Moulton's "The Hot Spot" has been listed on Alabama's Historic Register, and owners Marvin and Elayne Jackson plan to hold a dedication celebration on Halloween at 11 a.m.
The Hot Spot, located on Byler Road near downtown Moulton, reopened in June 2019 and was officially listed on the Alabama Register this summer, Elayne Jackson said.
"This is a great honor, not only for Marvin and I personally, but for the City of Moulton and Lawrence County as well," she said. "Historic properties bring tourism and much needed revenue to our area."
Jackson, who brings a taste of her old hometown Chicago to customers here in Moulton, said she loves getting creative in the kitchen; though she also incorporates many of her old family recipes into the menu. Serving up Chicago Style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, and even some Cajun red beans and rice, she said it isn't just the great fresh food that draws visitors.
"Our place is different and unique," she said. Customers who come for a hot meal also receive a tour of the building's original historic features. "My husband and I went through the archives and did our own research with the help of (Archivist Wendy Hazle). She walked us through the process."
The Jackson's research shows The Hot Spot was built circa 1945 by Amos Taylor, who also opened the building as a restaurant. Jackson said her and her husband are the fourth owners who owned the restaurant, which also once served as a service station, and an adjacent building that now houses a barber shop.
"We've heard some really great stories from visitors who remember the restaurant when Mr. Amos Taylor owned it," she said. "We love hearing customers say, I remember this or I remember this."
The Jacksons had to close the restaurant temporarily, like many others, during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Elayne Jackson said she and her husband took the time to renovate for additional seating before reopening around August. With more outdoor seating, she said customers can feel safe coming to the restaurant to enjoy a meal, "cooked hot on the spot."
To celebrate its reopening and dedicate the new historic plaque, The Hot Spot and the Lawrence County History and Preservation Society are inviting Mayor Roger Weatherwax, Moulton council members, the Lawrence County Commission, as well as the general public, to the special ribbon cutting ceremony next Saturday. Jackson said the restaurant will be serving popular menu items, including Gumbo during the event.
The Hot Spot, located at 2701 Byler Road, is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit The Hot Spot on Facebook.