Courtesy of Slope Media

The Hot Truck opened over 50 years ago in 1960 but has since disappeared from its usual spot at the intersection of Stewart and University Avenue.

November 1, 2018

Fate of Hot Truck on West Campus Unknown to Cornellians

Print More

Normally parked at the intersection of Stewart and University Avenue, the Hot Truck has been missing since the beginning of the semester for unknown reasons.

The exact date it disappeared is unknown, but students have reported that it was not in its regular spot at the start of the Fall 2018 semester.

“I noticed that [it] had disappeared once I got back to campus following my summer break,” Justin Kim ’20 told The Sun. “I drive on that road occasionally and noticed it was missing.”

Robert Petrillose first opened the Hot Truck over 50 years ago in 1960, and he operated the truck until he retired in late 2000. Ownership of the truck was then handed over to Albert and Cindy Smith, owners of Shortstop Deli.

As of yet, there is still no confirmed reason as to why the truck has been missing. Students have speculated on a variety of reasons, ranging from the truck going out of business to issues with city permits.

The Shortstop Deli declined The Sun’s request for comment on the truck’s disappearance.

“I would go like once a week because it came in really clutch but wasn’t open during the week and only on the weekends,” James Abert ’19 said. “If it were open during the week I’d likely have gone more often. My go-to order was a Shaggy.”

“I used to go maybe once or twice a month,” Kim said. “My go to order has been the PMP — Poor Man’s Pizza.”

The PMP is mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce between two pieces of French bread baked in an oven and was born in Petrillose’s father’s restaurant, when Petrillose noticed some extra french bread lying around restaurant, The Sun previously reported.

The sandwich would grow in popularity since its creation, even landing itself a spot of The Sun’s “161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do.”

Its reputation wasn’t just limited to Cornell’s campus. In the same article, it mentions that Petrillose sold the idea to Stouffer’s, and it even inspired a handful of Cornell alumni to start their own restaurant in Boston.