Tim McEnery
Founder & CEO

Through sheer will and conviction, McEnery has bootstrapped a winery, restaurant and retail operation with over $220 million in annual revenue. The Cooper’s Hawk modern casual restaurant, winery and tasting room ‘mash-up’ is at once fresh and familiar to consumers. At the same time, the legal, technical and financial barriers to competitive imitation are daunting – navigating a tightly regulated industry and funding the sizeable real estate footprint for each location are just two of the hurdles that would-be competitors would have to take on.

Tim McEnery, Founder

Tim McEnery,

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants Founder & CEO

Immediately upon entering a Cooper’s Hawk venue, one feels the power of McEnery’s vision – the sense of community is palpable. This is due, in part, to its Wine Club, which uniquely combines the best of subscription and loyalty based business models.  This is the genius of McEnery’s innovation – and it is evidenced by the company’s precedent-setting growth.

The business has generated a juggernaut of enthusiastic members who relate to McEnery’s approach to exploring and appreciating wine. The magic is in the complete lack of pretense – each member is encouraged to create his or her own journey into the world of wine. The camaraderie among club members creates a ‘network effect’, exponentially increasing the value of the brand as membership numbers continue to rise at a rate of nearly 25%. Guests are encouraged to sip, learn, dine and share in well-appointed tasting rooms and meticulously designed restaurant spaces, and member affinity is built through group travel, wine classes, and events such as seasonal gourmet dinners hosted by the group’s Executive Chef, Matt McMillin and lauded winemaker Rob Warren. McEnery has also built lasting partnerships with food and wine luminaries like Tyler Florence, Gail Simmons, Fabio Viviani and Jean-Charles Boisset to create exclusive guest experiences.

The Cooper’s Hawk winery, located in Woodridge of Illinois, has forged grape-growing partnerships with some of the world’s premier vineyards.  The company imports grapes from a variety of regions, including California, Oregon, Chile, Argentina, Australia and Italy, enabling them to create over 50 varietals of artisanal wines. The business’ direct-to-guest sales and distribution model affords Cooper’s Hawk the opportunity to provide their customers a spectrum of award-winning wine at reasonable price points. Since its inception in 2005, Cooper’s Hawk has garnered nearly 500 wine awards from local, national, and international wine competitions. The brand has also been recognized for culinary excellence, voted ‘Hot Concept’ and ‘Breakout Brand’ by Nation’s Restaurant News, and ‘Menu Trendsetter’ by Menu Masters. Additionally, Tim was voted Ernst & Young’s 2014 Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year.’

McEnery is driven to being the best at everything he endeavors and fully understands the role that his employees play in continuing the company’s success. With a staff of more than 3,000, he has created a culture that reflects his values – one that embodies respect, personal development and humility, and is designed to accelerate quality and innovation as the company grows at a pace that is both aggressive and manageable.

McEnery earned his bachelor’s degree in Restaurant and Hotel Management from Purdue University, and honed his skills at Aramark’s specialty restaurant division and Lynfred Winery. After a string of rejections (typical in the competitive hospitality industry) McEnery was finally able to secure investors and bring Cooper’s Hawk to life at the age of 29, opening the first restaurant in Orland Park, IL in 2005.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has 30 locations and plans to open 5 more through 2018.