Cosmos Bistro is barely open, but it already has a following.
That’s because Jamison Rogayan and Cinnamon Berg, the owners of the comfort food restaurant at 1151 N. State St., in the Herald Building, are familiar faces to some of their customers.
Berg and Rogayan were in charge of Avenue Bread’s short-lived dinner effort called Sunnyland Suppers. After a year of serving dinner at its James Street location, Avenue Bread decided to stop and focus on breakfast and lunch. But Rogayan and Berg already had regular customers.
“They’ve been hounding me everyday,” Rogayan said about Sunnyland Suppers customers. “The other night I was picking up beer at Haggen and someone came around the corner and said “Is it open yet?””
Berg and Rogayan first met at Avenue Bread two-and-a-half years ago. They worked together on Sunnyland Suppers for about a year before Avenue Bread stopped serving dinner in late 2013.
“I was kind of taken aback by it. I was like, this is my baby. I helped make this happen,” Rogayan said. “I stepped back in the kitchen and Cinnamon and I were like, let’s just go out and do this ourselves.”
Berg quit first because she didn’t want to go back to being a line cook, she said. She had culinary school training and experience running her own catering company, as well as years of cooking experience at restaurants in Seattle and Los Angeles.
Berg and Rogayan’s talents are complementary, they said. Berg cooks and Rogayan runs the front of the house. The menu includes their favorite comfort food, which, so far, ranges from meatloaf and macaroni and cheese to pork adobo and vegetarian tamales.
“It’s Americana comfort food and we kind of go all over the place,” Berg said. “We have all sorts of different influences.”
Berg and Rogayan worked for about six months to secure a Small Business Administration loan, get licenses and building permits and complete design and construction on the space, which is decorated with old I-beams, chalkboards and distressed wine boxes for shelves.
Cosmos opened on April 15. On opening day, Berg said the restaurant would be open for dinner only for its first week or so. Look for updated hours on the restaurant’s Facebook page.