When it comes to great burgers and atmosphere, there is no place better than Ashland’s newest restaurant, Hot Spot, located on Bridge Street, across from the Southern Oregon University campus, behind Mihama Teriyaki Grill.
Born in Scotland, owner Sam Cox has lived in the states for 15 years, the last four of which were in Ashland. He opened up Hot Spot with his wife Katie Cox in mid-April with a goal of serving quick food at an affordable cost.
“There are a lot of places to get high-priced food in Ashland,” Katie Cox said. “We wanted authentic food for real people”.
“I wanted to serve food for the working man,” Sam Cox said.
Sam Cox is in the restaurant every day along with employees Amy and Emily. The Hot Spot staff seems like a family.
“Our 16-month-old daughter … kind of serves as our mascot,” Katie Cox said.
When they originally opened, their plan was to serve breakfast and sandwiches. Burgers were an afterthought.
“We already had the grill, so we thought ‘let’s just add a burger to the menu’,” Katie Cox said, “The popularity of it just exploded”.
In addition to burgers, sandwiches and breakfast items, the restaurant also provides various baked goods.
Even though it is scarcely a month old, Hot Spot is already looking towards the future. Recently, it changed its hours to being closed on Saturdays, so that the open sign could stay lit until 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. There is also the possibility of adding an outdoor patio area, for extra seating and a foosball table, they said.
Hot Spot may also be expanding its menu to add custom burgers, smoothies and soft-serve ice cream. Sam Cox is also looking into getting his Oregon Liquor Control Commission License, so that the restaurant can serve local beers.
Customers can voice their opinions through firstname.lastname@example.org or by talking to the owners directly.
“We want to know what people want to see,” said Katie Cox.
Hot Spot also has a Student Special menu with full combo meals at a good price. The restaurant also boasts a “Bubble Bobble” arcade game where the daily high score wins a free meal off of the student special board.
Hot Spot is open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. For more information, including a copy of the menu, visit www.hotspoteatery.com, which is operated by Southern Oregon University freshman Rahul Singh.