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Former prison-themed restaurant now serves cosmic menu
In Business
Formerly known as Alcatraz Burger, the Crowell Road restaurant across the street from Stanislaus State is under new ownership and now serves out-of-this-world burgers. - photo by Photo Contributed

Name of business: Cosmos Burgers


Type of business: American style restaurant


Location: 3831 Crowell Rd., in Turlock


Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week


Contact information: 209-664-9458


Specialty: Fresh ingredients daily


History of business:


It was out with the convicts and in with the constellations when Cosmos Burgers owner Youn Seraypheap purchased Alcatraz Burger and gave the restaurant its new, out-of-this-world name. But although the burger joint is called something new now, it still continues to produce mouth-watering burgers.

“The cosmos are a wonder to everyone’s mind,” said Seraypheap, describing how he and his family came up with the restaurant’s new name. “We didn’t want to change much when it came to the food, but we wanted to change the scenery.”

Guests at Cosmos are transported into outer space while eating thanks to the photos of nebulas, starbursts and other galactic scenery hanging on the walls – a far cry from the mugshots of felons that previously served as decoration.

“A lot of times people know someone who has gone to prison, and we thought that could offend people,” said Seraypheap. “We thought, ‘Let’s find a theme that everyone is comfortable with.”

Once Cosmos was settled on as the restaurant’s new name, the restaurant’s former owners taught Seraypheap, his wife and two children how to prepare the well-known menu, which features items like the Roy Gardener, a hamburger with caramelized onions and bacon, and a best-selling Philly cheesesteak. Seraypheap added some items of his own to the menu as well, including the Juicy Lucy, a burger with two cheese-stuffed patties, and a barbecue pineapple burger.

“We like to think we made the menu better, because we were trained and then decided there were some things that needed to be changed,” he said. “Everything is fresh – we grind our meat daily and a baker delivers bread daily.”

Seraypheap immigrated to the United States from Thailand, and he now lives in Manteca with his family. The restaurant’s proximity to Stanislaus State along with the Turlock community as a whole were just two factors that inspired him to open up Cosmos, which he now runs with the help of his family.

“We put all of our effort into the business and the food,” said Seraypheap. “We just started, so we want to focus on doing the right thing and making the right product.”