Skip navigation

Tim McEnery on the continued diversification of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

Casual-dining chain plans more growth with travel services and new pizza concept


One of few full-service brands to report both sales and unit growth in 2020, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants began positioning itself as a lifestyle brand with multiple revenue streams long before the pandemic.

The full-service restaurant and wine bar is also part wine maker. The brand has a wine club with more than half a million members, who have access to monthly wine dinners and group trips to travel to wine-making regions of the world.

That diversification built around a loyal fan base was a driving factor for Cooper’s Hawk’s success through 2020, when the Downer’s Grove, Ill.-based chain recorded sales of $385.4 million, up 12.5%, according to Datassential’s Firefly 500 report.

Founder and CEO Tim McEnery said the chain was forced to pivot during the pandemic, like most restaurants across the country.

“Our operators became good at opening and closing the restaurants, so it was great for me that they were handling that aspect of the business so I could help navigate a way out of it for us,” he said.

About six months into the pandemic, he said the company made some big decisions.

“We were going to grab ahold of our future,” said McEnery. “We started investing in talent, technology, digital, data warehousing, really everything that would help Cooper’s Hawk live up to its potential over these next few years.”

Hear McEnery look back on those decisions and how they have set the brand up for more-accelerated growth this year and beyond.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

Top 500 landing page banner.png

The Top 500 report is presented by Nation’s Restaurant News and Datassential, using insights from Datassential’s proprietary Firefly platform. Datassential’s Firefly is the ultimate strategic tool — No. 1 operator database, lead generator, customer marketing and intelligence platform, all-in-one. Learn more about getting complete access at

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.