Residents of Montreal’s NDG district woke up to disturbing news today. Their beloved greasy spoon, Cosmos, may soon shut for good.
The local establishment has long been an iconic spot, a landmark eatery specializing in massive breakfasts at more than reasonable prices. For more than fifty years, people have flocked to the tiny diner, hoping for a spot at its esteemed breakfast bar. More often than not, though, there would be a moderate waiting time for a seat. Leaving the famished drooling over the mish-mash of those ahead of them.
Cosmos was placed on the real estate market today. Sparking fears that it may soon disappear – forever. Only eleven seats are available, without a single table in sight. For a half-century, its clientele have watched the Koulakis family cook up breakfast. From a front row seat. Cosmos is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, the restaurant is relying on DoorDash deliveries to keep them afloat during this unprecedented and quite hard time. However, being that Cosmos deal primarily in breakfasts, deliveries become rather difficult.
Cosmos represents more than just a place to get an egg and sausage breakfast. Or their famous mish-mash – and everything omelette and a thing of local legend. No, there was far more to it than that. Cosmos represents a Montreal from a bygone era. A real taste of the city as it was, before all the sheik hipster retail stores began to pop up along Sherebrooke street West. It is a historical keepsake that the residents of NDG – and the rest of Montreal, are fearful of loosing.
“I was devastated,” said Elizabeth Mullins, when asked how she felt to hear of the sale of her favorite breakfast spot. “It’s a staple of NDG. Its the first place you think of when you want breakfast. Especially if you’re hungover.” Mullins, a native of NDG, said she had been coming to Cosmos for close to twenty years.
The asking price for the restaurant, as detailed on centris.ca, is $75,000, but if the buyer also acquires the name Cosmos it will cost them another $50,000. The monthly rent is $1,250 and the restaurant reported revenue of $159,795 in 2018.
“I hope whoever buys it keeps it the same,” said Mullins. It wouldn’t be same with new owners, It was about the atmosphere and the family that run it. I felt at home here and I don’t think it could remain the same under other people.” Mullins sentiments are shared by many of the loyal clientele that the restaurant has built up over the years. Generations of families have frequented this establishment. “My father used to bring me here as a child,” said Mullins. “And now I bring him. Or did, before this whole coronavirus thing.”
“I wish I could go for one last mish-mash with my father before we lose it forever,” said Mullins.
Cosmos was founded in 1967 by Tony Koulakis and was the subject of a documentary film named “Man of Grease.” The 2000 film was created by Montreal film maker, Ezra Soiferman. Very few, if any, other diners can boast that their customers care enough to warrant a documentary film. Cosmos made headlines in 2013 ,when Koulakis’s son, John Koulakis, killed his father. He later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.