Crews continue work on a new Cooper’s Hawk location in Kentwood. Crews continue work on a new Cooper’s Hawk location in Kentwood. PHOTO: SYDNEY SMITH

‘Upscale’ Cooper’s Hawk winery and restaurant chain to open in Kentwood

BY Friday, April 26, 2019 08:03am

KENTWOOD — An “upscale casual restaurant” and wine tasting room is planning to open in Kentwood this summer.

Cooper’s Hawk Kentwood LLC, part of a winery and modern casual restaurant chain with 34 locations on the eastern side of the country, will open in mid to late July at 4515 28th St. SE, said Jason Tholen, the new location’s general manager.

The Kentwood restaurant will be the Chicago-based company’s second operation in Michigan. It opened an $8 million restaurant and tasting room in 2018 in Clinton Township, according to a report in Crain’s Detroit Business.

“We opened our first location in Michigan last summer, so the western side of Michigan was a natural progression,” Tholen said.

The Kentwood location will feature a Napa-style tasting area, full restaurant and bar and a patio for outdoor dining, plus retail operations.

The company demolished an existing building on the site and started from scratch. The previous building housed several other restaurants in recent years, including Damon’s Place for Ribs, Paulina’s Mexican Restaurant and Quaker Steak and Lube.

Cooper’s Hawk plans to begin hiring at the end of May, Tholen said. He estimated the company will employ about 160 people in Kentwood.

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission has already approved the company’s liquor license, according to agency records.

Founded in 2005, Cooper’s Hawk operates a winery in Woodbridge, Ill., where it says it produces more than 6 million bottles of wine annually. The company also runs a wine club with a claimed 320,000 members.

The chain is targeting 20-percent annual growth as it continues to grow throughout the U.S., according to its website. Cooper’s Hawk currently operates in eight states. 

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