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     Volume 4 Issue 60 |August 26, 2005 |

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Lounging Around at Kozmo

Imran H. Khan

When we hear the word Cosmopolitan, we quickly imagine a blend of people from all over. The Kozmo Lounge is a descendant of this very word and it has lived up to its definition. Located on Sat Masjid Road, this is a perfect place to allow a good number of students, teachers, young entrepreneurs and many more, to simply, hang out.

Arif Hafiz, CEO of The Kozmo Lounge, has been in the culinary business for quite a while. He used to work at American Express, a job that took him to numerous corners of the globe. While on the move, he would land at the doors of numerous restaurants and eateries. From them on, he had a dream of doing something like that in Bangladesh. But the idea had to be something new, something unique. "Since I like to stay home and lounge about, I thought of making that concept more commercialised," says Hafiz, his mind wandering off to that very day when the idea came into being. "With all this in mind and with the help of my partners Asif, Rashed and Arvi, The Kozmo Lounge came into existence in March this year."

The lounge concept is basically from the western world where people usually hang out together after a long days' work. "We wanted to do something new, some thing that I felt comfortable with," says Hafiz. "We had a lot of choices for the name. After short listing, we thought of calling it Cloud 9 Café but that might give an impression of a Cyber café. In the end, we changed it to The Kozmo Lounge. This is an aberration of the word cosmopolitan and we changed the K and Z to make the pronunciation easier," continues Hafiz. They are in the process of printing the whole story of the origin on all their glasses for the clientele to read.

As one enters into the spacious room, one is struck by the natural light that pours into the space, a sight so missing in many other eateries. There is an amusing array of different chairs and sofas sprawled all over the place, giving the place a relaxed atmosphere, an arrangement of ordered chaos. An assortment of wall hangings, lights and spotlights also add to the coziness of the room. One wall gives way to the light glistening in, reflected off the Dhanmondi Lake, which the lounge overlooks. Nestled peacefully to the right of the lake is the castle-like mansion of a peer and the view is one of serene tranquility. The other walls adorn a stone-age look, with stone wallpaper coverings all around. The whole area is non-smoking but there are some seats in the balcony for smokers, where one can feel the vibes of the bustling street below.

Located at the centre of the room are two red booths. It can comfortably sit about five people but my definition of comfort quickly changed as I saw seven teenagers shove and push into one and still look content. There is also a juice bar at The Kozmo Lounge that boasts a good collection of drinks, coffee and tea, including Jasmine tea, Darjeeling tea, Espresso macchiato, Mocha, Frappe, Pineapple ginger smoothie, Citrus sun iced tea and much more. Fresh juices are available of seasonal fruits. In the Knick knack snack section, you can find 'Honey-glazed Chicken Wings, Prawn and veggie tempuras, Doritos with spicy meat sauce, Fish cake with spicy salsa, aloo chaat and more. This section is quite popular because people can come and have a chat over a plate of munchies and enjoy themselves. From the menu, the blend of foods from many parts of the globe is evident. Some popular magazines hang idle on a wall. The customers can catch up on the latest gossip while waiting for their meal.

Some might feel that the fenced divides are a bit out of place and give a caged feeling, but as one adjusts to the surroundings, they add friendly vastness to the place; a slightly Gothic touch. The attendants, all dressed in black, seem to complement the decor of the place.

"At Kozmo Lounge, there are basically two completely different atmospheres, one during the day and one at night," continues Hafiz. During the day, the sunlight streams into the lounge giving it a natural, relaxing feel. In the evening, the play of light comes into action and music videos are played on a screen. Also, at the request of the guests, they have a collection of movies to watch.

Moving onto the realm of real food, we find Mexican chicken, a blend of chicken made á la Mexican style. Also on the list are Teriyaki beef on steamed rice or fried rice, Basil chicken stir fry on steamed rice or fried rice, cold tuna salad with mixed vegetables and rigatoni, spaghetti with Moroccan meat sauce. This place redefines casual dining. Most of the items on the menu are a healthy blend of items from all over. There is also dessert, including ice-cream and brownies, a perfect finale to any meal.

On Mondays from 4 pm to 7 pm, there is live music for the audience. The Kozmo Lounge has already arranged a fashion show in June and plans to do many more events in the future. A jovial hang-out place for youngsters and adults alike, The Kozmo Lounge is out to make life a little relaxed and interesting for all those who venture through its doors.

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