Kosta’s Subs N Salads closing after more than 30 years in business

The owner of Kosta’s has been given until April 30 to vacate the property, following disputes with the property owner about rent payments.
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 8:34 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - After more than 30 years in business, Kosta’s Subs N Salads in Tallahassee will soon be closing -- at least temporarily.

The restaurant is shutting down its Adams Street location at the end of this month.

The owner of Kosta’s has been given until April 30 to vacate the property, following disputes with the property owner about rent payments.

Over the last few decades, Kosta’s has become, in the words of one customer, “an institution.”

“I don’t consider them customers,” Kosta’s owner Joe Attalla, who goes by Joe Kosta, said. “They are my friends now.”

Kosta has owned and operated the restaurant for just about 20 years. In that time, he’s forged strong bonds with those he serves.

“When I didn’t show up one time, he called me at home to find out what had happened,” customer Sid Tetens said. “I had been injured. You’re not going to get that from just anybody, are you?”

Tetens said he’s been coming to Kosta’s twice a week for 20 years. He and others were disappointed to hear the restaurant was closing.

“Very sad, very sad,” Tetens said. “Very disappointed.”

“I’m hurt,” customer Emmit Hunt said. “I’m hurt.”

Hunt has been a Kosta’s customer for three decades. He loves the gyros and said he quickly became friends with Joe Kosta.

“That’s why I keep coming back here,” Hunt said.

Another customer said he’s sad to see long-time mom-and-pop businesses like Kosta’s leaving the area.

“It would leave a big hole in Tallahassee if Kosta’s just quit being around,” Russ Pangratz said.

The restaurant’s property owner said he’s asking Kosta to leave because he hasn’t been able to pay his full rent. Kosta said Friday he never agreed to a rent increase. He says he never signed the agreement because of problems the property manager did not address.

“He didn’t get me a new lease yet,” Kosta said.

Kosta said he doesn’t know what his next move will be, but in the meantime, he’s continuing to enjoy doing what he loves.

“This is my dream here,” Kosta said. “I come here in the morning and enjoy what I’m doing. I love what I’m doing. I love to feed people.”

The property manager said he offered Kosta a new space in Railroad Square to relocate, but Kosta said it was very small and had no air conditioning, so he didn’t think it would work for his business.

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