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A Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is nearing the permitting and construction phase of development in south Fort Myers.

A vacant lot off Six Mile Cypress Parkway in front of the Publix-anchored Cypress Point at Daniels Crossing shopping center will become the 10,577-square foot restaurant with parking. Stock Development bought the land for $1.5 million in December under the SD Daniels Crossing LLC name and Coopers Hawk will lease back the land from Stock.

The restaurant should break ground this summer and could be ready as soon as January, said Keith Gelder, the vice president of land for Stock Development. “We’re just waiting on our final permits to be issued,” he said. “We’re hoping the next couple of weeks here. They’ve submitted for a building permit as well. As soon as the building permits are issued, we’ll start vertical construction. We’re looking to be open by January. I know that’s an aggressive schedule but we move quickly.

“They built their Sarasota location in about 200 days. They’re an outstanding brand. They’ve been extremely successful.”

North Naples already has a Coopers Hawk at 11905 Tamiami Trail N. and the Sarasota location is at 3130 Fruitville Commons Blvd., just off Interstate 75, with each location having 75 to 100 employees, depending on the size.

The wines are made in Woodridge, Illinois, but the grapes are sourced from across the country and sometimes internationally. “It’s a fully functioning winery as well as a full-service restaurant,” said Kylee Kiesel, a supervisor at the Sarasota location. “We have a wine club. We have a wine of the month each month.” Wine club memberships start at $21.99 for a one-bottle per month membership that includes tastings for two.

“Each Cooper’s Hawk is like a retail center,” Kiesel said. “When you come in, you’re coming into what looks like a wine shop. We do tastings as well. We’re doing a journey through the Cooper’s Hawk experience. You’ll talk to your tasting room attendant. They will guide you through all of our different wines.

“We enjoy working here. It’s a wonderful company. It’s a lot of fun. The chefs do a phenomenal job crafting the meals.”

Bottles on the dinner menu are in the $17 to $58 range while cocktails cost $10 to $13. Entrees are in the $20 to $40 range and burgers and sandwiches are between $15.99 and $19.99.

“Friday nights are usually pretty busy,” Kiesel said. “Truly it depends on the day. I’ve seen some Monday afternoons crazier than a Thursday night. You can just never tell on the crowd, which is why we take reservations.”

Gelder with Stock Development said bringing a Whole Foods Market to that area helped entice a client like Cooper’s Hawk. “I expect they will do very well here in this location,” Gelder said. “The Daniels and Six Mile corridor has really continued to transform with the addition of Whole Foods and some of the developments coming to that area.”

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