After 11 years in Hybla Valley, the popular Cosmopolitan Grill restaurant is closing its doors for good on Friday.
The closing is a business decision, owner Amela Svalina said Friday. Svalina and her husband had opened a second restaurant in Old Town Alexandria last year, and since then Amela Svalina had run the Richmond Highway location by herself. She said the strain of operating two restaurants made keeping both open unsustainable.
“It’s too much for one family,” Svalina said Friday.
Svalina said she has been getting calls all week from customers asking about the closure. She said that while she had mixed feelings about the closing due to the ties the restaurant has forged with the Route 1 community, in the end she felt like there was no other choice.
“It’s really hard for me … I cannot do it myself,” Svalina said.
Svalina will now join her husband Ivan full-time at the Old House Cosmopolitan Grill on Cameron Street in Alexandria. Svalina’s brother and daughter also work at the Alexandria location.
Cosmopolitan Grill, which opened at 7770 Richmond Highway in 2008, has been a favorite of locals and food critics alike, with the restaurant making Washingtonian magazine’s “Cheap Eats” list multiple times. The German/Bosnian food was unique to the area, and critics singled out specialties such as the Bosnian burger, wiener schnitzel, and crempita dessert for praise.
The small-town atmosphere inside the restaurant was another charm, with Washingtonian praising Cosmopolitan as a relaxing break from your typical D.C.-area restaurant.
“There’s something decidedly not now in the atmosphere at this Bosnian gem, its tables laid with workmanlike white cloth and bearing untrendily gargantuan portions,” Washingtonian wrote in 2016. “You’re ten miles from DC, but it might as well be ten hours.”