From the community: Tim McEnery Cooper’s Hawk Founder to Speak at Orland Chamber Meeting

By Community Contributor Mary A. Compton
Chicago Tribune/Orland Park Patch

At 11 years old Tim McEnery would stand in the kitchen of Green Garden Country Club washing dishes.

While other boys his age were playing baseball, he was dreaming of owning his own restaurant.

Today that boy Tim McEnery is now the Founder/CEO of Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants.

” I always had a passion for the restaurant business,” said McEnery. ” I hoped one day I could start a business of my own. Never in a million years did I think it would be this.”

Catholic-educated, McEnery, raised in Orland Park spent eight years at St. Michaels, graduated Marist High School in 1994 and earned a Degree in hospitality management from Purdue University.

A motto from the university states: ” What we make moves the world forward.”

McEnery has certainly learned to live by this, with grace.

He hosts a wine golf outing each year that supports the Keep on Keeping on Foundation. This non-profit organization assists the special needs in the community.

Walking through the Cooper’s Hawk offices in Countryside, ( which he calls the restaurant support center) he makes sure he says hello to everyone. ” Every day I think about the 2300 people that work for Cooper’s Hawk. Bringing on all these great people has enabled us to do what we do, ” McEnery added.

Today there are 16 Cooper Hawk Winery and Restaurants in six states. Two more will be added by the end of the year, one in Springfield the other in Richmond Virginia.

South suburban residents are excited to see another Cooper’s Hawk in their own backyard, Oak Lawn. ” I’m excited about this one, it should be open around March ” McEnery said. ” I have no doubt that there could be 100 Cooper’s Hawks in the United States. What is most important to me is that we do it in the right way.”

” Growing up in Orland Park made a huge impact on my decision to open the first Cooper’s Hawk there. We had looked all over the Chicago area , there was only one guy crazy enough to give us a shot, it was in Orland Park,” McEnery said.

” Serendipity,” he said with a smile.

Orland Park welcomed Cooper’s Hawk with open arms. “Over the years Mayor Dan has been one of the best supporters of ours,” adds McEnery.

Mayor Dan McLaughlin feels the same way as he sent the comment;

“As mayor, I am especially proud of watching Tim McEnery grow up in Orland Park, make his dream a reality in his own hometown and become hugely successful. Cooper’s Hawk is a great restaurant, offering its own wines and a unique gift shop, making it truly a hot spot in the southwest suburbs. I am very happy that Cooper’s Hawk started in Orland Park and wish them continued success.”

What makes the place so unique? A variety of reasons, from the perfect tailored wine to an American cuisine that rivals any Chicago fine dining establishment.

The next four weeks are the busiest as grapes travel from California to Cooper’s Hawk plant and offices in Countryside Illinois. The grapes will go into the stemmer and then go into the tanks for fermentation.

One of McEnery’s favorite times. ” Tasting and smelling the wine is the most important thing that we do, to make sure they are the right quality,” he said.

Cooper’s Hawk features about fifty wines plus the twelve wines of the month.

” As McEnery points to the barrels, ” We do twelve different wines every year for the wine club. Occasionally we add a different style of wine. The wine club is where we do innovations, different blends.”

McEnery doesn’t let anything go to waste. Environmentally savvy, Cooper’s Hawk is the only winery that recycles their bottles.

” Obviously the concept of Cooper’s Hawk is very unique,” McEnery said. ” I always tell everyone in my meetings, coming up with the idea was the easiest that we’ve done, it takes an incredible amount of hard work to keep this going.”

Everyone in Cooper’s Hawk, from the server to the CFO, goes through fundamental wine training. It is a five day course for a new server but as McEnery explains ” the wine education continues daily, through the course of their career.”

Cooper’s Hawk boasts a full menu, from tortilla soup, ribs, steaks, gnocchi, even featuring a gluten free menu.

So what is Tim McEnery’s favorite dish? ” That’s like picking which of your kids you like best.”

” If I had to choose a favorite dish, today it would be Chicken Giardiniera. Cooper’s Hawk is a great place to go out for dinner, even if you don’t drink wine.

McEnery offers advice to those wanting to start a business. ” Once you get the first business going, everything falls into place. Persistence and hard work is number one. Then surround yourself with great people.”

Rob Wehmeier, successful business owner of Wehmeier Portraits and Orland Park Area Chamber President, encourages those to come and learn from Tim McEnery.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing his presentation at the Monthly
Member Meeting, said Wehmeier. ” I love the atmosphere that he created at his restaurant and have enjoyed our member event we have held there, it makes a memorable night for everyone. I am looking forward to hearing his story about how he as made such a recognizable brand.”

As McEnery prepares to speak at Silver Lake, his humble attitude speaks of his success.

” There have been so many people that have made us successful, whether it was the Orland Chamber or the Small Development Center at Moraine Valley College. We try to be as generous to help others, we wouldn’t be here without a lot of help from a whole lot of people.”

To hear the story of Tim McEnery, CEO/Founder of Cooper’s Hawk attend the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7:45am. The event will be held at Silver Lake Country Club, 14700 S. 82nd Ave., in Orland Park. Chamber members with RSVP are $15. Non-members and at the door is $20. Breakfast will be served.

To RSVP or if you have additional questions, please call the chamber office at 708-349-2972.

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Cooper’s Hawk in Orlando makes OpenTable’s top 100 wine lists in U.S.

By Web Producer-Orlando Business Journal

A restaurant in a popular east Orlando retail center has been nationally recognized for its wine list.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant inWaterford Lakes Town Center was among

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant in Waterford Lakes Town Center was among OpenTable’s Top 100 Wine Lists in the nation.

OpenTable’s Top 100 Wine Lists in America.

The 1,500-square-foot restaurant at 529 N. Alafaya Trail was the first Central Florida location for the Countryside, Ill.-based chain. The Waterford Lakes eatery regularly has about 3,000 bottles of wine on hand, and every dish on the 70-item menu has a wine pairing.

Cooper’s Hawk recently opened its second Central Florida location on Orlando’s International Drive. The 12,400-square-foot eatery is part of Unicorp National Developments Inc.’s $200 million I-Shops project.

Cooper’s Hawk had eight other locations throughout the nation make OpenTable’s list.

Only two other Florida restaurants made OpenTable’s Top 100 Wine Lists, including Cuvee Wine & Bistro in Ocala and OVINTE in Jacksonville.

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Cooper’s Hawk building under construction in Oak Lawn

By Steve Metsch smetsch@southtownstar.com

The next piece of Oak Lawn’s Stoney Creek Promenade is being built — construction started this week on a Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant.

It is the second big name that’s part of the upscale retail development planned for the northwest corner of 111th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn. The first, Mariano’s grocery store, set sales records in its first day of business, officials have said.

Mayor Sandra Bury, village manager Larry Deetjen and several trustees spoke highly of the restaurant during Tuesday night’s village board meeting.

Trustee Mike Carberry, 6th, said the development “is going to go down as a successful deal for Oak Lawn.”

“Not long ago, there were a few cars and a lot of seagulls out there,” he said of the site that formerly was home to a Kmart, a shuttered Dominick’s grocery store and other retailers like a muffler shop, hair salon, restaurant, and chiropractic office.

Carberry praised the project in response to criticism of the deal by Trustee Bob Streit, 3rd, who fears the village will end up losing money or not make as much as expected when it’s all said and done.

“You should embrace it. You’re a lone guy with this deal. It’s going to be a winner for Oak Lawn. Get behind it,” Carberry told Streit.

That was after Streit engaged in a heated debate with Bury and village finance director Brian Hanigan about the financial implications of the village entering into a deal with Hamilton Partners regarding the former Edgar Funeral Home, just north of the site.

Streit was the only trustee to vote against the proposal, saying that not enough other bids had been considered.

“I have a lot of concerns that we’re going to take a bath on this,” Streit said.

Several times, he and Bury raised their voices when talking with one another.

“This infuriates me,” Bury said of Streit’s opposition. “This went to 40 national investors. We had five bids. Of those, we asked the top two for their best offer and they did that.”

Deetjen said the deal will have Hamilton spending $1.4 million on the site of the former funeral home.

“There has been very, very strong interest” from possible tenants. The building could be 90 to 100 percent occupied by the spring,” Deetjen said.

At the Cooper’s Hawk site on Wednesday, workers were busy with earth-moving machines, prepping the land for eventual construction of a 10,000-square-foot restaurant that will face 111th Street, just west of a planned retention pond.

Earlier this year, Bury said “Cooper’s Hawk is fantastic for Oak Lawn, and it’s going to draw people.”

That’s been the case so far with Mariano’s, she noted Tuesday after the board meeting.

The Cooper’s Hawk in Oak Lawn will be the 19th restaurant for the chain that is based in Countryside. Lemont-based Englewood Construction has been hired to build the restaurant.

In a news release, Englewood CEO Bill DiSanto said he is “excited to finally be working with Cooper’s Hawk,” and added that the Oak Lawn restaurant will not resemble the chain’s other restaurants. Aria Architects, based in Oak Park, designed the building.

The restaurant is slated to open in March, the news release said.

Earlier this year, Ronald Dee, senior vice president of real estate development for the chain said that “many people from the Oak Lawn area over the years have come to Orland Park and said, ‘We’d really love you to be in Oak Lawn.’ ”

“(The village) offered us a great site, and we’re going out in front of a brand-new Mariano’s supermarket. We’ve been very impressed with Mariano’s as they’ve rolled out in Chicago. It’s a brand we would like to be associated with,” Dee said earlier this year. It’s expected that 100 to 150 jobs will be created at the Oak Lawn restaurant, Dee said.

Cooper’s Hawk Now Open #chwinery

Blog review: Adriana’s Best Recipes Blog
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International Drive is one of the most important tourist corridors in Orlando and Coopers Hawk Winery just opened doors to a new location at the corner of Sandlake Road and International Drive, right the in the middle of the many offerings in the area. Indeed having a winery experience in the area is a great addition to the numerous options available in that busy corridor. I had the chance to meet with the Coopers Hawk General Manager, Cara Mahler who told us this is the biggest location so far in Orlando and indeed it is 12,400+ square-foot restaurant with occupancy for more than 380 guests. They offer wine pours directly from their brand barrels, have a restaurant menu and something very different the opportunity to pair chocolate goodies with the several wine options available at Coopers Hawk.

The ambiance is relaxed and friendly, great place for a family gathering after a theme park visit or a special date night with that very special person in your life. Cooper’s Hawk offers inside and outside sitting and now that the Fall is here can’t wait to sip a nice glass of wine on the relaxed porch with comfortable sitting.

Coopers Hawk offers a menu developed with its own handcrafted wines in mind. The menu features unique dishes with bin numbers listed next to each item on the menu, guiding guests to their selection’s perfect wine match. Known for their rich, distinctive sauces, items such as the Pistachio Crusted Grouper, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, and Mexican Drunken Shrimp have quickly found popularity as the restaurant’s signature dishes. The I-Drive restaurant is the only Cooper’s Hawk location nationwide to serve breakfast daily for those early risers.

The International Drive location marks the sixteenth Cooper’s Hawk restaurant in the country, and is one of five units slated to open through early 2015. The first Orlando location opened earlier this year at Waterford Lakes Town Center. Between the two locations, Cooper’s Hawk will have created more than 380 new jobs for the Central Florida in just five months.

For more information about Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, visit www.chwinery.com.

When in Orlando if you are a wine lover like me Cooper’s Hawk must be in your list of must do in the area!

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants creating 180 new jobs in Springfield

Job Fair set for October 6 and 7 at White Oaks Mall

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants today announced it is creating 180 new jobs in Springfield and holding a job fair to fill the positions on Monday, Oct. 6th and Tuesday, Oct. 7th at White Oaks Mall.

“Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is excited to announce our newest location in Springfield, Illinois, and we look forward to becoming part of the Springfield community,” said Tim McEnery, Founder & CEO, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants. “We’re looking to find 180 friendly team members in the Springfield area who are enthusiastic about food and wine and are interested in pursuing an opportunity and, perhaps, a career with Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants.”

The Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants will open a Springfield location on Nov. 3rd at White Oaks Mall, 2501 W. Wabash Avenue. Cooper’s Hawk has created a modern, yet casual, dining experience with warm service and a menu created with its own handcrafted wines in mind. The menu features unique dishes with bin numbers listed next to each item on the menu, guiding guests to their selection’s perfect wine match. Known for their rich, distinctive sauces, items such as the Pistachio-Crusted Grouper, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, and Mexican Drunken Shrimp have quickly found popularity as the restaurant’s signature dishes.

Cooper’s Hawk Job Fair for Springfield location – Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is creating 180 jobs at its new Springfield location, including full and part-time positions. The Job Fair offers potential employment opportunities for kitchen staff, houseworkers, tasting room attendants, servers, host, and bartending staff. The Job Fair location is in the upper level of White Oaks Mall near Bergner’s from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6th and Tuesday, Oct. 7th. Interested candidates who are unable to may also apply online at apply.chwinery.com.

Who: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Hiring Team
What: Job Fair to meet and interview 180 new full and part-time positions for new Springfield location
When: Monday, Oct. 6th and Tuesday, Oct. 7th, 8:30am – 6:30pm
Where: Cooper’s Hawk Recruitment Center, Upper level, White Oaks Mall near Bergner’s
Why: Seeking to fill 180 full and part-time positions for kitchen staff, houseworkers, tasting room attendants, servers, host, and bartending staff. Employment start date will be Oct. 19, 2014.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants – Awards
Coupled with an exclusive and active wine club, Cooper’s Hawk was named “Breakout Brand 2013” and “Hot Concept 2010” by Nations Restaurant News, as well as selected as 2013’s MenuMasters Winner in the category of “Menu Trendsetter.” Most recently, Founder and CEO Tim McEnery was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year (Midwest).

To learn more about Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants, follow on Twitter at @CHWinery, like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coopershawk or visit www.chwinery.com.

Wine, Pork Belly & Artisan Cheese {Cooper’s Hawk}

Spork Orlando: Finding Orlando’s tastiest tables

I-Drive is getting all sorts of upgrades, from Yard House to the Orlando Eye, a once run-down tacky tourist area is taking a remarkable turn. It’s time to add Cooper’s Hawk, a uniquely modern, yet casual, dining experience to the list of I-Drive enhancements. Coupled with an exclusive and active wine club, Cooper’s Hawk was named “Breakout Brand 2013” and “Hot Concept 2010” byNations Restaurant News, and that’s not a title that comes easily in today’s competitive dining market.

The restaurant also features one of the country’s largest wine clubs, offering subscribers monthly wines, special discounts, invitations to exclusive events, rewards, and annual domestic and international wine trips. The Orlando location boasts an impressive menu in addition to a wine and cheese tasting area inside their wine-themed retail shop.

We visited Cooper’s Hawk before the grand opening and quickly found a few menu favorites. Beyond the menu, the space is expansive, impressive and perfect for a variety of evenings from a family meal to relaxing outside or catching a football game in the bar that’s packed with seating.

Here’s our “must order” picks for your next visit to Cooper’s Hawk:

  • Asian Pork Belly Tostados – I’m pretty picky about pork belly, but this appetizer was flavored to perfection with scallions, sesame seeds, cilantro, radishes and topped with a sweet chili BBQ sauce. I’d happily go back for this appetizer and a glass of champagne!
  • Chef Matt’s Monthly Cheese Tasting – Y’all, this cheese was fantastic! I love the idea of a rotating cheese and wine tasting on the main menu. I’ve sampled a lot of cheese in my time and I’d recommend this dish to start any meal at Cooper’s Hawk.
  • Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Flatbread – Crispy flatbread topped with mozzarella, roasted grape tomatoes, pesto, julienne basil and a balsamic glaze. Cooper’s Hawk knows how to serve a flatbread that’s perfectly crisp and layered with flavor.
  • Chicken Giardiniera – Parmesan breaded chicken with shaved parmesan. Sounds simple enough, but the chicken was tender and coated with the right amount of crispy goodness. Sometimes it’s nice to experience a non-Southern chicken, and this one’s a winner in our book.

Go experience Cooper’s Hawk for yourself, you won’t be disappointed! Cooper’s Hawk newest location is located at 8005 International Drive, Orlando, FL. For locations and menu details visit www.chwinery.com.

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Cooper’s Hawk names new executives

Company plans for “next phase of growth”
Ron Ruggless, Nation’s Restaurant News

Phoebe McMillan, chief strategic officer

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has named several new executives and created a new chief strategic officer position.

The moves come as the Countryside, Ill.-based casual-dining operator sets the stage for “the next phase of growth throughout the country,” the company said in a news release earlier this month.

Cooper’s Hawk has welcomed Phoebe McMillan to the new role of chief strategic officer from her position as chief financial officer. Diana Garvis Purcel succeeds McMillan as CFO.

Most recently, Purcel was CFO at Famous Dave’s of America Inc., where she worked for more than 10 years. McMillan has been with Cooper’s Hawk for two years, as an adviser and then as CFO.

Diana Garvis Purcel, CFO

Other executive changes at Cooper’s Hawk include the naming of Ben Hummer as vice president of winery operations and Tara Snyder as vice president of learning and development.

Hummer most recently was senior vice president of operations at Seattle-based Precept Wine. Snyder most recently was senior director of leadership and development services at Bloomin’ Brands Inc., parent to the Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill brands.

“I am pleased that we are able to attract this level of talent and experience,” said Tim McEnery, Cooper’s Hawk’s founder and chief executive, in a statement. “These four individuals will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goal of national expansion.”

The company said it plans to open five new Cooper’s Hawk restaurants through summer 2015 in Florida, Virginia and the Midwest.

Cooper’s Hawk, which first opened in 2005, currently has 15 locations.

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You Had Me at Merlot: Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant 11 Minutes from Orlando Attractions

Homes 4 uu Vacation Homes

There’s a brand new dining option in town! Just minutes from your favorite Orlando attractions, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant located at 8005 International Drive in Orlando is 12,400 square-feet of amazing indoor and outdoor seating. Do you have the whole family staying in your Homes4uu vacation home? Why not book one of their uniquely designed  winery-inspired party spaces? These spaces allow you to have the opportunity to experience the rich culture and timelessness of the winemaking world. Additionally, they feature special private party packages perfect for celebrations and group dining. The I-Drive location is the only one nation wide that will open daily at 6 a.m. and offer breakfast until 11 a.m. every day. 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. Reservations are recommended. The bar will have extended hours, closing at 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 11 p.m. on Sunday.

WINE PROGRAM: Cooper’s Hawk has a projected production of over 260,000 cases of wine for 2014. Truck loads packed with up to twenty tons of wine grapes and fruit from California, Oregon, Washington and Michigan are delivered from the vineyard to the winery door for production that takes places year-round. Since opening in late 2005, Cooper’s Hawk has received over 200 wine awards from various local, national, and international wine competitions.

FOOD PROGRAM: You will enjoy a modern, casual dining experience with warm service and a menu created with its own handcrafted wines in mind. The menu features unique dishes with bin numbers listed next to each item on the menu, guiding you to your selection’s perfect wine match. Known for their rich, distinctive sauces, items such as the Pistachio-Crusted Grouper, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, and Mexican Drunken Shrimp have quickly found popularity as the restaurant’s signature dishes.

WINE CLUB: Cooper’s Hawk has created an exclusive monthly wine club available only to subscribers. The program is available for $18.99 a month for one bottle per month, and can be picked up at any Cooper’s Hawk location, or delivered for an additional fee. It’s almost like bringing home a little bit of your vacation with you! Cooper’s Hawk Wine Club is one of the largest in the country and offers members exclusive classes, parties and events.

TASTING ROOM/GIFT STORE: Each Cooper’s Hawk location contains a Napa-style Tasting Room in which to sample the winery’s latest selections. A tasting includes eight pours and starts at $7. Additionally, guests can browse the gift shop for food and wine related items, as well as custom designed gift baskets. Check out Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants on Twitter, Facebook and at their website chwinery.com.

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Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants new location

My Sweet Zepol
by Wanda Lopez

Grand opening! A second Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is opening today in Orlando Florida. This second location is in International Drive. Here’s a peek at Cooper’s Hawk Winery in Waterford Town Center.

When I heard that Cooper’s Hawk was opening a new location in Orlando, Florida I was very excited. Orlando’s second Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants will open on Monday, September 15 at 8005 International Drive. The 12,400+ square-foot restaurant will offer indoor and outdoor seating, with occupancy for more than 380 guests. Upon opening, the I-Drive restaurant will be the only Cooper’s Hawk location nationwide to serve breakfast daily.

(Me with Cara Mahler, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant General Manager)

Cooper’s Hawk boasts a modern, casual dining experience with warm service and a menu developed with its own handcrafted wines in mind. The menu features unique dishes with bin numbers listed next to each item on the menu, guiding guests to their selection’s perfect wine match. Known for their rich, distinctive sauces, items such as the Pistachio Crusted Grouper, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, and Mexican Drunken Shrimp have quickly found popularity as the restaurant’s signature dishes.

I am a personal fan of Cooper’s Hawk Winery Restaurants. It is a restaurant where you can get good wine and good food all under one roof. Cooper’s Hawk  is designed to give you a full winery experience. Everything from wine tasting, a fully loaded bar, an outdoor seating perfect for more casual gatherings, a large section for events (inside), a wide are for dining and the flow is absolutely seamless.

(friends: Adriana, Mariani, Gustavo and me)

(Variety of Chocolate Truffles, Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Cheesecakes made in house daily)

Can you tell I am excited? I am! Go and visit any of the two locations in Orlando Florida and enjoy a true winery experience, then come back and tell me all about it.

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