10 Years of Success at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

Everybody has to start somewhere, and for Tim McEnery, founder and CEO of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, it all began with washing dishes at the age of 11.

Now nearing the ten-year anniversary of a dream come true, his journey goes to show that hard work — and a little bit of wine — really does pay off.

Indianapolis, IN - Dining

Indianapolis, IN – Dining

Photo Courtesy of Cooper’s Hawk

By high school McEnery worked his way up to becoming a restaurant manager. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in restaurant and hotel management, he became the general manager of a country club; later, he joined Lynfred Winery in Illinois to learn the wine trade.

Arlington Heights, IL - Private Party Room

Arlington Heights, IL – Private Party Room

Photo Courtesy of Cooper’s Hawk

The epiphany came when McEnery and his wife were wine tasting in Illinois. While hopping from winery to winery, he noticed that few of them had restaurant components.

Tim McEnery of Cooper's Hawk

Tim McEnery of Cooper’s Hawk

Photo Courtesy of Cooper’s Hawk

“During the early days of Cooper’s Hawk’s inception, I would wake up two hours early to make sure that my business plan and ideas were solid before pitching the idea to investors,” says McEnery. “It’s always a tough sell in the hospitality industry but after a few investors meetings, I was able to secure backing and ten years ago, the idea of Cooper’s Hawk came to fruition.”

Barrel Room

Barrel Room

Photo Courtesy of Cooper’s Hawk

With over 50 different varietals ranging from sparkling almond wine to Lux Meritage, as well as the standards such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, Cooper’s Hawk produced over 260,000 cases of wine last year. Sourced from grapes from the best vineyards in Michigan, California, and Washington, Cooper’s Hawk also developed a number of international blends such as the upcoming Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as putting a great amount of focus on the winery’s eco efforts.

Barrel Reserve

Barrel Reserve

Photo Courtesy of Cooper’s Hawk

“We saved over 215 tons of glass from landfills with the help of our bottle recycling machine,” states McEnery.

Because the main idea of Cooper’s Hawk is to have every meal paired to a corresponding wine, the menu is laid out with a bin number for each dish plus a suggested wine pairing. For example, the menu offering of red wine-braised short ribs with mustard sauce, Mary’s potatoes, roasted vegetables, and crispy onion strings is paired with Cooper’s Hawk’s Bin 94 Cabernet Zinfandel.

Wine Grapes Being Processed

Wine Grapes Being Processed

Photo Courtesy of Cooper’s Hawk

This fall marks the 10-year anniversary of McEnery opening Cooper’s Hawk, and now 19 of the restaurants are scattered across the country. To honor the decade anniversary, McEnery is releasing a limited edition “Decadence Magnum” bottle for Cooper’s Hawk’s wine club members.

Cooper’s Hawk opens in Oak Lawn By Bob Bong – Chicago Tribune

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opened its eighth Illinois location this week at 4830 W. 111th St. in Oak Lawn’s Stony Creek Promenade shopping center.

The Countryside-based chain opened the 11,000-square-foot location Monday. The new restaurant will offer indoor and outdoor seating and a large private dining room that can accommodate up to 275 guests.

Signature dishes at Cooper’s Hawk include Ahi Tuna Tacos, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, Shrimp Campanelle and Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.

It is the chain’s 19th location nationwide. It opened its first location in Orland Park in 2005 and since has expanded to Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“I’m thrilled to be opening our 19th location in Oak Lawn and feel privileged for the opportunity to extend the Cooper’s Hawk community in an area so close to where I grew up,” founder Tim McEnery, a south suburban native, said in a release.

Hours at the Oak Lawn location will be from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.



Try these spring appetizers and wine pairings are your next springtime get-together


RICHMOND, Va – Chef Matt McMillin, of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, served up two savory spring appetizers with his Burrata, Proscuitto, and Baby Arugula Bruschetta and Roasted Beets with Whipped Goat Cheese. These two tasty finger foods can stand on their own, but once paired with Cooper’s Hawk signature wines, the taste is a springtime slam dunk. For more information visit online atwww.coopershawkwinery.com/locations/virginia/richmond.php.

Burrata, Proscuitto, & Baby Arugula Bruschetta – Whipped Ricotta, Oven-Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Balsamic Glaze


  • 1 loaf of soft Italian bread
  • 3 Tbsp. ricotta cheese
  • 5 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp basil, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • ½ fresh lemon
  • 6 slices of prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz. burrata cheese
  • 12 oven roasted grape tomatoes
  • 2 tsp balsamic glaze


  1. Slice Italian bread in to half inch thick pieces. Brush both sides of bread with soft butter and grill on both sides until crispy, with visible grill marks.
  2. Place ricotta cheese in a bowl and whisk in extra virgin olive oil. Season with fresh salt and ground pepper. Fold in chopped parsley and basil.
  3. With a small spatula or spoon, place an even, thin layer of whipped ricotta on the bruschetta.
  4. In a small bowl, combine arugula, juice from half lemon, and extra-virgin olive oil with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Mix well until evenly coated. Place arugula salad evenly on top of each piece of bruschetta, pressing down lightly to adhere.
  5. Next, year the prosciutto into long strips and evenly distribute between all of the bruschetta.
  6. Cut each burrata into 4 even quarters, keeping the soft center of the cheese within its firm outer layer.
  7. Delicately place 3 pieces of the cut burrata per bruschetta, firm side down on top of the arugula.
  8. Garnish each bruschetta with oven roasted tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Roasted Beets with Whipped Goat Cheese – Arugula, Candied Walnuts, Balsamic Glaze, Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • 2 oz. whipped goat cheese (see recipe below)
  • ½ cup baby arugula
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt  & black pepper
  • 3 oz. red beets (roasted and large-diced) – marinated in 1 ½ Tbsp white balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp water, 2 tsp sugar and a pinch of kosher salt)
  • 3 oz. golden beets (roasted and large-diced) – marinated in 1 ½ Tbsp white balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp water, 2 tsp sugar and a pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 tsp balsamic glaze
  • 1/3 cup candied walnuts, roughly chopped


  1. Begin by spreading a line of whipped goat cheese down the center of the plate.
  2. Place arugula along the center of the plate and drizzle with lemon, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Place both the red and golden beets across the plate on top of the arugula and whipped goat cheese.
  4. Season the beets by sprinkling eening with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  5. Drizzle the plate with balsamic glaze and olive oil.
  6. Finish with candied walnuts.

Whipped Goat Cheese


  • 3 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream


  1. Place goat cheese, white pepper, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  2. When soft and smooth, add sour cream and whisk until sour cream is mixed in and smooth (don’t overmix!)

Tip: the cheese should have a whipped-cream consistency/look


Cooper’s Hawk Prepares for Biggest Opening Yet on Monday

Oak Lawn location opens for lunch at 11 a.m. Get a sneak peak at the menu.

Caption: Tim McEnery, CEO, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant

When other kids were playing baseball or building forts, Tim McEnery was reading restaurant trade magazines.

Just a few days before opening day of his 19th Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, McEnery was overseeing the final details at the Oak Lawn location, which opens at 11 a.m. Monday at Stony Creek Promenade at 111th Street and Cicero Avenue.

Monday’s opening in Oak Lawn is shaping up to the biggest in the restaurant group’s history.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever been so busy, so fast,” McEnery said.

With the restaurant group’s flagship a few towns away in Orland Park, Oak Lawn is the second Cooper’s Hawk location in the south suburbs.

“We try to look at what made Orland Park successful and two big things came to mind, demographics and the quantity of people. These are good, fun, South Side people,” McEnery said. “When this development became available, we looked at this site very closely and thought it would be wonderful to come out here.”

McEnery is no stranger to the south suburbs. He grew up in Orland Park, practically onSilver Lakes Golf Course, and graduated from Marist High School before heading to Purdue University. One thing he knew, he wanted to own his own business, be it a restaurant, car wash or a gas station.

“I’ve been invited to speak with Marist students a couple of times,” he said. “It’s surreal when you get to come back to your school and people care about what you say.”

His first job in the restaurant business was washing dishes at his aunt and uncle’s restaurant at Green Garden Country Club in Frankfort when he was 11. He hasn’t stopped working since.

“I never played sports, working was my thing,” McEnery said. “I love the pace and all the fun, crazy people in the restaurant business. It has been incredible.”

Described as a daredevil in the restaurant industry by Wall Street Journal, McEnery opened his first restaurant in Orland Park in 2005 before he was 30. He and his talented team have turned Cooper’s Hawk into a $121 million empire with a 130,000-member wine club.

“It’s a wild ride to say the least,” he said. “All I wanted to do was make sure that [Orland Park] was successful. Cooper’s Hawk is a growth company and what we’re really focused on is that we get good at growing and opening restaurants.”

The 10,000-square-foot space has a different layout than the Orland Park location, including a Napa-style tasting room, dining room and indoor bar. The outdoor seating area looks across a retention pond with shooting fountains toward Cicero Avenue. The patio is also heated during cooler weather and has a fire pit.

The menu offers modern American casual dining, which could mean such entrees as the maple, mustard and pretzel-crusted boneless pork chop ($21.99), or pistachio-crusted grouper ($25.99). The restaurant also offers burgers, sandwiches, appetizers with a twist, such as Cooper’s Hawk calamari, and chopped salads starting at $9.99.(Patch has included the menu.)

Cuisine is paired with the restaurant’s own hand-crafted wines, with most by-the-glass selections going for $6.50 to $8.50. The most expensive bottle is $48, with the average price around $25.

McEnery told Wall Street Journal last year that the restaurant group doesn’t open a new Cooper’s Hawk unless the location shows a potential annual revenue of $10 million, which speaks to the potential of Oak Lawn’s long awaited Stony Creek Promenade.

Even before the doors have opened, 100 wine club members have stopped by to collect their wine of the month bottles.

“This is about as excited as I’ve ever been,” McEnery said. “I’m always excited when we open a new restaurant but here is just so special because my mom grew up a block down the street.”

For local Cooper’s Hawk fans, they’ll no longer need to schlep to Orland Park to pick up their wine of the month selections.

Piada, Cooper’s Hawk presented with 2015 Buzzed About Brands Awards


Kelly Killian, Editor on May 15, 2015

Fast casual’s Piada Italian Street Food and casual dining’s Cooper’s Hawk were honored Thursday by the National Restaurant Association’s Marketing Executives Group and Restaurant Business magazine with 2015 Buzzed About Brands Awards, a recognition of the buzz they have created through social media and marketing.

The awards, now in their second year, were created by MEG to single out chains that have caught the attention not only of consumers, but also their peers in the industry. Also factored into the selection are the candidate’s approaches to generating new business.

Columbus, Ohio-based Piada has been closely watched by the industry because of its popularity among consumers. Operators praise the operational innovations that deliver fresh, customized Italian sandwiches and pastas quickly at tabs around $10 per person.

Countryside, Illinois-based Cooper’s Hawk is often cited by other casual-dining operators as a brand that has differentiated itself in a sector prone to sameness, in part through an ambitious wine program.  It does not maintain a marketing budget.

CEO Chris Doody of Piada and Tim McEnery of Cooper’s Hawk both were on hand to accept the awards and share their insights about differentiation, growth and connecting with consumers during a panel discussion.

Both men acknowledge that the most creative marketing efforts won’t be successful without an innovative brand behind them. “It’s more about the food, design and whole experience and genuine hospitality,” said Doody, who also founded the Bravo Brio casual dining chain with his brother Rick. “If we take care of our guests coming in, word of mouth is going to drive our marketing strategy.”

To stand out from the competition in fast casual, Doody said, his approach with Piada has been to take a little of what casual dining does very well and do that in fast casual. “What we’re really trying to create is a fine fast casual segment,” he said.

“Modern casual” is the term Cooper’s Hawk ascribes to its restaurant-retail-winery hybrid, which aims to differentiate itself with a proprietary, tiered wine club designed to attract both novice and sophisticated drinkers. Membership in the club has grown from 1,400 in 2006 to 130,000, due first and foremost to the quality of the wine, McEnery says he’s learned from customer surveys.

But a little prompting doesn’t hurt, he told the room full of restaurant marketers at the MEG conference. “If you were to look at our P&L, our advertising and marketing line is zero,” said McEnery. He says Cooper’s Hawk, instead, focuses on what grabs people’s attention. “[Everyone’s] trying to weave people’s daily patterns into the restaurant,” he says. “We do that with the monthly wine club,” he said, giving people a reason to come back into the restaurant.


Cooper’s Hawk Sets Opening Date for Oak Lawn Location

Make a reservation. Esteemed restaurant group opens in Oak Lawn on May 18.

Cooper's Hawk Sets Opening Date for Oak Lawn Location

Caption: Cooper’s Hawk at Stony Creek Promenade in Oak Lawn.

The long-awaited opening for Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant new Oak Lawn location is set for Monday, May 18.

The 11,000-square-foot restaurant will open its doors at 11 a.m. Monday. Cooper’s Hawk is the latest addition to Stony Creek Promenade at 111th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn.

By this time next week, diners can partake in Cooper Hawk’s modern, casual dining experience and menu paired with its own handcrafted wines. The menu features unique dishes with bin numbers listed next to each item on the menu, guiding guests to their selection’s ideal wine match.

Signature dishes include Ahi Tuna Tacos, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, Shrimp Campanelle and Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.

The new restaurant will offer indoor and outdoor seating, and a large private dining room accommodating up to 275 guests.

Unique interior and exterior design elements feature a glass abundant facade, reclaimed wood, concrete finishings, structural beams, and a large community-style tasting bar.

Cooper’s Hawk boasts one of the country’s largest wine of the month clubs. The Cooper’s Hawk Wine Club offers subscribers monthly wins, points on purchases, special offers, invitations to exclusive events rewards, and annual domestic and international wine trips, a company press release said.

The winery has received over 300 awards from various local, national and international wine competitions. Cooper’s Hawk Barbera wine got the “Best in Glass Gold” nod for their , most recently winning the “Best in Glass Gold” nod at the 2015 New World International Wine Competition.

Diners will also have the chance to sample Cooper’s Hawk’s proprietary wines in a traditional winery setting and tasting room alongside the full-service restaurant.

Oak Lawn is the 19th location for the expanding restaurant group, who opened their first site in Orland Park in 2005. Cooper’s Hawk now has locations throughout the Midwest and Florida.

“I’m thrilled to be opening our 19th location in Oak Lawn and feel privileged for the opportunity to extend the Cooper’s Hawk community in an area so close to where I grew up,” said southwest Chicago native Tim McEnery, Cooper’s Hawk’s Founder & CEO.

The Oak Lawn location will open daily at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner. The restaurant and tasting room will be open until 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and close at 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The bar will have extended hours, closing at 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 708-529-2980.


Shanken News Daily – News Briefs for May 7, 2015

•The Cooper’s Hawk restaurant chain, notable for producing its own wines from its headquarters in suburban Chicago, is planning expansion over the next year. On May 18the company, which currently operates in seven states, will open its 20th restaurant in Oak Lawn, Illinois, a suburb south of Chicago. That will be followed by two restaurants in Florida (in Jacksonville and Naples) later this year. Early in 2016 Cooper’s Hawk plans to be open in two Virginia locations, in Reston and Ashburn. The company, which employs 2,500 people, had revenues of $121 million in 2014.


Dining Out: Cooper’s Hawk – Ladue News


Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2015 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:25 pm, Thu Apr 30, 2015.

By Sidney Lewis

Cooper’s Hawk began in a suburb of Chicago and now has locations across the country. The company sources West Coast grapes that are then delivered to the winery facility in Chicago for production, then sent out to its various outposts. While each restaurant is set up with similar dining rooms, bar, wine-tasting area and a retail store, each strives to achieve its own particular ambience. The Town & Country location goes for a combination of sleekly modern with some natural elements like rough stone for contrast, and plenty of glass for a wide-open feel.

Since wine is one of the main draws at Coopers Hawk, we had to imbibe, and opted for the Create Your Own wine flight ($16), which featured a blanc de blanc, unoaked chardonnay, barbera and a Bourdeax reserve. Sparkling, White, Red and Lux flight options also are available. The barbera was the standout here, dry with mild tannins, and the right balance of minerality and fruit.

Our exploration of the food menu began with the Thai Lettuce Wraps ($12). Chunks of chili-glazed chicken, crunchy veggies, crisp strips of wonton with lettuce leaves for wrapping and a trio of sauces: peanut, cashew and soy caramel. Simple and solid, this app is a good segue to all manner of main events.

Be advised, the Cooper’s Hawk menu is expansive—enormous, really, and chock-full of choices from flatbread to burgers to salads to larger entree-sized dishes. It takes a while to read through everything, but there’s literally something for every taste, so take your time and peruse. There’s even a Life Balance list which highlights dishes with less than 600 calories.

First up for us was one of the designated signature dishes, the Cooper’s Hawk Chicken Giardiniera ($17). Picture two large pieces of breaded chicken, topped with shaved Parmesan, kind of a stripped-down version of chicken parm sans red sauce and pasta. Alongside, Mary’s Potatoes, creamy and whipped up with plenty of butter and cream—another simple dish that adds up to much more than the sum of its parts.

In addition to dreaming up their own wine flights, Cooper’s Hawk allows guests to come up with custom culinary match-ups, as well, like the Choose Your Own Surf & Turf option. Our choices were the soy ginger salmon and two Parmesan-crusted filet medallions ($29). This selection came with some roasted veggies and a serving of the aforementioned Mary’s Potatoes. The sweet glaze on the salmon contrasted quite nicely with the savory filets.

In an attempt to keep things (relatively) light, we finished up with a trio of chocolates and truffles ($7; also available paired with wine for $13).

Cooper’s Hawk also offers a wine club, hosts private events, and has a happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Looking for a wide variety of vino and plenty of culinary choices? Cooper’s Hawk should be on your list.

– 1146 Town & Country Crossing Drive, 636-489-0059, chwinery.com