When CO first opened, the curry laksa wasn’t accompanied by a marketing campaign. It became a customer favorite anyhow. But now the spicy noodle soup is the object of a promotion aimed at people who still haven’t tried it.
“There are people I see at CO at least twice a week, and after months, they haven’t had anything other than curry laksa,” says owner Greg Bauer, who’s planning to offer the laksa for $4 on Wednesday, the restaurant’s fourth anniversary.
Since opening on King Street in 2012, CO has added locations in Charlotte, Myrtle Beach and Savannah. There currently aren’t any plans for additional restaurants in Charleston, but Bauer says the company is poised to keep growing. And wherever CO goes, curry laksa goes too.
CO was inspired by Bauer’s years spent in Asia, but the curry laksa is especially personal: It hearkens back to short train trips across the Singapore-Malaysia border with friends who shared his affection for the coconut-based dish. Bauer insisted on serving it at CO, even though advisors warned him that nobody in Charleston was familiar with laksa of any kind, let alone the diversity of preparations he encountered during his travels.
“I said, ‘look, if we serve this dish the way I envision it, then people will absolutely try it and love it,” Bauer says. “It started with me talking to guests. It wasn’t really any big marketing effort it was just serving a dish. Now, even in some of the other cities, it’s really become a staple.”
Current curry laksa fans are eligible for the discounted anniversary price, but the rules are one bowl per customer, with no take-out orders allowed. For more information, visit eatatco.com.