Cosmos Cafe celebrates 12 years this week

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Warning: If you experience symptoms of lightheadedness, dizziness, or racing pulse while at Cosmos Cafe, please put down the martini menu listing 57 martinis and just have the server recommend you a drink. It's for your own good.

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This week, the tapas restaurant celebrates its 12th anniversary. To show its appreciation for all the customers who have supported the restaurant all these years — and to maybe lure in some new regulars — Cosmos will be offering $12 three-course meals and $12 featured bottles of wine all this week, starting today. (Click here for menu items.)

In addition, they'll be hosting an array of events this week, in addition to the regular weekly specials, like Miller Lite Monday, Half-priced martinis on Wednesday and Latin Night on Thursday. "We’re having an Elevate [magazine] party on Wednesday," General Manager Tim Arnett says. "We’re bringing in guest DJs pretty much Wednesday through Saturday. We're also talking to Budweiser about doing giveaways — football tickets, basketball tickets, maybe a concert — on Friday. Saturday is our Cosmos Fusion, where we have the live belly dancers, sort of an international flair that night. We will be bringing in guest DJs for that night as well."

DSCF0195Twelve years is a long time for any establishment to make it in Uptown, much less be successful, but somehow Cosmos has managed to do it. A sure sign of their success, a second location opened in Ballantyne (8420 Rea Road) earlier this year.

Cosmos Cafe opened in 1997 after Gus Georgoulias and his partners acquired the block. They saw the potential for Uptown nightlife, which at that time didn’t exist.

"The original concept really was a martini/tapas restaurant with an eclectic diverse menu," Arnett says. "Basically, the tapas were designed to be smaller portions made to share with groups, so you could order several different plates with several different things and you can just pass them around the table. It’s really great for conversation, to get people interacting. The owners wanted a place where people could get together and socialize and eat food that you couldn’t get at other places, and have a really nice martini that you couldn’t get anywhere else at the time. We were fortunate enough to have Boris Tomic come in and design the place. He came in and helped design the venue, to make the building as eclectic as the menu is. The space really reflects the mentality of the place. It’s so diverse and so unusual that you just continue to see different things from different vantage points."

Indeed the menu is as diverse as the design. While the walls are splashed with lively colors and vibrant paintings from local artists, the menu is adorned with everything from filet mignon to brick-oven pizza to freshly made sushi. Executive Chef Mickaël Blais offers patrons food choices with "credibility." According to Arnett, "It’s a great thing for us because it allows us to offer people that fine dining quality of food without having to give up the fun of going out and being able to relax with friends and enjoy yourself. There are so many places that you get that quality of food and that level of service but you feel like you have to sit straight up with your hands in your lap, or you can go someplace and have a great time, but you get chicken fingers."

Of course, true nightlife connoisseurs know Cosmos is a great place to launch the night's festivities. They offer an expansive martini menu serving sweet delectables like the Almond Joy, Astro Pop and The Wonka to stiffer drinks like The Rodney, a diverse mix of music, and a wide variety of tapas to choose from. "Although it's a great place to stay the whole night, lot of people want to go to the dance club, but don’t want to go until midnight or later when a crowd is there and everyone’s energy is really high," Arnett says. "They want to go somewhere to get started, and we’re fairly situated Uptown and have a diversity of drinks, and you can get a light bite to eat before you go out for the hard drinking. Plus, we don’t charge a cover, so we're ideal."

Stop by this week to help Cosmos celebrate its 12th anniversary. And if you're stumped about what martini to order, the three pictured above — Mint Chocolate Chip, The Wonka and the Astro Pop — were all pretty yummy.

For more information, visit www.cosmoscafe.com.

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