When Albert Demi and his wife, Melanie, adopted Cooper in college, the retriever would not eat.

Then, one day he stole a bite of their sandwich, and it seemed like his entire demeanor changed.

“He seemed to relax after that,” Albert said. “He became a much calmer dog.”

Years later, when Albert and his brother, Agon, had the opportunity to rent the commercial space next to their parents’ restaurant, they knew what it had to be—sandwiches in Cooper’s honor.

“Everything kind of fell in our laps,” Albert said. “It all just came together and made sense.”

Cooper is older now and his face is turning silver, but he still makes the trip to the South Austin restaurant, Cooper’s, to solicit pats from customers.

The Demi brothers grew up in North Austin “where The Domain was before The Domain was there.” Their parents opened Milano Cafe in a strip mall near Hwy. 290 and MoPac in Southwest Austin.

The brothers worked in the restaurant and got to know the other tenants and neighbors. When they returned from college, the brothers both knew they wanted to stake out a connection to South Austin. When they heard that the space next door to Milano would be open, they jumped.

“I’m a South Austin kind of guy at the end of the day,” Albert said.

Albert and Agon prepped the space themselves—they built the tables, laid the flooring, painted and set up their kitchen. Albert and his mom, Giki, came up with the sandwiches in the newly designed kitchen while Agon worked on the permitting and other business items. Cooper’s sandwich is Buffalo chicken to compliment his golden red fur. Albert’s and Melanie’s great dane, Apollo, has the largest sandwich on the menu—roast beef, ham, bacon and cream corn on a baguette.

Each of their sandwiches exemplifies one of the family’s dogs. The bread is baked daily at a San Marcos bakery. The meat and cheese are sliced in-house. They also sell pizza, Amy’s Ice Creams and cookies from The Bearded Baking Co., another South Austin business. On the walls are paintings of each dog, done by their father, Sami. Sometimes he walks over and watches his sons work, but he tries not to butt in—he is proud they are doing their own thing.


4601 Southwest Parkway, Ste. 106



Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., closed Sun.