Così (restaurant)

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IndustryFast casual restaurant
FoundedNew York City, United States (1996)
FounderDrew Harre
United States
Number of locations
66 (December 2018)
Area served
New York
Washington D.C.
Costa Rica
Cosi on South Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois

Così, based in Boston, Massachusetts, is a fast-casual restaurant chain that is known for its homemade flatbread. The name comes from the opera Così fan tutte, which was a favorite of the original owner.[1] The company has 66 locations in New York, Washington D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, as well as Costa Rica.


The original Così restaurant was opened in 1989 by Drew Harre in Paris, France.[2]

In 1996, Shep and Jay Wainwright opened the first Cosi in the United States, in New York.[2]

In October 1999, Così merged with XandO (formerly ZuZu).[3]

In November 2002, the company became a public company via an initial public offering.[4][5]

In July 2003, Kevin Armstrong was named chief executive officer of the company.[6]

In June 2010, Così sold its District of Columbia stores to Capitol C Restaurants as franchises.[7] Capitol C is the owner of Qdoba Mexican Grill.

In March 2014, Cosi's largest and most successful franchisee, RJ Dourney was voted by Cosi's board of directors to the position of CEO and Director.[8][9]

In August 2016, CEO RJ Donnelly was fired.[10][11]

In September 2016, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and closed stores.[12][13]

In October 2016, the company's shares were de-listed from the NASDAQ.[14]

On October 11, 2016, Cosi announced that it is seeking buyers for "substantially all of its assets."[15]

In May 2017, the company emerged from bankruptcy under the ownership of MILFAM II L.P., AB Value Partners, LP, AB Value Management LLC and AB Opportunity Fund LLC.[16]


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Così.
  2. ^ a b "Cosi: Where We Began".
  3. ^ Chamis, Eleni (November 22, 1999). "Xando gets Cosi: Merger leads to new look". American City Business Journals.
  4. ^ GELSI, STEVE (February 24, 2003). "Cosi IPO draws shareholder suits". Marketwatch.
  5. ^ Hennessey, Raymond (November 17, 2002). "Cosi Restaurant Chain Mixes Ingredients Ahead of Its IPO". The Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ "Cosi, Inc. announces new CEO" (Press release). Business Wire. July 8, 2003.
  7. ^ "Cosi sells 13 Washington, D.C., restaurants for $8.4M". April 27, 2010.
  8. ^ Lublin, Joann S. (June 24, 2014). "Rookie CEOs Face a Steep Learning Curve". The Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ Wohl, Jessica (16 April 2014). "Cosi moving from Deerfield to Boston". Chicago Tribune.
  10. ^ "Cosi, Inc. Announces Leadership Changes" (Press release). Globe Newswire. August 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Harris, David L. (August 22, 2016). "Cosi fires CEO as struggles persist at fast-casual chain". American City Business Journals.
  12. ^ Maze, Jonathan (28 September 2016). "Così files for bankruptcy". Nation's Restaurant News.
  13. ^ "Cosi Restaurant Chain Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". Fortune. Reuters. September 28, 2016.
  14. ^ Carlock, Catherine (October 7, 2016). "Cosi will soon be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market". American City Business Journals.
  15. ^ Carlock, Catherine (October 11, 2016). "After bankruptcy and delisting, Cosi offers all assets for sale". American City Business Journals.
  16. ^ "Cosi, Inc. Emerges From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy" (Press release). Globe Newswire. May 11, 2017.

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