March 29, 2012


Mexican, Asian restaurants opening on Main St.

New eateries will expand downtown’s offering of ethnic cuisine

RestaurantsBob Ellis/staff photographer
Hot Tamale Southwestern Grill is currently under construction on Main Street in Cortland. Its owner hopes to open in the next few weeks. An Asian restaurant is also opening up on Main Street, in the site of the former Real Wood Furniture Store.

Staff Reporter

Two new ethnic restaurants are opening on Main Street.
Hot Tamale, a Tex-Mex fast-food restaurant is opening its third location at 44-46 Main St., while the second restaurant is Wild Ginger Asian Cuisine, which is opening across the street at 47-49 Main St.
Bob Haight, Cortland County Chamber of Commerce executive director, said the new restaurants will hopefully bring even more visitors to the downtown area.
“I’m excited about both of them,” he said. “They’re unique to what we have here, which is a good thing. We already have some really nice options and these will make downtown more of a hub for people to visit.”
Marc Morley and Meg Martin opened the first Hot Tamale in Canton in February 2010.
Morley, a Canton native, went to school at the University of Massachusetts. Every time he came home, he wondered why Canton did not have a burrito place for a quick and easy meal.
Their first location was an immediate success and eight months later they opened a second store in Potsdam.
They chose Cortland for their third store because they saw a solid community and limited competition for a restaurant like theirs, Morley said.
“We researched a bunch of college towns throughout Central New York and Vermont,” he said. “We’re really excited about the Cortland location, it’s a great community and there aren’t a lot of restaurants like ours around there.”
The restaurant will create around 15 jobs, 10 part-time and five full-time. If all the permits are approved, it should open within the next two weeks.
One key aspect of Hot Tamale’s business philosophy is providing fresh, healthy fast-food, Morley said.
“We bring in fresh ingredients twice a week,” he said. “We don’t bring in any preprocessed foods. It’s a quick, healthy meal at a relatively inexpensive price.”
Hot Tamale features the Hot Tamale Challenge, which involves eating four massive burritos in 40 minutes.
If a customer finishes all four, the meal is on the house and the customer’s picture goes on the wall. Those who fail must pay for the meal.
Hot Tamale will be open seven days a week. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday. It will stay open until 2:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
The second restaurant, Wild Ginger, is opening in the former Real Wood Furniture Store.
City Director of Code Enforcement Bill Knickerbocker said the restaurant will have space for around 90 people.
The 4,600-square-foot restaurant will have a dining area in the back along with a cocktail bar, a sushi bar and a bubble tea bar. Bubble tea is a Taiwanese drink usually made from tea, milk, fruit and tapioca.
There will not be any teppanyaki or hibachi-style cooking in the restaurant, according to plans on file at the city Code Enforcement Office.
Attempts to contact the restaurant’s owners were unsuccessful.


To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe