Hot Spot finding success in space last occupied by burrito joint

Students wait in line Friday afternoon to order a late lunch at Hot Spot in SUB I (Trevor De Saussure).
Students wait in line Friday afternoon to order a late lunch at Hot Spot in SUB I (Trevor De Saussure).

Mason’s newest lunchtime-only dining option, Hot Spot, has resurrected once “unutilized” space.

Located in SUB I, between Chick-fil-A and the Rathskellar, Hot Spot is a new dining concept that offers a different type of cuisine each week. Food choices at Hot Spot are determined by polls conducted on the Mason Dining Facebook page.

In the week following its opening on Jan. 23, Hot Spot garnered 50 to 60 patrons per day. That number has now jumped to an average of 190 customers a day, according to Sodexo Resident District Manager Ram Nabar.

“Variety and freshness keep it popular,” said Nabar. “Reliability is also a huge factor.”

The venue is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, and they offer meal plan deals.

Several students have voiced their support for Hot Spot on the Mason Dining Facebook page.

“By far the best food on campus,” wrote freshman Ben Waters.

Senior Alex Romano wrote, “quick line, tasty food and good quality for a great deal.”

Prior to the start of the semester, the space currently occupied by Hot Spot was used to house the fast food burrito venue, Burrito Del Rey.

Nabar said Burrito Del Rey never took off with students.

“It was a dead space and underutilized,” said Nabar. “Burrito Del Rey didn’t really evolve in its concept.”

In the past, Hot Spot has featured menu choices such as an Italian pasta bar, Moroccan stir-fry, Thai and Indian cuisine, and a Caribbean food week.

Nabar said Mason Dining relies heavily on students expressing their opinions on the Facebook polls and by promoting Hot Spot through word of mouth at different campus events.

“We try to cross promote at different locations for different things,” said Nabar. “But sometimes people have so much info coming their way they are overwhelmed.”