We are pitching this idea as an impromptu brain storm-turned-business plan for the recently-closed Cosmopolitan Restaurant in Vineland, New Jersey. The once upbeat and eclectic venue on the cusp of the Vineland city limits has now been closed and may be awaiting new management. Two of it’s busiest events were Saturday Dance Nights and Sunday Morning Buffets. Much to our dismay, the patrons can no longer call this establishment the Cumberland County Hot Spot.
When rumors spread on New Year’s Eve that the establishment would be closed the following day, no one could believe it! Those same rumors were dispelled when the management kept the doors open a little while longer. Cosmos was the premiere venue for baby showers and bachelorette parties; union meetings and management luncheons; Friday date nights and Sunday after-church brunches. But now, the growing shrubs and the orange cones at the entrance to the parking lot tell of the restaurant’s demise. Such is the tale of a business that can not keep up with operating costs.
Do you suppose that the venue could be used for something else? Liquor licenses can be cost prohibitive for restaurants, but an eatery with no spirits could do quite well. For sure without resuscitation The Cosmopolitan will go the way of so many fine restaurants along the Black/Whitehorse Pike Corridors in Atlantic County. But if the insurance is paid up and the risks are low, it may go the route of other establishments that have been condemned. We can’t have that!
Let’s speak positive! Let’s imagine the possibilities of taking Cosmo and turning it into a new and improved venue. How about a “spiritual forum?” It could be a place where patrons can come and eat while they enjoy the Word of God. It’s not too far fetched when you consider that plenty of defunct store fronts, bars, and even adult movie theaters have been transformed into houses of worship. It’s God’s people’s way of taking something anti-social and turning it in to something Godly.
What could we call it? How about “Dancing in the Spirit?” Gospel music could be played from media players. Patrons could choose the form of worship that fits their family’s needs. Just like the table top jukeboxes still found in some diners, choices can be selected by paying a few quarters. Play any melodies that you choose.
The decor is already moderate. The eating areas are spacious, yet exclusive. There are private rooms for meetings or sermons, and there’s enough seclusion to have intimate discussions on theology or spirituality. Catholics and Protestants, Christians and Jews, even Muslims and Hindus could enjoy a meal with family and friends in a way that’s not much different than they would across the street at Golden Corral or down the road at Applebee’s. But at “Dancing in the Spirit” there would be a theme of peace and tranquility while you order off of a menu with entrees named in honor of spiritual dogma.
There could be events that celebrate diversity while recognizing the innate good that comes from acknowledging the similarities of our cultures. Those who would mock the idea or shun the notion simply need not patronize the venue. Only over zealous capitalists could ruin a concept designed to promote peace. This objective of this endeavor would not be to make money but to self-sustain a contemporary tradition in our culture while glorifying God.
What do you think? Are you hungry?