Article: Cous Cous to Relaunch with New Name and Menu

Words by Sam Isaacs

The Mediterranean staple Cous Cous announced last week that its doors will be closing after seven years of operating at the intersection of Shafer and Franklin streets.

“Everything is just really up in the air right now,” said Cous Cous in a statement  regarding what their business is doing at the end of the month.

Despite the mystery regarding the status of the restaurant, Cous Cous will not be closing for good, but will instead be reopening, potentially in May with a new menu and name.

Casey Longyear, co-owner and founder of Rumors Boutique said she knows how hard it is to run a business, and compared the Cous Cous re-launch to a situation she went through with Rumors.

“The first year and a half into our business, we had to change what we were doing to give students what they wanted,” Longyear said. “ I think Cous Cous is doing the same thing right now.”

Longyear also said that Cous Cous has worked with Rumors on several different occasions  by holding different events and dance parties; the first ever Rumors event was held at Cous Cous.

With renovations set to take place in April, Longyear said Cous Cous is allowing their employees to participate in the renovations, saving them from going a month without work.

She also said the diversity of the restaurant was something that made it special.

“It was a Richmond favorite of people ages 21-31. You could show up with your grungy college friends or be on a business lunch and it still enjoy it,” Longyear said.

She also added that Cous Cous’ lack of food sales in relation to alcohol sales may have been a reason for the shutdown, and the new restaurant will be geared more towards students.

Casey Shomaker, a fashion design graduate from VCU frequented Cous Cous for drinks.

“I went a few times a month and whenever Rumors had one of their parties. The food was good, but I almost always went there to drink,” she said.

Shomaker also said she would be visiting the new restaurant to see what the atmosphere will be like.

Though Cous Cous has not made any official announcements regarding the re-launch date or what the new menu is going to look like, Longyear said she the possibility of Cous Cous turning into an Irish pub or an American bistro had been mentioned.

 

 

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