Montreal restaurant joins the Metaverse, ‘The Famous Cosmos’ goes 3D

“Time will tell,” said owner of The Famous Cosmos restaurant David Minicucci about expanding the business to the Metaverse. Soon, Cosmos food will be available for purchase through the virtual world of Decentraland. Brittany Henriques reports.

By Brittany Henriques and News Staff

Imagine having The Famous Cosmos’ eggs, potatoes, and coffee – but in the virtual world. The Montreal staple is now in the Metaverse, a 3D virtual world platform called, ‘Decentraland.’ Picture the NDG diner as you know it, but now in video game form.

“This is such an old-school place, we never had Internet, we took cash only, so to jump on this is really funny and interesting,” said David Minicucci, owner, The Famous Cosmos.

Minicucci bought the eatery in 2020 from the original owner’s children and swore to never change a thing. It was founded in 1967 by Tony Koulakis. A large portrait of him still hangs on the back wall.

(CREDIT: Brittany Henriques)

For the virtual land – Minicucci paid around $15,000, using mana, the currency of Decentraland. And now, it’s all about expanding the business without opening other physical locations.

“You’d just be able to come in, see our store, see what we have going on there, to see the workers that are working in Decentraland Cosmos. The customers that we’ll have at the counter there – you’re going to be able to talk to them. So you get that whole experience. But if you actually want the food component – you’re going to actually have to be in a city where we have a ghost kitchen set up,” explained Minicucci.

“Let’s say for people in Toronto – and we have a ghost kitchen there – you can come into [Decentraland], place your order with the waitresses. It will link to our ghost kitchens and you’ll have the food delivered to you in that city.”

Ghost kitchens are industrialized kitchens set up to cook menus in a delivery-only format and Cosmos will have one in both Toronto and Ottawa soon.

The long-term goal: to have one in every major Canadian city.

“My idea was never to buy Cosmos and franchise it,” explained Minicucci. “I always wanted to keep the original Cosmos going, looking exactly the same as it always had, but you still want to develop the business in your own way.”

“It was a lot to wrap my head around and I have a lot of my older customers stop by and ask us where we’re moving – and I say we’re not moving,” explained Angie Meyers, chef, The Famous Cosmos.

“I’m extremely skeptical of it as a long-term user space that won’t be compromised. Just like the rest of the internet has been compromised from the onset of web 2.0,” said Dan Arinson, long-time Cosmos customer. “I think it’s a great idea. I think the challenge will be keeping the food uniform.”

But for cosmos regulars only one thing matters, “Keep Cosmos, Cosmos.”

“I appreciate the idea of something that’s old-school trying to take on new things without changing their fundamental core values,” added Arinson.

“There are people that eat the same dish, on the same day, for the past 40 years,” said Meyers. “So they know what it should taste like. So the decors, little things, you can change, but they don’t like a lot of change. You have to do it really gradually.”

“Things that have become standard, or things that seem unusual, eventually become all normal,” said waitress Michelle Jett.

“You know, time will tell. It’s either going to be a great idea or it’s going to be like owning a pet rock and I’ll look pretty stupid down the line – but it’s something you have to do as an entrepreneur,” said Minicucci.


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