This vacant site at 111th Street west of Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn is the future home of a Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 18, 2014 6:12AM
In the eight years since the first Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opened for business in Orland Park, there have been two constants.
The first is that the restaurant is the most successful of the chain’s 14 locations, leading the way in sales and having about 13,000 members in its wine club.
The second constant is that a frequent topic of conversation has been Oak Lawn.
“Many people from the Oak Lawn area over the years have come to Orland Park and said, ‘We’d really love you to be in Oak Lawn,’ ” said Ron Dee, the senior vice president of real estate development for the chain.
So when a prime location in Oak Lawn, at 111th Street and Cicero Avenue, became available, Cooper’s Hawk officials were interested. The result: In about a year, patrons will be able to dine at a 10,000-square-foot Cooper’s Hawk restaurant there.
It’s part of the Stony Creek Promenade development on the northwest corner of the intersection, the former site of a Kmart, Flap-Jack’s restaurant, a muffler shop and other businesses.
Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury announced the Cooper’s Hawk plan on her blog and at the village board meeting Tuesday night.
“Isn’t it fantastic? It will be facing 111th Street, and it will use a retention pond at the corner as part of the design for outdoor dining,” Bury said after the meeting.
“What you’re going to see now is a lot of energy at that site,” Bury said of the corner that’s nearly vacant with the recent razing of Flap-Jack’s.
All that remains is a small building that’s home to a chiropractor’s office.
Stony Creek Promenade also will have a Mariano’s supermarket, and Bury said construction is expected to begin soon on the store.
“Cooper’s Hawk is fantastic for Oak Lawn, and it’s going to draw people. Just the calls I’ve been getting, if they’re any indication, (shows) a surge of excitement,” the mayor said.
“We think those people who are fans of Cooper’s Hawk in Orland Park will increase the frequency of their dining right in the center of their neighborhood,” Dee said.
“A five-mile radius around the intersection of 111th Street and Cicero is 393,000 (residents),” he said. “It’s one of the densest trade areas in terms of population that we’ve looked at in a long time. When you look at the demographics, the average incomes are over $70,000 per household.
“(The village) offered us a great site, and we’re going out in front of a brand-new Mariano’s supermarket. We’ve been very impressed with Mariano’s as they’ve rolled out in Chicago. It’s a brand we would like to be associated with.”
It’s expected that 100 to 150 jobs will be created at the Oak Lawn restaurant, Dee said.
He said Cooper’s Hawk officials plan to meet soon with Oak Lawn’s architectural review committee “because we want to work with them on the design of the building. This Cooper’s Hawk will not look like any other Cooper’s Hawk we have. It will be uniquely designed just for Oak Lawn.”
Oak Park-based Aria Group Architects has been hired to design the building, Dee said.
Eventually, a second restaurant will be part of the Stony Creek development, Bury said. She declined to name the restaurant, as negotiations with the village are ongoing.