Friday, June 24 is the last chance to say goodbye to The Cosmopolitan Tavern before it moves to its new digs.
“Cosmo” as Bee staffers call it (it’s one of the few restaurants near our newsroom and sure beats vending machine sandwiches) is preparing to leave its longtime spot at Fresno and G streets. It will reopen later this summer – hopefully July 11 – at its newly constructed home at Ventura and O streets.
High-speed rail is driving the change. The restaurant and the building across the street that used to house adult store Wildcat Enterprises are in the path of work that will extend the Fresno Street underpass beneath the nearby Union Pacific Railroad freight tracks to make room for the new high-speed rail tracks.
But don’t go to Cosmo Friday night. Every table in the place is booked solid. Seriously.
“There’s no possible way we’ll be able to get anyone in,” says owner Gary Lanfranco. (Though lunch is first come, first served if you want to brave those crowds.)
But first a little about the history of the original property. Lanfranco’s great uncle purchased the property in 1902, when it was a boarding house for Italian immigrants. Eventually, his dad and uncle opened the Cosmopolitan Tavern in 1933 – “and we’ve been here ever since,” Lanfranco says.
The new building is essentially at the edge of the Selland Arena parking lot. It’s almost finished, except for a few inspections and some furniture moving. They’re keeping the same staff and probably will add a few more as the new place is 2,000 square feet bigger, he says.
We’ll keep you updated on the reopening.