Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a lifestyle brand that encompasses one of the largest Wine Clubs in the world, will open its ninth Chicago area location in Oak Park on July 17. The new restaurant is located at 950 Lake Street in downtown Oak Park. Cooper’s Hawk is an award-winning winery, restaurant, artisan market and Napa-style tasting room concept with headquarters in Countryside Illinois. The company was founded in 2005 by CEO Tim McEnery.
“Oak Park is an historic and beautiful urban village,” says John Inserra, president of Cooper’s Hawk. “We look forward to becoming part of the fabric of this vital community—a place where people gather to unwind and reconnect over a great meal and a glass of wine.”
The concept is built upon McEnery’s passionate belief that food and wine hold the power to forge lasting connections. His restaurants are home to 250,000+ Wine Club members, who enjoy limited production Wines of the Month, unique travel and dining experiences, and many other benefits.
The Oak Park culinary team is proudly led by Nick Odell, who has been with Cooper’s Hawk since 2015. Odell works closely with Executive Chef Matt McMillin to ensure the utmost in quality and presentation of the expansive contemporary American menu. Utilizing peak of season ingredients, the restaurant’s scratch kitchen selections include a carefully crafted array of food and wine pairings, each listed with a bin number to guide guests’ selections of their perfect wine match. Some menu favorites include:
- Candied Bacon & Artisan Cheeses—Trio of Cheeses: Stracciatella, Salemville Bleu, Sartori Parmesan, Honeycomb, Black Fig Jam, Grilled Polenta Crostini—Optional Pairing flight features Cooper’s Hawk Lux Sparkling, Viognier, Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon
- Gnocchi Bolognese with braised short rib—San Marzano Tomatoes, Pancetta, Burrata Dolce, Extra Virgin Olive Oil—BIN 40 Super Tuscan
- Southern Hot Chicken—Open-Face Buttermilk Biscuit, Creamy Bleu Cheese Slaw, House-brined Bread & Butter Pickles, Classic Mac and Cheese—BIN 75 Cooper’s Hawk White
- Pan Roasted Barramundi—Blistered Green Beans, Grape Tomatoes, Ginger Rice, Thai Lemongrass Sauce; a version of this dish also appears on the restaurant’s under-600-calorie Life Balance menu – BIN 70 Unoaked Chardonnay
- Shrimp & Scallop Risotto—Sweet Corn, Asparagus, Peas, Spinach, Parmesan, White Truffle Oil with Carnaroli Rice—BIN 30 Cooper’s Hawk Lux Sparkling
- Wild Mushroom-Crusted Chicken—Sweet Corn And Pea Risotto, Shiitake Mushroom, Spinach, Lemon Butter—BIN 74 Cooper’s Hawk Lux Chardonnay
The company has won nearly 450 wine awards, importing grapes from the best vineyards across the globe and producing over 40 varietals in its Countryside, Illinois, winery. Crafted to please a range of palates, Cooper’s Hawk wines include selections that are accessible for those new to the world of wine, as well as complex and full-bodied options for more seasoned drinkers. In addition to the wine menu, guests can choose from a selection of craft cocktails and sangrias made with Cooper’s Hawk wine. These include inventive takes on a classic Collins cocktail (Harvest Peach Collins made with Slaughter House Whiskey), a Caipirinha with Cooper’s Hawk Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as creative martinis such as a Blood Orange Paloma Martini (Casa Noble Tequila and Cooper’s Hawk Prosecco).
The restaurant’s design evokes the architecture of California wine country, welcoming guests into an environment that encourages conversation over food and wine. The expansive 12,000-square-foot space includes a lively tasting room and market, indoor dining for 225 people (inclusive of bar area seating), outdoor dining for 38 people, and a private event space that can accommodate up to 40 people.
Local Oak Park firm Aria Group Architects Inc. made the most of the urban setting afforded by the Oak Park location in the design of the restaurant. The firm has been the company’s design partner for 10 years, designing 29 locations.
“We are thrilled to be a part of bringing the Cooper’s Hawk experience to our home town,” says Dan Bernatek, Aria Project Lead for Cooper’s Hawk Oak Park. “This unique location gave us the opportunity to blend the raw look of exposed concrete columns and lofty wood ceilings with an overall feel of California wine country.”
Cooper’s Hawk Oak Park located at 950 Lake Street in the Vantage Apartments complex, a location that affords quick access from Chicago and the western suburbs.