Even before you enter the expansive dining room or order food, whimsy hits you from every direction. There’s a set of shoes rotating, wind-up-toy style, though a little pool under the patio. There’s the aforementioned bee, floating on the garage door closest to the restaurant entrance. A tower of brightly colored bicycle parts are piled high into a modern-art monolith of sorts. And there’s the gas grill Miller used to man, back when he got the idea to serve food at what was once an events-space section of the arts complex. Miller said, “a few years ago I started studying burgers. And I started making burgers on that because we didn’t have a full kitchen.”
The restaurant has a loose outer space theme, with a backlit countertop full of twinkling stars, menu items with names like the “Meateor Burger,” “Spudnik Potatoes” (fries), and a mural by local artist Nani Chacon depicting an alien-esque woman eating a kebab made of planets. But the restaurant also strays from the theme – there’s an old walk-in fridge Miller repurposed into a keg storage compartment and re-finished to look like a classical marble wall-face, complete with a cherub and water spigot. Perhaps the most intriguing corner of the restaurant is another small-scale installation piece by Cudney. Miller calls it the “cloud door”: a door leading to nowhere with a shuttered window-pane above a moving image of a cloud in pure blue sky. The television cloud footage is eerie but bright, and its sideways position hints at a portal to an alternate universe. “He’s always coming up with unusual little things,” Miller said of Cudney’s many creations. “And that’s gotten us a lot of notoriety.”
Though foot traffic is hard to come by in a neighborhood still more industrial than pedestrian-friendly, Miller has met success in snagging catering gigs and big events. Gus Pedrotty, who ran for mayor in 2017, brought his whole entourage and well over 100 supporters to Kosmos for an event. Others have included
While Kosmos expands their customer base, they are constantly adapting, Miller says. “It’s a sort of an experimental restaurant and we’re constantly changing. It’s a unique environment and it’s very friendly, and we’re open to suggestions,” Miller said. They also hold musical events, are overhauling the menu, and are planning to make the selection more vegetarian and vegan-friendly. The mostly DIY space, Miller says, is ever-evolving.
Miller hopes to find new ways to connect to the surrounding breweries so that customers can order food while they have a beer and have it delivered from Kosmos. But true to the restaurant’s unconventional form, he’s hatching a plan to deliver burgers to the nearby Tractor Brewing – Wells Park soon – by drone.
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