Handcrafted Wine and Modern Casual Dining
Located on Hall Road in Clinton Township, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opened this past June. General Manager Kyle Houlahan says business has been brisk and steady ever since. The first Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opened in October 2005 in Illinois. To date, there is now a total of 32 restaurants scattered among eight states. And yes, they do have plans to open more. A new location in Grand Rapids is slated to open next year.
Cooper’s Hawk features a wine club for members who want to explore, share and pair new wines with menu items. The restaurant’s concept includes several distinct components: an upscale casual dining restaurant, full-service bar, private dining room and a Napa-style tasting room with a retail gift store.
Houlahan has been with Cooper’s Hawk Winery for seven years this September, working his way up from team member to general manager. For him, the hospitality industry is attractive; he enjoys food and beverage and service especially being able to connect with the guests; he wants everyone to enjoy the company. “We believe that food and wine hold the power to forge lasting connections, setting the table for a life well lived,” he said.
The venue has a modern upscale aesthetic but remains casual enough for any guest. The menu is large and is classic American fare. Houlahan prides his kitchen on their scratch cooking.
“We have a very eclectic mix of appetizers, specialties, pasta and a separate menu of gluten-free offerings and an allergen-safe menu,” Houlahan said. “We also have a life balance menu where everything is under 640 calories.”
The bulk of their business is at dinner, but there is a lunch menu, too. One of Kyle’s favorites is a trio of filet medallions each topped off with a different crust and presented with a side of scratch mashed potatoes and asparagus.
Specials appear as a recommendations program by the chef, one for the day and another for the evening. There’s a new special every month.
For Houlahan, it all comes down to hospitality and a unique experience. He is focused on making guests’ visits memorable enough to make them want to return again.
The Cooper’s Hawk wines have won numerous awards. Since it opened in 2005, the organization has accrued approximately 450 to 500 awards. A recent notable award in 2016 was given to a premium Lux Pinot Noir wine that scored 99 points out of a possible 100 points — almost perfect.
Cooper’s Hawk has a winery in the west suburbs of Chicago where they source all their grapes, produce the wine and distribute it to restaurants.
The restaurant seats 415; there is seating in the bar area as well as an enclosed heated patio. Menu prices range from $9.99 up to a filet priced at $34; the average price point is $19 to $22 for most menu items. Private dining areas can be reserved for dinners and celebrations and can accommodate up to 50 people.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery
17440 Hall Road, Clinton Township
(586) 464-9463 • chwinery.com
Hours: opens at 11 a.m., last seating is at 9 p.m. on Sunday, 9:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.