For a few minutes after the doors open on the morning of Oct. 14, Cosmic Cafe is quiet enough to hear the thump and creak of its aging hardwood floors. The silence doesn’t last long.
Patrons file in, snapping photos of the room, while others fling Cosmic T-shirts off of their hangers to grab some last-minute memories. Several confess to staff that they showed up this morning for bittersweet reasons: The last meal service, as first reported in CultureMap Dallas, will drop Sunday, Oct. 17. That means it’ll be your last opportunity to order their silky dahl, a hot and rich lentil soup, or the dreamy, garlicky tomato soup that’s as bright as an old camera flash. It will definitely be the last time to get a ten-buck “Buddha’s Delight,” a gem of a lunch with a scatter of curried vegetables, a samosa, one cup of soup, and soft naan.
Twenty six years ago, Praveen Sachdev sipped chai with his friend Kumar Pallana, who would go on to star in films like The Royal Tenenbaums, in his home on Oak Lawn Avenue. Their friendship, and the warm, wooded space, would spark an idea for a humble little cafe. When Pallana’s acting career sent him to Hollywood, he looked to friend Sachdev to take the wheel of the building at 2912 Oak Lawn. Ever since, the little house with the Cosmic Cafe sign has been one of Dallas’ friendliest spaces, an open and easy-breezy dining hang, meat-free long before plant butter or oat milk was a trend.