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Meet Grant Cooper and Charles Clark of Clark Cooper Concepts

Today we’d like to introduce you to Grant Cooper and Charles Clark.

Grant and Charles, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Grant: Charles and I have been friends for 30 years. We both had a passion for food, the restaurant business and the dining experience, so we decided to get into the business together and opened Ibiza Food & Wine Bar in 2001.

Grant & Charles: Ibiza was our first restaurant under the Clark Cooper Concepts umbrella. We started Ibiza 2001 and based it off of the “cheers factor.” We wanted to create a restaurant where everyone felt at home when they came into the restaurant. We wanted everyone to come in and feel comfortable, with the wine, the style of service, the style of food. We wanted to place a bottle of wine on every table. So we set our wine prices slightly above retail and this allowed us to offer guests a good, affordable bottle of wine and a chef driven culinary experience.

Ibiza is the foundation that all the other concepts have evolved from– the retail wine, the unpretentious service, and consistent, chef driven food. The “cheers factor” is how we want to run our restaurants. We want them to be the neighborhood hangout. We want to get to know the people on a one-on-one basis and that separates us because we have seen our customers’ families grow. We see their kids when they are born and when they graduate college. We have generations going to our restaurants. It is just good food, professional unpretentious service with good wine prices.

After Ibiza, we opened Brasserie 19, Coppa Osteria, Punk’s Simple Southern Food, SaltAir Seafood Kitchen and The Dunlavy. The idea is that we like to create concepts where we find our passion. We create concepts that we know are a good fit for the community in Houston.

Has it been a smooth road?
With any business there are issues, but we have created a community that has supported us along the way. They love our food, atmosphere and the culture we create in our restaurants.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Clark Cooper Concepts story. Tell us more about the business.
Clark Cooper Concepts, the boutique restaurant group behind Ibiza, Brasserie 19, Coppa Osteria, Punk’s Simple Southern Food, SaltAir Seafood Kitchen and The Dunlavy, was brought to life by Charles Clark and Grant Cooper in 2001, when they decided to share their passion for food and the dining experience. The driven duo constantly strives to be at the forefront of the industry with concepts that are chic, sophisticated and provide customers with an experience of undeniable excellence and spirit.

Clark Cooper Concepts curated team allows for in-house development of concepts from design to menu development thus evolving each entity with its own tone and culture.

This unique approach has resulted in the development of a groundbreaking wine philosophy focused on placing a bottle of wine on every table. This approach echoed throughout sets wine prices slightly above retail– a bloodline in all concepts—and cause for a cult-like customer following. We are most known for our unique wine pricing. We were the pioneers for this kind of wine pricing in the city.

One of our recent restaurant openings, The Dunlavy, has been a huge success and we are very proud of that. We always dreamed of doing a restaurant full of chandeliers, but just needed to find the perfect space for it.

When we partnered with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership to create a restaurant and special event space in the middle of the park, when knew that this was the space for the chandelier restaurant we had been dreaming about for so many years. There are 43 chandeliers throughout the restaurant and my wife, Jacy and I worked on finding them with a “picker” over a two-year period. The “picker” traveled throughout Italy and France to find all of the chandeliers.

By bringing in so many chandeliers, we were trying to create a feeling of crystal-accented elegance that juxtaposed the surroundings of Buffalo Bayou. Whether guests visit The Dunlavy for a private event or for a brunch in a beautiful glass tree house they notice the floating chandeliers and feeling of relaxed-elegance we were trying to achieve with the space.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Al Torres Photography
Cooper Ricca Photography
Debora Smail

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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