Così (restaurant)

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IndustryFast casual restaurant
FoundedNew York City, United States (1996; 26 years ago (1996))
FounderDrew Harre
Mountainside, New Jersey
United States
Number of locations
20 (November 2020)
Area served
New York
Washington D.C.
Former Così restaurant on South Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois

Così, based in Boston, Massachusetts, is an American 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] As of November 2020, the company operated 20 locations in New York, Washington D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, down from 66 at the beginning of the year. The chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2020.


The original Così restaurant was opened in 1989 by Drew Harre in Paris, France.[2] In 1996, Shep and Jay Wainwright opened the first Così in the United States, in New York.[2]

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

The company became a public company via an initial public offering in 2002.[4][5] A year later, 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, Così's largest and most successful franchisee, RJ Dourney was voted by Così's board of directors to the position of CEO and Director and Così announced it was moving its corporate headquarters from Deerfield, Illinois to Boston, Massachusetts.[8][9] However, in August 2016, CEO RJ Dourney was fired.[10][11] That same year, the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy reorganization and closed stores.[12][13] As a result of the bankruptcy filing, the company's shares were de-listed from the NASDAQ.[14] Cosi also sought 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] However, on February 25, 2020, Così once again filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after closing several locations.[17]


  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. ^ "Così 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. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  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.
  17. ^ Lalley, Heather (25 February 2020). "COSI FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION, HAS CLOSED 30 UNITS". Restaurant Business.

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