Tim McEnery: The Daredevil Behind Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

Who would think combining the risky restaurant and wine businesses would yield $121 million a year? Tim McEnery, of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, did

BOTTLE ROCKET | Tim McEnery, founder and CEO of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & RestaurantsENLARGE
BOTTLE ROCKET | Tim McEnery, founder and CEO of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants TODD WINTERS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
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I’D NEVER TASTED an almond sparkling wine before I traveled to suburban Illinois earlier this week. And I’m still not entirely sure how to describe it. Fortunately the wine catalog of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants offers the following: “Powerful aromas of almond cookie, maraschino cherry and nutmeg.” That was a pretty accurate characterization—and no, it was not served in a parfait dish but a wine glass.

The almond sparkler is the best-selling wine at Cooper’s Hawk, according to the company’s CEO and founder Tim McEnery. “The second-best-selling wine is our Pinot Noir. That speaks to our range of consumers,” said Mr. McEnery with a laugh.

When Mr. McEnery says “our Pinot Noir,” the use of the possessive is key. Almond sparkling wine and Pinot Noir are two of almost 60 wines produced by Cooper’s Hawk Winery for the 18 Cooper’s Hawk restaurants scattered throughout the Midwest and South. And according to Mr. McEnery, the Illinois winery is the fifth-largest winery outside California, producing about 240,000 cases in 2014.

A group of restaurants that offers its own wines and no others would seem to be a risky business model. After all, the restaurant business has a notoriously high failure rate, and the wine business isn’t a lot safer. A company that combined the two seems like fiscal madness, yet Cooper’s Hawk is projected to end 2014 with $121 million in revenue. And though Mr. McEnery declined to discuss profits, he said, “We have a very healthy business.”

‘A company that combined the risky restaurant and wine businesses, Cooper’s Hawk projects 2014 revenues of $121 million. ’

I’d actually never heard of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, which feature traditional American fare such as crab cakes and steak, until a month or so ago when I was browsing the OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice Awards for the top 100 restaurant wine lists. Cooper’s Hawk was named eight times, for locations in many different states, albeit all with the same wine list.

When I admitted my ignorance to the 38-year-old Mr. McEnery as we sat down at his company’s headquarters in Countryside, Ill., about 20 miles from Chicago, he wasn’t surprised. “A lot of people in Chicago haven’t heard of us either,” he said, laughing. Mr. McEnery has a warm and open demeanor, and his favorite word, bestowed upon both ideas and people, is awesome.

Chicago proper may see a Cooper’s Hawk outpost one day, said Mr. McEnery, but it’s not on the immediate horizon. He will open another restaurant in the Chicago suburbs (Oak Lawn) next year, however, as well as two more in Florida and one in Virginia. His real-estate team is scouting sites in Florida, Virginia and Maryland, but nothing is solid save one certainty: “We won’t open a restaurant unless we can get to $10 million,” Mr. McEnery said, referring to a location’s potential annual revenue.

The first of 18 restaurant locations, in Orland Park, Ill.ENLARGE
The first of 18 restaurant locations, in Orland Park, Ill. TODD WINTERS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

It’s hard to believe this empire started with a 2002 trip to a small winery in suburban Illinois. Mr. McEnery, living in Orland Park, Ill., at the time, took a rare day off from his “80- to 100-hour-a-week” restaurant-management job, accompanied by his girlfriend Dana, now his wife. “I thought it was too bad they didn’t have a restaurant with the winery,” he recalled. His research turned up just two wineries with restaurants. “One was Domaine Chandon, in Napa, and one was in Michigan in the boondocks,” he said.

The thought became an idea: He would open his own combination winery-restaurant. Mr. McEnery created a business plan, working on it for 3½ years. He had received a B.A. in restaurant-and-hotel management from Purdue University, but now he consulted books and experts at local community colleges. “Once I got into it, I realized why it hadn’t been done before,” he said. The challenges were considerable, from raising the necessary capital to navigating legal prohibitions. He worked on the plan so long his wife told him he had to either start the business or abandon it altogether.

Mr. McEnery chose the former. He had little money of his own but raised $1.3 million from 25 friends and family members, and secured a $1 million Small Business Association loan. (He has since bought out his partners and teamed up with a private investment company.)

In his hometown of Orland Park, Mr. McEnery found a 13,000-square-foot space, large enough to accommodate a winery and restaurant as well as a tasting room and gift shop. He leased the space, as he does for all his restaurants. “Our capital is better used managing restaurants,” he said.

When the restaurant opened, in 2005, Mr. McEnery was doing just about everything, including making the wine. He’d studied the craft informally, but after two years he turned the winemaking over to a professional, and the winery was moved to its own space. “The wine is way better now,” he said.

The Cooper’s Hawk winemaker is Rob Warren, an affable Canadian native who was working in Virginia when he and Mr. McEnery met at a trade show. Mr. Warren had recently returned from a trip to California to meet with grape growers.

Many of the wines are made from grapes purchased in the Central Coast of California as well as Michigan, New York, Oregon and Washington state. Mr. Warren also buys “finished” wines (fermented but not blended), as well as fruit and fruit extract. Fruit wines are a prominent part of the portfolio—eight in total, including raspberry, peach and even rhubarb. “They are the most expensive to make, but there’s no way we can charge more than $15 for a bottle of fruit wine,” said Mr. McEnery, who gave me a brief tour of the winery, a rather industrial space attached to the company headquarters.

The Orland Park restaurant grossed more than $5 million in its first year of business, according to Mr. McEnery, and is still the company’s most lucrative location, grossing about $12 million this year. It was also the first of two Cooper’s Hawk restaurants I visited during my Illinois trip.

I arrived just before five o’clock on Sunday evening, and the tasting room was already crowded, mostly with women. Every restaurant table was filled too, and by six o’clock, hopeful diners were waiting for tables.

The Cooper’s Hawk tasting room looks like that of any other winery, albeit with more glassware and trinkets, and a lot of chocolate. “This is one of the biggest draws,” said a tasting-room associate, pointing to rows of chocolate in a glass display case. Do people pair it with sweet wine? I asked. “They actually like to pair it with Cabernet,” she replied.

Four women standing next to me had driven from the south side of Chicago, about a half-hour away—“for the second week in a row,” one said. They were loyal fans and wine-club members. The wine club is another Cooper’s Hawk success; about one quarter of its customers—some 113,000 people—are members, entitled to tastings and special wines, which most pick up at the restaurant. “Shipping is expensive,” said Mr. McEnery, and of course he likes people to visit the restaurant.

The club-member wines are the more “serious,” said Mr. McEnery, although like all the Cooper’s Hawk wines, they are not vintage dated. Mr. McEnery was a bit vague as to why. (His office followed up with the explanation that the winery often blends multiple years to produce a consistent product.) After making vintage wines the first few years, Cooper’s Hawk moved to producing non-vintage wines around 2008. Mr. McEnery lay awake at night thinking the company would lose all credibility, he recalled. For no reason, it turned out: “No one noticed or cared.”

And the wines? I tasted a number of bottles at the Orland Park restaurant, including that almond sparkling, and several with Mr. McEnery at the Burr Ridge location. The range was quite large—red, white, sparkling, and fruit wines—and the prices reasonable: By-the-glass selections were between $6.50 and $8.50, with their Lux wines a bit higher. Bottle prices were mostly in the midtwenties (I can’t remember when I last had a $25 wine in a restaurant) although the highest price was $48. The non-fruit wines were mostly solid and well made, particularly an agreeably neutral, unoaked Chardonnay and the Cooper’s Hawk Red—a bright, lively blend of Merlot and Cabernet with a bit of Syrah—that was highly drinkable and an appealing $23. They were not transcendent, but they were solid and pleasurable and clearly have made a good many people happy for comparatively little.

That may be the great appeal of Cooper’s Hawk: The restaurant is reliably welcoming in every regard, from the unerringly cheerful staff and generous portions of food, to the eminently affordable bottles of wine.

“There are 150 reasons why you and I should not be standing here,” said Mr. McEnery near the end of my visit. “But my belief is that there is always a way.” And thanks to that belief and a well-honed business plan (not to mention a timely infusion of capital), his unlikely dream became a reality.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants opens first Virginia location

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants opens first Virginia location

  • December 8, 2014
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A new restaurant, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, opens today, Dec. 8, outside Short Pump Town Center at 11792 W. Broad St. in Henrico County. The 300-seat, casual-dining restaurant with a Napa-style tasting room is the company’s’ first Virginia location.

“We’re thrilled to be opening our 18th Cooper’s Hawk location in Richmond,” Matt Foody, general manager at Cooper’s Hawk, said in a statement.

The chain, which opened its first restaurant in 2005 in Chicago, now operates in seven states.  The concept behind the growing chain is to offer a modern, casual-dining experience with a menu designed to pair with Cooper’s Hawk handcrafted wines.

The Short Pump location also offers a tasting room where guests can sample the company’s wines. There’s also a bar area, a private dining room and outdoor seating.

The restaurant is the second new one announced for Short Pump in recent months. Richmond restaurateur Kevin Healy said in September that he plans to open what would be his third Boathouse concept restaurant in the area in the spring.

 

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Sneak Peek: Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, Opening Monday

A wise man once said, “In wine there is truth.” If this is to be believed, color Short Pump Town Center’s newest resident, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, a flowing spring of the stuff.

The national chain, opening its new Short Pump location on Monday, Dec. 8, offers 48 varieties from its own winery — based in Chicago — made primarily from grapes sourced from Oregon, California and Washington state. “Within 36 hours after being picked from the vine, they’re in our facilities in Chicago,” says Matt Foody, general manager.

From there, the bottles begin their journeys to Cooper’s Hawk restaurants throughout the country, where they’ll be corked and served as part of a tasting room flight, poured by the glass or whole bottle and paired with contemporary American bistro cuisine, or sold in the retail lobby along with all wine accoutrement imaginable, not to mention an impressive chocolatier case filled with truffles made fresh daily.

Another intriguing feature is its Wine of the Month Club, a membership that includes one or two bottles of their winemaker’s new release, which will be unavailable to the public for full purchase, but available to try in the tasting room.

“One of the philosophies we have for wine is to make it accessible for everyone,” Foody says. ”Wine has had a reputation for being kind of pretentious and a little snobby, where the noses were turned up to people who were not as educated as some of the more sophisticated wine drinkers — which we have wine for as well — but we’re a teaching restaurant. We want people to learn about wine, and our wine, and wine in general, because it’s one of the things we’re so passionate about.”

It’s a warm, cavernous space with darkly tinted windows and booths, barrels and bottles around every corner. It houses a private dining room for 50, a large dining room that seats 170, and a heated patio and lounge — set to open in March — that will seat roughly 75 and include a view of Short Pump Town Center’s illuminated fountain. It is, at the very least, going to be a lovely oasis for the shopping masses, and especially a welcome boozy respite from holiday madness.

The food menu, comprehensive, is also worth noting with appetizers, steak, seafood, pasta, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and house-made pastries.

“Virginia has such a great food scene and a great culture here,” says Foody. ”It really is a little bit more, I don’t want to say sophisticated, but a little more tuned into what’s happening with food, and this is a great place to show that we’re on the scene now. We’re really proud of it, and we think it’ll fit.” So much so, in fact, that the general manager mentions another Virginia location in Ashburn, set to open in roughly 10 months.

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Doors open at newest Short Pump spot

Doors open at newest Short Pump spot

MICHAEL THOMPSON DECEMBER 7, 2014 0

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant opens in Short Pump today. Photos by Michael Thompson.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opens in Short Pump today. Photos by Michael Thompson.

A new restaurant has popped the cork at Short Pump.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opens on Monday outside Short Pump Town Center. The 11,500-square-foot restaurant and winery is the privately owned brand’s first in Virginia.

The 47 wines sold at Copper’s Hawk will either come from the company’s winery in Illinois or from aging barrels that will be on site at the Short Pump location. The lengthy menu includes steak, seafood, sandwiches and salads.

“We bring in grapes from California, Washington and Oregon and process the wines in our winery along with some wine production at our restaurants,” said Tim McEnery, CEO of Cooper’s Hawk.

Cooper's Hawk can seat up to 300 people.

Cooper’s Hawk can seat up to 300 people.

The Short Pump restaurant is the 18th Cooper’s Hawk location since McEnery opened the first in 2005 in Illinois. Its other locations are in the Midwest and Florida. Four more are slated for next year including a location in Ashburn, Va., McEnery said.

“When the opportunity for Short Pump came up, it was a no-brainer for our first location on the East Coast,” he said.

McEnery said it cost about $5 million to open the Richmond location, which seats about 300. In addition to a dining room and bar, the Short Pump Cooper’s Hawk has a wine tasting room and a retail store.

The land is owned by QIC, Forest City Enterprises and local developer Pruitt Associates. Those firms also own Short Pump Town Center.

The West End shopping mall has seen some changes in its dining scene in recent months. In August, theChili’s just outside the mall closed after more than a decade in business. And in September, Richmond restaurateur Kevin Healy announced plans to open a new location of his Boathhouse concept at Short Pump.

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9 Local Gifts for the Foodie – Michigan Ave Magazine

9 Local Gifts for the Foodie

December 03, 2014 | by Kailley Lindman | Food & Drink News

 

From an Italian cooking class to indulgent hot chocolate mix, we have something for every foodie on your holiday shopping list.

Cooper's Hawk Winery spiced winesSnowed In, Cooper’s Hawk ($30 for gift set; $14 for individual bottle). coopershawkwinery.com

Warm up a loved one’s holiday with local winery Cooper’s Hawk’s aromatic Winter Red and Winter White spiced wines—which are best served warm from the stove top. Both wines are available for purchase at any Cooper’s Hawk location, and online through their holiday catalog.

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SNEAK PEEK: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opens Monday

SNEAK PEEK: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opens Monday

The West End newcomer will be the first in Richmond to offer a full-service winery and restaurant under the same roof.

DECEMBER 5, 2014; 12:09 PM • BY TREVOR DICKERSON

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Short Pump Town Center, fresh off a wave of renovations, additions, and improvements, is about to add another unique feature to its repertoire. When Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opens on Monday, it will hold the distinction of being the first full service winery and restaurant under one roof in the Richmond area.

The Richmond location will be the 18th for the small Chicago-based chain, and the first in Virginia (though another location is expected to open in Ashburn sometime next year).

A bold, upscale tasting room with an expansive bar, a bakery case with gourmet truffles and other desserts, and retail offerings greets visitors as they walk through the main entrance.

The large, open dining room inside the 10,545-square-foot restaurant can seat up to 170 diners at a time, according to Short Pump general manager Matt Foody. A private dining room towards the rear seats 50; the large outdoor patio (which management hopes can remain open much of the year thanks to 14 infrared heaters) seats 75 and overlooks the main entrance of Short Pump Town Center and its fountain feature.

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In the tasting room, patrons can enjoy a number of wine tastings featuring pours of seven to nine of Cooper’s proprietary selection.

The restaurant’s wine club, one of the largest in the nation, is more than 100,000 strong and entitles members to one to two bottles of wine per month depending on membership level. Other benefits include special discounts, invitations to exclusive events, and annual domestic and international wine trips.

The brand’s own wines are turning heads, too. Cooper’s Hawk’s catalog of wines across the spectrum have received more than 200 awards on the local, national, and international levels, including the Chairman’s Best of Class for its Shiraz at the 2013 Long Beach Grand Cru International Wine Competition.

The restaurant’s wine selection will remain consistent, with seasonal varieties rotated in and out throughout the year; its wine of the month (included as part of the wine club) changes monthly, which is featured as its Barrel Reserve wine, available on tap.

“Our philosophy is to make wine accessible for everyone,” said Foody. “For a long time, [wine] had this reputation for being sort of pretentious and kind of snobby.” He added that the goal of the tasting room is to make the entire experience more approachable, and encourage guests to learn about what they’re drinking in a comfortable, non-threatening atmosphere. “We want people to leanrn about wine, which is why we have the tasting room on site.”

Cooper’s Hawk has a wine to satisfy most any palate, from sweet whites to dry reds, and more adventurous, fruity blends made with pomegranate and rubharb. Food says customers can expect to pay between $17 and $47 for a bottle, with none exceeding the $50 price point.

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Unlike at many places, the menu at Cooper’s Hawk was developed around and tailored to its wines. In fact, the restaurant’s goal is to have a dish that perfectly pairs with each one.

The menu is robust and wide-ranging, featuring a blend of contemporary American, southwest-inspired, Italian, and Asian fusion dishes. Bin numbers next to each entrée guide guests to their selection’s ideal wine match.

Some of Cooper’s Hawk’s signature items include Pistachio Crusted Grouper, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, and Mexican Drunken Shrimp.

Foody says all menu items are made from scratch, down to the restaurant’s sauces. “Pretty much everything but the Hellman’s mayo and Heinz ketchup,” he joked.

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The restaurant, which opens Monday evening, will create approximately 200 new jobs once fully staffed, Foody said.

The restaurant and tasting room will be open daily at 11:00 AM through 9:30 PM Monday through Thursday; closing at 10:30 PM on Friday and Saturday; 9:00 PM on Sunday. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 804.461.2244.

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Cooper’s Hawk Adds Fine Dining to White Oaks Mall

CooperHawkPhoto01

Cooper’s Hawk adds fine dining to White Oaks Mall

By Ginny Lee

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opened Monday, Nov. 3 in Springfield’s White Oaks Mall, in the long-vacant space once occupied by Kerasotes movie theaters. The Cooper’s Hawk brand is handcrafted wine and modern casual dining. So far, response to the upscale restaurant has been enthusiastic. Reservations for weekend dining are being made six or seven days ahead.

The Springfield restaurant is Cooper’s Hawk company’s 17th location. Owner Tim McEnery started the first restaurant in Orland Park, Illinois, in 2005. His business expanded with restaurants in Naperville, Arlington Heights, Wheeling, Burr Ridge and South Barrington. The company has restaurants as far away as Tampa and Orlando. Each one is specially designed for each particular location.

Wine is a major part of the Cooper’s Hawk operation, and there is a tasting room as you enter the Springfield restaurant. For $7 one can try eight different house wines. Wine aficionados can sample wines while waiting for a table, or just come to taste wines any time.

More than 40 varieties of wine are available at the restaurant, from Cooper’s Hawk White (Bin 75) at $13.99 to Lux Pinot Noir (Bin 87) at $37.99. Grapes are imported from California, Washington state and other regions, and CH wines are produced in the company’s plant in Countryside, Illinois. According to General Manager Ryan Delisi, Springfield’s Cooper’s Hawk is the only location to offer their Winemakers Barrel Reserve, a full-bodied red wine, straight from the barrel.

The Cooper’s Hawk menu is created to pair with the company’s wines. For example, Anne’s Chicken Saltimbocca, with prosciutto, Provolone, garlic, sage and artichoke hearts is paired with a unoaked Chardonnay from Bin 70.

All food is freshly made from scratch in a spacious kitchen, except for the bread, which comes from a Chicago bakery. Cooper’s Hawk restaurants do not use local produce and meats in order for their dishes to be consistent between locations.

Appetizers include chicken potstickers, Mexican drunken shrimp and roasted vegetable and goat cheese flatbread.

There is even an entire gluten-free menu at Cooper’s Hawk. Diners on a gluten-free diet can choose from 34 items including Thai Lettuce Wraps, Caesar Pesto Salad, Southwest Chicken Sandwich, Cooper’s Hawk Chicken Giardiniera and Filet Mignon. Five GF side dishes are on the menu, as are a Chocolate Truffle and Chocolate Brownie for dessert.

The staff appears to be very well trained, knowledgeable and friendly. General manager Ryan Delisi was promoted from a Cooper’s Hawk restaurant in Chesterfield, Missouri, and moved here in June to prepare for the Springfield opening. He interviewed probably 700 people before hiring 150 employees, plus management staff. The new hires were then trained for eight days by staff from other Cooper’s Hawk restaurants who were working in Springfield for weeks.

The ambiance is low-light with black tables and chairs and rough-hewn wood rafters. Once inside, it is easy for visitors to forget that they are at the mall. The restaurant has 100 tables, including the bar area. The bar is full-service, so visitors can order anything from the menu. The barrel room may be rented for parties and private events.

Cooper’s Hawk has a Wine of the Month Club featuring one of their new release wines plus other benefits for $18.99 per month. See chwinery.com for more information.

“We’re proud to be associated with Cooper’s Hawk,” Dave Dawson, White Oaks Mall’s director of marketing and business development, said. “Our recent renovation has taken White Oaks Mall to the next level, and having Cooper’s Hawk at the mall is good for the west side of town.

“Cooper’s Hawk is a great complement to the mall,” he added, “and there are more exciting things to come too.” White Oaks Mall is run by the Simon Property Group, and this is their second partnership with Cooper’s Hawk, the other being a mall in Orlando, Florida.

Ginny Lee is a regular contributor to the Springfield Business Journal as a writer and photographer.

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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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