It's time we got a cool restaurant that some of the rest of the country is already experiencing - and, I don't mean Panera Bread.

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Whenever locals in the Atlantic City/Cape May area are asked which restaurant chain they want, the number 1 answer is usually Panera Bread.

It's time to cross the restaurant off the top of the list, and add a new entry.

Cooper's Hawk
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South Jersey needs a Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant

While we have some great local and really good chain restaurants in our area, we are missing out on the small chain, Cooper's Hawk.

Founded in Illinois in 2005, Coopers' Hawk now has 54 locations in 11 states -  but not one location in New Jersey.

Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

What's special about Cooper's Hawk?

Each location of Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant is a combination winery, complete with a tasting room, and an upscale casual restaurant.

Each location offers Cooper's Hawk win exclusively.

While each location doesn't manufacture wine, each offers wine for sale, and as part of the dining experience.

The wine is all produced at the company's factory in Illinois - and it's won numerous awards worldwide.

Photo by D A V I D S O N L U N A on Unsplash

Wine is the star at Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant

There is a wine club at Cooper's Hawk that is very popular, with rewards ranging from wine to food, to more. For members, there are special events that include tastings, dinners, and even exclusive trips.

On the menu, every menu item is given a "bin number." That bin number allows you to pair your food order with wine.

I recently ate a Cooper's Hawk in Florida, and I ordered a wine flight with my meal.

Oh, the meal - I had pistachio-encrusted grouper - was tremendous.

So food fans, let's pass Panera and start calling for Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant!

Find out more at the Cooper's Hawk website.

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