Black owned 607: Spotlight

Local News

This week’s Black Owned 607 feature is truly a spotlight on a business that offers homestyle cooking in a welcoming environment.

Spotlight is a restaurant and bar located at 73 Court Street in downtown Binghamton.

While the overall business is owned by Damien Cornwell, the kitchen is a joint venture with 3 other partners.

One of them, Greg Johnson, says they put their heart and soul into the food.

The traditional soul food fare includes fried chicken and fried fish, beef ribs on Wednesdays, jerk chicken and plenty of classic sides such as mac and cheese, collard greens, candied yams, green beans and corn bread.

We visited last night for the popular wing night featuring 75 cent wings in 8 different varieties including parmesan, barbecue, honey mustard, mango habenero and jerk-yaki, a blend between jerk and teriyaki seasonings.

“Our most popular night that we have because of the 75 cent wings and the wings are outstanding. Cooks do an outstanding job with the cooking and the sauces that they come up with,” says Johnson.

Spotlight also has a full bar and when not in a pandemic features live entertainment including touring entertainers, local deejays, poetry readings, rap battles, karaoke and open mic.

Bartender and manager Jemini Gowdy says it’s a welcoming environment to families.

And even though it currently has a mostly African-American clientele, they invite everyone to come in and try the food.

“We always keep the doors open. We don’t turn anyone away regardless of your race sex or gender. Myself I am in the LGBT community. They opened the doors for me to come in and do what I need to do as a bartender and manager. It’s a picture of the community and a welcoming environment,” says Gowdy.

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