UPTOWN — The Cousins Restaurant is back in business after a two-week hiatus in Uptown with a few changes to the family-owned breakfast destination.
Owner Juan Rios runs Cousins, 1463 W. Leland Ave., with help from his brothers Carlos and Pedro.
Sitting at a table in the mostly empty restaurant Thursday afternoon, the owner hoped regulars would return to the restaurant, which has been serving Mexican, American and Italian-inspired dishes for three years.
"We're back in business, and we hope to see them again," he said.
He said the restaurant closed at the end of February so its small staff could get a much-needed break, and so a few minor renovations could be made, including raising the height of the serving counter and reconfiguring the kitchen to eliminate clutter.
Cousins is also slimming down its operation some with an altered menu and reduced hours. Cousins used to be open until 10 p.m. six days a week.The new weekday hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Tuesday, when it's closed. And it's open on weekends from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
With dinner out of the equation, the restaurant's menu now mostly consists of breakfast food such as specialty omelets, skillets and French toast — and lunch items such as soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers, including the iconic Leland Burger, a beef (or turkey if you ask) burger topped with Chihuahua cheese and avocado on tomato focaccia bread.
It's usually just the three Rios brothers taking orders, working the kitchen and serving patrons at Cousins. Juan Rios said that can mean a lot of work for the brothers, and that the strain of running the operation was one factor in the hiatus.
But Carlos, who was there helping out as a server Thursday, said it's also a lot of fun and means so much to their clan.
Carlos and Juan Rios said even the name "Cousins" pays homage to family bonds.
The restaurant is dedicated to the kids in the family, the real cousins behind Cousins.
"We were talking about what to name this place one day when we were all sitting around watching them play," Juan Rios said. "It's for them."