the Cuban sandwich.” I asked what the secret was, he said, “the pork, we season it and let it sit for a day, makes it very tasty.” One of the regulars was eating his dinner and when asked about the Cuban he said, “it’s huge.” “Soup is another best seller,” he added. I can attest to that; I took home a cup of the Stuffed Pepper Soup and it was very good.
The biggest surprise to this seasoned restaurateur is the great support Jamestown has shown to the business. “The policemen, firemen, City Hall employees, the Mayor and all the other customers have been a blessing to me and my family,” he said, “I have been very blessed in Jamestown.”
The Hotspot Café can be reached at (716) 720-5038. Enjoy!