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Southern food orlando mural


John Rivers Opens The COOP, Rides Comfort-Food Wave

The COOP is the latest example of Central Florida chefs going back to their roots and bringing family favorites to the table…with a twist of course! From fried chicken to buttermilk biscuits and creamed-corn pudding, The COOP’s menu is full of Southern comfort food! But it’s not just about the menu at The COOP, there’s a whole down-home feel throughout the restaurant, even the location itself. “My wife and children and I spent a lot of time here when this was O’Boys barbecue,” said Rivers. “Those are great memories. We saved every paver from the O’Boys days and used them to create this space.” On the back patio is a mural with the words, “It’s never too late to mend,” a homage to the The Blues Brothers movie. “My son and I saw the movie together,” said Rivers. “I love the sentiment. And we’re playing blues music at The COOP, so it was perfect.”


Foodie frenzy: Inside Chef John Rivers’ The COOP

Orlando Business Journal’s Jim Carchidi offers a sneak peek into The COOP before the April 17th opening. It was during a lunch event on Saturday, April 12, that the full menu, staff, and interior were displayed for a soft opening, including famous Southern food menu items such as meatloaf, smothered pork chops, low country shrimp & grits with andouille sausage and many more. “It’s all about testing the process, making changes where they’re needed and making sure everything’s right,” said Chef John Rivers. As for the interior, Carchidi describes it as, “Old Southern charm…from the Edison-style light bulb strings that hang over the outdoor dining area to the flour and citrus ad art that accent the walls.”

The COOP Logo Southern Comfort Food Orlando


The Coop, A Southern Comfort Food Eatery, Is Officially Opening Thursday In Winter Park

In this article, Orlando Sentinel’s Heather McPherson takes a tour of John Rivers’ newest restaurant concept, The COOP, exploring the southern roots that go beyond the comfort food on the menu. “I have been to local flea markets buying up wood tables and chairs,” said Rivers. “It’s an eclectic mix of styles giving the place a shabby chic vibe.” On the walls, there are photos of chickens, each having a name from members of the Rivers family. There is a main dining room, an enclosed porch, and outside picnic tables where guests can eat under the cantina lights. McPherson goes on to say, “make no mistake, this is a restaurant but Rivers wanted the design elements to make the place feel like visiting your grandmother’s home.” She also describes the layout as a “Le Cruset photo shoot…and the plate colors are reminiscent of muted-tone Fiesta ware.”