Cosmic Omlete: 485 Hartford Rd, Manchester, CT 06040
What do Star Wars, cream cheese and the yellow brick road have in common? Absolutely nothing – unless you’re lucky enough to stumble in to the newly remodeled and renovated Cosmic Omelet in Manchester, CT.
It’s one part breakfast eatery with a menu of celestial egg offerings, one part psychedelic art gallery with a smattering of pop culture displays and one part conversation Mecca where newbies often stand at the front door in awe.
“I feel like if I found this place, never having been before, it would blow me away,” said owner Tracy Devine. “Because, beyond having outrageously good food, we are full of so many wonderful surprises.” She isn’t kidding. Willy Wonka would be hard pressed to try and out do this place. When Devine bought the business back in 2003 for a steal, it was a failing smoking café, but Devine had a vision. When Connecticut went smoke-free that year, Devine and crew “closed for one day and scrubbed everything” and then proceeded to reopen and reinvent the proverbial breakfast wheel. Students at the local Rocky Hill High School were tasked to come up with the name for the soon-to-be quirky eatery.
One of the original cooks came up with the brilliant idea to start incorporating cream cheese into the omelet offerings – and voila’ – the aptly named Cosmic Omelet was born. “I can’t even fathom eating an omelet without cream cheese anymore,” said local Hartford regular Kati Kennedy. “There’s no turning back. Anything sans cream cheese now seems … pedestrian.”
Since they serve breakfast all day, you’ll need to check your cholesterol at the door. Cosmic Omelet is not for the faint of heart. (Pun intended.) “Our Irish Benedict is beginning to make us pretty famous,” said Devine. “And maybe our loaded hash browns too!”
Over the years, the place has evolved … where foodies, artists and nerds of a feather flock together. “I think we're known for being the only breakfast place with a space mural that has every nerdy spaceship that ever existed -- little pieces of “Doctor Who” and “Serenity” and “Star Wars”, “Star Trek", “Spaceballs” and who knows what else,” Devine laughed. “The list goes on and on!”
On the weekends, the wait can be healthy … good thing the built-in art gallery can more than help you bide your time. “Response is amazing,” said Devine. “People who seem pissy at the host stand when you tell them there’s a 30-minute wait will be thankful they got enough time to walk through (the gallery) and enjoy all it has to offer,” said Devine.
All you need to do is follow the yellow brick road to the art space where Devine’s better half Kyle Mankus and his crazy imagination hold court. “People will ask where the restroom is and we tell them to follow the yellow brick road and then they enter into this magical land where the walls are covered in art,” said Devine. “He has a huge fan club that comes to see him on the weekends back in the art space. He has his own regulars now who love to talk to him, see what he's working on and listen to him play the ukulele!”
Mankus is pop culture and cartoon aficionado who uses a myriad of non-traditional textures and fabrics for his colorful mutli-media displays. “I’ve been into creating things and exploring imagination ever since I was a child,” said Mankus. “The art space seems to connect with all walks of people -- young and old"
After a dozen years of steadily increasing business, Cosmic Omelet decided it was time for yet another remodel. The last one was in 2011 when they doubled the size of the restaurant. The new space is brighter, cheerier – and as Devine puts it, “less crowded and more functional. Plus, there’s home fries on the menu.” When asked what else was new – Devine said more surprises were yet to come. (Hint … muffins.)
“You come for the food, you stay for the people watching. What more could you possibly want in a hometown breakfast joint, right?” said Kennedy.
Map location of Cosmic Omlete
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