Turning up the heat Restaurateur set to launch fourth Hot Spot Jamaican
A Jamaican restaurant with locations in Albany and Troy is expanding with a fourth spot in downtown Schenectady.
Vincent Douglas, who runs the Hot Spot Jamaican, said he always wanted to open a restaurant in Schenectady and that the location on Broadway next to Proctors is the perfect fit.
“I went to Schenectady County Community College and when I left I was supposed to open in Schenectady ,” he said. “I diverted to Albany because I was living closer to Albany. Then I found a reasonable price in Troy so I moved there. Then I figured the best thing for me to do is what I should have done a long time ago and move here.”
Douglas said he is aiming to have a soft opening at 135 Broadway, on Stratton Plaza by the state Lottery building, on June 24. If not, the restaurant would officially open on July 1, he said.
The restaurant would serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with hours Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The restaurant would seat between 30 and 35 people. Douglas said he is also looking to add outdoor seating for between 15 and 20 people pending city approval. He said he is planning to have up to 10 employees at the Schenectady location.
“We’re expecting more of a dinner crowd,” he said. “In terms of lunch, we don’t have a clue. I think it’s at the central point of the city. I think it’s a perfect location.”
He entered into a five-year lease to occupy 1,350 square feet on the first floor of the building.
Hot Spot Jamaican American Cuisine is also located at 228 Washington Ave. in Albany, along with a bodega also in Albany, and 3301 Sixth Ave. in Troy with the option for catering and to order online.
The restaurant offers BBQ, salads, sandwiches, seafood, steak and wings along with vegetarian options. Some unique items on the menu include cow foot, curried goat and oxtail.
“Here is different from Albany,” Douglas said. “Albany is takeout and we have 17 seats. Here the food will be out and you can point and choose. We’ll have more food options too.”
The restaurant in Schenectady looks similar to the one in Albany, featuring bright orange colors.
Douglas said he anticipates doing well in Schenectady because he already has customers in the area.
“We have been doing some really big orders in Schenectady including Proctors theatre,” he said. “We have some other small companies too. We have about 10 percent of my customers are from Schenectady, maybe 15 percent. They come from Rotterdam too and beyond. I decided I would accommodate them.”
Douglas said he is hoping to have a ribbon cutting soon when the restaurant opens. He said he has been working on the space for about a month now.
“I had to do some changes and repainting and some cleaning,” he said. “We’re almost done now. We’re almost there. I’m doing whatever is necessary to make sure I’m successful.”