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Beloved Burnaby café closes forever over COVID-19 ‘uncertainty’ and I’m heartbroken

Just one in a string of recent closures
Cozmos Cafe has closed down.

There I was doing some background research for this blog on the battle of Burnaby breakfast spots and I got my heart broken.

I was of course going to include Cozmos Café at Hastings and Sperling on my list of excellent places to get breakfasts. I’ve had some amazing meals there along with tremendous service.

But now I’ve discovered that Cozmos recently shut its doors forever.

“It is with very heavy hearts we announce the permanent closure of Cozmos Cafe effective immediately,” reads a post on the restaurant’s Instagram account. “With the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation, we have decided not to renew our lease. Thank you to everyone who supported us these past 8 years we truly appreciated it and we will miss you all.”

That’s the problem with these leases - it takes a lengthy commitment and based on the past two years of restrictions – which were unfortunately necessary – it must have been a tough decision to decide if it was worth it.

One of the owners emailed me to say that they were spread "too thin" due to other business ventures and couldn't commit to continuing the restaurant.

The pandemic has seen restaurants take an absolute beating because many people just haven’t felt safe due to the spread of COVID-19. Things had been getting better last year before Omicron showed up.

Small, independent restaurants have really been hurt because they don’t have the kind of financial backing that large chain restaurants do.

Cozmos, as I said, was such a sweet place to eat, with many fine Greek dishes along with other lunch and breakfast items. The place had great atmosphere and friendly service. I lived just five minutes away and it was always a good place to stop for a quick bite.

This follows a string of recent restaurant closures in Burnaby, with Zeus and Chez Meme on Hastings and Pearl House Taiwanese eatery in Edmonds to name just three.


A post shared by Cozmos Cafe (@cozmoscafe)

A survey of OpenTable restaurants in November 2021 indicated 70% of restaurant owners and managers were approaching 2022 with optimism, reporting increased demand for reservations and increases in diner spending.

But things changed with Omicron.

“OpenTable data shows Canadian restaurants saw a decline in seated diner numbers in January,” said Matt Davis, Canada country director with OpenTable. “We also know from the fall, that Canadians are eager to dine out when they feel confident.” 

Hopefully restaurants can hold on until then.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.