PITTSBURG -- A sports bar and restaurant featuring Puerto Rican dishes will soon fill a vacancy on Railroad Avenue created with the closing in November of Momo's, a Japanese eatery.

And when restaurant owner Alfredo Cortes begins serving up food made the way his mother taught him to cook while growing up in Puerto Rico, it will be easy for him to meet his wife for lunch. Or a helping hand. Monique Cortes is a co-owner of the Sassy Sweets & Eats bakery-cafe across the street on Railroad Avenue.

"It's very convenient, so close" said Alfredo Cortes with a laugh. "We work together as husband and wife helping each other out."

But while his wife's business specializes in gourmet cupcakes, his Hall of Fame Sports Bar and Grill will turn to the flavors of the Caribbean, with an emphasis on Puerto Rican dishes along with appetizers that will include chicken wings and raw oysters. He hopes to open in June.

"It's kind of a fusion but mostly Puerto Rican. The opportunity is there. The place is fantastic. The city of Pittsburg is a sports town," Cortes said. "We are going to do our best to be able to open by the beginning of June."

Monique Cortes is enthusiastic about her husband opening his restaurant. "I think it's awesome. I'll be helping him out over there," said Cortes, who will celebrate the anniversary of Sassy Sweets & Eats in August. "He's the chef, and I'm the baker."

The path was cleared for Alfredo Cortes to realize his dream of owning a restaurant after the City Council approved a sublease agreement in April for the property for a monthly rent of $4,133 to the Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation over a five-year period, with a 3 percent increase annually.

"We scored big in that location. It's a beautiful place," he said.

The city opted to enter into the sublease agreement after reviewing four proposals for restaurant operations at the site.

The site is part of the Vidrio housing and retail redevelopment project.

"When you have a space that has a commercial kitchen and a prime location that is on a street with foot traffic, it becomes very desirable," said Kolette Simonton, the city's community relations manager. "We're very excited about what Mr. Cortes can bring to the downtown."

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.

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