It was the place where you could eat your way around the world.
But no more. Global buffet restaurant Cosmo has closed down without warning.
The restaurant, on Bridge Street, was still operating late into this week. But it has now shut its doors for good. Its page on the Cosmo website was taken down on Friday (March 16).
This is what the owners said in a post on Facebook:
We have taken the decision to relinquish the COSMO site in York and will cease trading as COSMO after Thursday 15th March 2018.
The site will reopen as Panda Mami.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal customers and employees who welcomed them through the door.
Not the first to close
Cosmo opened its doors in June 2014 after a £1 million conversion of the old Argos Store by the river on Bridge Street.
Then the 15th restaurant in the ‘all-you-can-eat’ chain, the York outlet had 250 covers. Its 53 metre buffet served up cuisine from all over the world – from Chinese to Italian to Indian.
It was staffed by 70, including 30 chefs.
Only two days ago Cosmo York was enjoying positive reviews on TripAdvisor: “The choice of food was broad and well presented. Would I recommend it or come here againæ absolutely!”
The York restaurant is not the first to shut suddenly. The branch in Coventry closed down ten days ago, 15 years after first opening there.
The Coventry franchisee said in a statement: “The well documented pressures on our industry and tough trading conditions mean that we have taken this difficult decision to close this restaurant.”
The Facebook post said the York restaurant would open as Panda Mami. Its first branch opened in Chester in 2016, and it has aggressive growth plans.
“The group has ambitious plans for continuous growth and expansion,” it states on its website.
“With more than 30 further restaurants planned for 2017 and beyond, the Panda Mami Group will serve thousands of customers every day in the future and aims to be one of the best restaurant groups in the UK.”
It is a buffet concept similar to Cosmo, the chefs preparing “120 authentic dishes from around the world every day”.
And they deliver. “Panda Mami is the first buffet restaurant to provide a delivery service so you can enjoy our delicious international food at home.”