Father and Restaurateur
Gary “Koz” Gruenig was born on August 13th 1953 in Mckeese Rock Pennsylvania. When he was five his father decided to move to New Orleans for a new job. When Koz got old enough to work he was a paper boy until the day he stepped in The Po Boy Bakery at age 12.
Koz grew up at The Bakery and when he got old enough he became a part owner. Over the years he earned the nickname Koz from the New Orleans police officers who would have lunch at The Bakery. The Bakery was his life and you could not separate the two. When hurricane Katrina came, there was no doubt that he would stay and weather the storm.
During hurricane Katrina, The Bakery received 17 feet of water from the street and everything was lost. Koz and a few of his friends stayed at the apartment above the restaurant during the storm and had to be rescued. Even with everything lost Koz didn’t lose hope, he knew that he would get back on his feet. Koz and his partner Jerry Seely who owned The Bakery decided that they would not return to Gentilly so they sold the building and the end of The Bakery legend was over. To this day the only piece of Bakery is the sign that now hangs in the Lakeview location.
In 2005 after the storm, Koz was looking for a new shop when one of his friends who had a space called and informed him about a restaurant space up for rent. This location was in Harahan which was new territory but it was what he had so he opened up Koz’s. Just three months after the storm, Koz was back in business like nothing ever happened. After Three years of successful business in Harahan, Koz opened up his second location in Lakeview. In July of 2009 the Lakeview location was born and booming.
As a kid Koz knew that if he wanted something he would have to go work hard and earn it himself. When he started at The Bakery at age 12 nobody knew that this would become his livelihood. Now Koz is 63 and is still moving like he is 20. Koz runs the Harahan location day to day while his oldest son Max runs Lakeview.
Koz has made plenty of Po Boys in his day and does not plan on stopping anytime soon.