CHANHASSEN — Southern food is being plated at the other end of the Mississippi thanks to a new restaurant in Chanhassen.
Roger and Shannon Burks opened North Coop this May. The pair also have history running Lagos Tacos and Charlie’s On Prior.
"Choosing a location was easy. We wanted to be in this community," Shannon said.
Roger’s father was from Kentucky. He grew up eating his grandmother’s cooking on her tobacco farm.
“It was the food I loved,” he said. “I had two food loves: tacos and Southern food.”
Po boys, collard greens and grits are well-recognized Southern options printed on the menu. However, Executive Chef Cyle Hahka said there are Northern touches, such as Maple Bacon Southern Fried Chicken and Catfish Po Boy.
For people who aren’t familiar with Southern cooking, the Burks would gently encourage visitors to branch out a touch. But those unfamiliar would still see salads, burgers and sandwiches on the menu.
“They’re trying things they haven’t even heard of before,” Shannon said. “And I think that’s really fun. They may not all like it, and that’s OK, but at least they’re trying it.”
North Coop is one of the few Southern restaurants in the area. Former residents of Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas have driven from across the metro to catch a taste of home.
“You’d be surprised at how many people come in here from the south, dying to come in,” Roger said. “We have tastes on the menu from all along the south.”
Shannon said the decor is meant to give a modern farmhouse and whiskey barrel feel, with cool grays painted on shiplap, rustic American Flags hanging on the walls, and aged wood at the bar.
The Burks said they are pleased to see the corner strip mall revitalized with business as restaurant-goers fill the parking lot.
As the restaurant continues to find its flow, a brunch will be added from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. While Shannon and Roger anticipate it should be ready to launch in a few weeks, it won’t debut until it’s perfected.
“We really want to shore up and make sure the kitchen is running well,” Roger said.
What does a Southern brunch look like? Think biscuits and gravy, along with shrimp and grits, too, with a fried egg atop. Northern regulars such as eggs and sausage will also be on the short menu.
“It will include some pretty fun drink specialties,” Shannon said. “So we’re excited to get those rolling.”
A catering business is next on the docket, hopefully making a fall appearance.