Hot Spot celebrates 20th anniversary


Hot Spot employee Mike Falls and owner Asif Quddus

By Lauren Dielman

Much changed since the Hot Spot opened 20 years ago.

Asif Quddus, president and owner of the Hot Spot, 901 Lucinda Ave. Unit J, will celebrate the business’s 20th anniversary July 2. He opened the Hot Spot in 1992, two years after he graduated from NIU.

“It was an empty spot,” Quddus said. “I was fresh out of college and decided to open up this business.”

Quddus said there used to be a Daisey’s and a McDonald’s among other places near the Hot Spot, but they have since shut down.

Some services at the Hot Spot have changed. The Hot Spot used to develop film from disposable cameras, but stopped the service as more people started using digital cameras. However, the Hot Spot still sells everything from milk and snacks to tobacco, as it did 20 years ago.

Quddus said he will celebrate Hot Spot’s anniversary with a party for his dedicated employees, some of whom have been working for him for 17 years.

“We have grown from one store to four stores,” Quddus said. “I appreciate their loyalty after all this time.”

The violence at NIU the past few years, especially the Sept. 28, 2011 shooting near Shark’s, has had a negative impact on the community, Quddus said.

“I used to see a lot of people in the evening outside,” Quddus said. “You don’t see hardly any activity student-wise anymore. You don’t see livelihood anymore.”

Sophomore communications major Cati Duffy said although she doesn’t go to the Hot Spot very much this year, she would go there frequently last year because of its proximity to campus.

Jonitiana Kelly, graduate student and adult and higher education major, said the Hot Spot can be convenient.

“I usually shop there to pick up stamps because it’s one of the only places close,” Kelly said.