John Rivers and his 4Rivers brand of Central Florida BBQ restaurants has become one of the most successful local dining stories in recent years. Patrons have become accustomed to the long lines reaching out the door at the various 4Rivers locations whether it be Winter Park, Winter Garden, Longwood or now out by UCF.
When it became known that Rivers was working on a new restaurant concept, the buzz was immediate. After conquering the BBQ scene, Rivers is now turning his attention to southern comfort foods, and the excitement is building for the opening of “The Coop” in Winter Park this month.
Fried chicken will be a focal point of the menu. Chicken dinners coupled with sides, buckets of chicken or chicken tenders are all options on the menu. An item that has many talking is the Chicken N’ Biscuits w/ Bourbon Maple Drizzle appetizer. Is your mouth watering yet?
Other items include Shrimp Po Boy, Chicken and Waffles, and Shrimp and Grits. If you enjoy the selection of sides at 4Rivers, the “fixins” at The Coop might be enough to bring you in alone. Pimento Cheese Grits, Hush Puppies, Skillet Cornbread and Fried Chicken Crispies are some of the offerings. Moreover, if you’re concerned about calorie consumption, there are a couple salad options on the menu. You can view the entire menu here.
As you might expect, the restaurant will follow a similar flow and format of the well tested 4Rivers concept where guests will order at the counter rather than offer full table service. With the buzz of this concept and the history of 4Rivers, you can expect exceedingly long lines especially in the months immediately after opening.
Also, similar to some 4Rivers location, desserts and sweets will be an offering and will include items tailored to the Southern concept of The Coop. Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding, Old School Banana Pudding, Coop moon pies and “Sweetie Pies” make up the dessert section of the menu.
It appears that John Rivers will once again debut a successful restaurant to local Orlando residents. As the 4Rivers brand expands in Central Florida and into cities like Gainesville and Jacksonville, it’s not hard to imagine The Coop following a similar growth trajectory if the concept shares similar success with the BBQ sister brand.
The Coop is located at 610 West Morse Blvd. Winter Park, FL 32789. You can call the restaurant at 407-THE-COOP.