Chicago >Food & Dining > Cooper's
1232 w Belmont, Chicago, IL | Directions 6065741.939913 -87.660363
Neighborhoods: Lakeview, North Side
The place caters mostly to the theater goers and employees of it. It's a neat little bar with patio too Great drink selection. Horrible food
Great place! – Walked by a million times but never stopped. Now that its nice weather we wanted to go somewhere with a patio so we stopped in not expecting much. We were seated immediately. The staff was friendly and attentive and the food was great and reasonably priced. I can't believe it took me so long to try, I will definately go back.
Why isn't this place packed??? – My wife and I popped in on a whim last night (mostly because it looked inviting from the outside, plus a knee injury kept me from walking as far as we otherwise might have). We were greeted upon entry and treated like we were part of the family (as I noticed a couple of other patrons were later).
We had a fantastic lettuce/cranberry/balsamic salad to start, followed by a BBQ chicken pizza that contained little islands of special flavor with every bite. The crust wasn't wafer-thin and was crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside. We followed this with a chocotini and their mint ice cream sandwich. The mint ice cream is the most incredible I've ever tasted. It wouldn't surprise me if there were piece of real spearmint in there. The flavors were powerful, complimentary to each other, from start to finish. Plus, they brew a mean, strong cup of coffee.
The service was fast and due to my wife's food allergies (pine and certain bakery preservatives), we had to ask about the food. The man (I assume he's the owner or at least a manager -- either way, he rocks!) answered all our questions cheerfully and went out of his way to accomodate us. We'd have loved to have wished him good night, but he was off being amazing with another table, which we understand.
The decor is inviting and relaxing and the restrooms were clean and quirky (in a good way). High marks all around!
We'd not only return, we'd be tempted to move closer just so we could eat here more often. A fantastic experience and all at a reasonable price.
Great friendly place! – I agree. This is definitely a "hidden jem" in Lakeview. I live right down the street from this place, and boy am I glad that I gave it a try. With limited dining options in the Southport Corridor/Belmont area (Southport has great stores, but lacks the food aspect), I was pleased to come across a place that's affordable, friendly and has outdoor seating. The waitstaff is always very helpful in recommending a beer and what kinda of sandwich to get. I love that I can go in any night of the week, and be guaranteed to grab a table or a stool at the bar. Definitely check it out if you are looking for a casual, cozy and inviting atmosphere! KUDOS to Cooper's! PS--The BBQ stuff is DELICIOUS!
Best Overlooked Place in Chicago – I normally browse these sites to get a feel for a place before I try it out. Today I decided to see what some people are saying about some of my favorite places, and based on reading some of the reviews on Coopers, I was compelled to write a defense.
I live in Lakeview and my wife and I go out to eat a lot. I actually found out about Coopers when we were forced to leave an all you can eat and drink affair at Joey's Brickhouse, because it was appalling (even though it was free), and wandered into Coopers. I have become a regular ever since.
The beer was the first thing I noticed. No Miller, no corona, no amstel, and no Bud Lime; my kind of place. Belgians galore, and great American microbrews covered the double sided menu. Or server, Mike, blew us away with his knowledge of what seemed like every beer on the list. We gave him suggestions, and he gave us perfect direction. I have gotten to the point where I can give Mike a one word description of a beer and he always brings me something new and amazing.
While my wife and I were enjoying our brew, another man named Craig, who turned out to be one of the owners, came and sat down at our table with a beer of his own. He looked at what we were drinking, gave us some friendly info on why he loved both of our beers, and chatted us up like we were old friends. He asked us what we were eating, and then told us what we should get. Being that the Pork takes 5 days to make, and they smoke all of their own BBQ there, we got some BBQ. I have ordered the same thing everytime I have gone back and can't seem to change my ways.
Everything about Coopers is amazing. Craig and Mandy put everything they have into that place (for I always seem to see them there. Take a vacation, guys). The service and knowledge is top notch. They actually care about what you like and will take the time to get exactly what you have a craving for. And, if haven't noticed, they won a Citysearch award for Best BBQ and best Bar Food. Enough said.
Ribs are too salty, avoid if you are looking for great food, great staff, good beer selection. – The ribs were very salty and dry. Perhaps they used too much dry rub. There was also a very strong mesquit smokey taste to them. Just not the juicy saucey fall off the bone that I love..
Beer list was outstanding.
Staff was knowlegable about the beer list and the menu.
Great sides.. A great cozy local spot, I look foward to going back and finding a dish that I enjoy..
Watch for metal shavings in your food – I recently had dinner with 25 friends before attending a theater production. My optimism was replaced with disappointment by the end of the meal. I had ordered the BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza and discovered that while eating it something was rolling around on my tongue which turned out to be a piece of curly sharp metal which my dinner mates believed looked like a staple - it actually turned out to be a metal shaving from the scrubbing pad that the kitchen help uses. How it got into my pizza, I'm afraid to ask, and by the look of the kitchen help, I was more afraid to know than ever. I brought my little piece of metal to the person who claimed to be the manager and was met with a look of disdain, a lukewarm apology and no compensation on my resulting dinner check. Which to add insult to a possible injury, reflected a $3.00 deduction in price with no explanation by the manager nor by the disinterested waitress who acted as if this large dinner group was interrupting her plans to do something else.
All I can say is, if the management at this establishment had done the right thing and provided more of a satisfactory effort in attempting to allay my anxiety about the whole situation, I wouldn't be writing this right now. As a matter of fact with 25 dinner guests all witnessing this, one would think that doing the right thing is of the utmost important - if only to ensure that word of mouth doesn't get out and travel to others who may now re-consider having any meal served to them at this place.
Great Neigborhood Gem – Lived in the area over a year before I tried this place, boy was I missing out. The amtosphere is warm and cozy, staff is friendly, not pushy, or fake. Menu I found to be small, but they make up for it with the Beer list. If you go and Pumpkin soup is the special, try it, my taste buds are glad I did.
Great customer service, great food, great prompt seating – I still don't understand why I'm able to walk up to Cooper's on a Saturday night and get a table right away.
The pulled pork sandwich is possibly the tastiest thing I've ever had.
Go on Thursday nights to get a pizza for half off. The beer menu is intriguing and fun. The staff are super knowledgeable on the drinks and will assist in your ordering of food and drink if you ask.
Darts on the deck are a nice touch, free parking during the week, smoked pork for over a day. I also like the artichoke app.
The owner is also a server, everything they do is in an attempt to get your repeat business, so that's kind of nice.
They've gone downhill – After about 3 prior good experiences, some friends and I decided to pay Cooper's another visit. We were deeply disappointed. Instead of ordering the pork tenderloin and flank steak like we did in the past, those options were reduced to sandwiches and ribs. That would've been fine with us, except the quality of the food was substandard. The BBQ baked beans were served cold. I'm not talking luke warm, I'm talking stone cold. The ribs, pulled pork, and brisket were okay, but nothing great. We finished the meal off with some sort of chocolate chip mint brownie. The less than personable waitress must have slapped this froven mess in foil on a plate and called it "dessert". Cooper's made some changes...for the worse!
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