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The History of Mr Spots

First off, the story of Mr Spots begins with Spot. Spot was my cat. The way I got Spot was just by accident. While in college I had a large fish tank and would frequent the local pet store. On one of my brine shrimp runs I was approached by a sobbing girl holding a kitten. She was not making sense and I calmed her down enough to explain. She said "They're going to kill this cat,they're feeding them to their snakes!" I stood there and listed, I said "Whaa,why". "These guys on campus have a huge snake and thought they'd feed'em free kittens instead of rats for 2.99."so she says "Take the cat,I'll give you some litter,a pan and some cat food if you can find this kitten a home." I didn't even like cats but I couldn't just let this cat be snake chow. So I took the little guy home and immediately started looking for a home for this little spotted cat. It was the week before Thanksgiving and I planned on dropping the cat off at a friend who wanted the cat. I drive up to my buddys house to find he got a ride to Cleveland, last night. So what could I do. I had to get back to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving. Now I have a passenger. During our 18 hrs of driving to and from Philadelphia "Spot" became my cat. Hence the inspiration for the cat that is the logo today. Spot lived for 19 years and had made numerous cameo appearances at the Court Street location.

In my last semester, I was approached with a proposition from a friend I had from BG. He hated his job as a sales rep for impulse gift items for carryouts & service stations. He says"Hey remember when you said you could make a better sandwich than anyone in Ohio" ,remember the restaurant we talked about." I said "yeah but.." He says, "lets do it" and after a little coaxing I said WTF, worst thing is I fail and start over. I'm 20, no big deal. I had $8000 to my name and along with my partners $6000 & his credit card we were in the restaurant business. Neither of us had any experience in the industry and me being a PolySci major,I new nothing of business either. So we went on the simple concept of quality food at a fair price. After looking downtown for space we came across 125 East Court. The building first housed First Federal Bank, and then a barber shop. The barbers family lived above the shop. Perfect, a place to live and work. Twofers sweet. With pretty much no captal we began building our unnamed restaurant. From the plumbing,to electric, to painting and constructing of the building we did it all with minimum help from professionals. I can't believe we ever passed code,but we did.

With less than 30 days til open we still needed a name. Jim's Steaks, Paisano's, and dozens of others were suggested.None seem right. I grabbed the cat and said "Spots,,Mr Spots". I had some doodles I did during class and had a rough sketch of what is now our cat logo and we decided that that was it "Mr Spots, Original Philadelphia Steak and Hoagie Shop". For 1985 it was edgy. We were amongst the first restaurants to sell buffalo wings in all the midwest. We had our rolls shipped in from Philadelphia weekly, the meats and cheese were the finest and most authentic italian deli meats. You could'nt even get most of this stuff til we brought it in. No one had heard of Mortadella, Cappocola, Procuitto,etc. So we opened the doors to a line of people,waitng to try us out. After the first day we sold out of food. We had to close, regroup and re-open 2 days later. Now somewhat more prepared we went forward. The first several weeks were very stressfull but we managed to iron out all of the wrinkles. One of us worked day, the other night. This went on for about 18 months. We then began putting in the Mr Spots in Ann Arbor,MI. The Ann Arbor location was well recieved from the start like the BG location and is the other jewel in the crown of the "King of Wings".

As the years went by Spots became more than a "college joint". With enough stories to fill a book Mister Spots has become a regional food beacon. Winning awards for best wings in both Ann Arbor and Bowling Green. Recognized in National,regional and local press and media. NFL MVP Tom Brady,Pop/Rock Artists Fall Out Boy as well as Fox Sports Dan Patrick are among some of the recent notable people to consider Mr Spots the place to eat and get the finest steaks, hoagies and wings west of the Schuykill River.

After 25+ years Mister Spots is making a new home, right around the corner at 206 North Main. Things will pretty much be the same as ever just "new". What will not change is Mister Spots commitment to make to order food with the finest and freshest ingredients available. This is why Mister Spots is BG & Ann Arbors first choice for sandwiches, wings and fries for 25 yrs and counting.

-Jim Gavarone