by Stacy Vogel Davis
The idea for Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant was simple enough.
Founder and chief executive officer Tim McEnery was at a winery while on a date with his girlfriend, (now his wife), and they wanted to get dinner.
“I thought, ‘oh, wouldn’t it be great if there was a restaurant with the winery?’” he said.
The first Cooper’s Hawk opened in Orland Park, Ill., in 2005. On June 27, McEnery will open his sixth location at Brookfield Square in the former Claim Jumper space.
The idea isn’t totally foreign — after all, plenty of breweries include pubs — but it is unique in the wine world, McEnery said. Each location includes a tasting room, gift shop and restaurant serving contemporary American food. The restaurant only serves Cooper’s Hawk wine made from grapes grown across the United States.
Signature dishes include pistachio-crusted grouper, red wine and mustard short ribs and Mexican drunken shrimp, with entrees ranging from $10 to $30. Each dish includes suggested wine pairings.
The winery’s facility in Countryside, Ill., produces 48 wines and introduces a new wine each month to members of its wine club. For $19 a month, members get a bottle of wine, discounts and a loyalty card that earns them a $25 gift card for every $350 spent. The winery makes more than 125,000 cases of wine each year.
The company already is working on additional locations in Naperville, Ill., and Arlington Heights, Ill. It expects to achieve revenue of more than $50 million this year.
Saz’s readies for Summerfest
Local favorite Saz’s Catering is proving that Summerfest dining can be more than food on a stick or in a cardboard cup.
For the second year, Saz’s will operate Sazama’s Lakeside Grille, a sit-down restaurant on the south end of the grounds.