Patrick Russell is no stranger to food. He owns and operates four restaurants and two food trucks, but his favorite meals are at Fells Point's Kooper's Tavern, the tavern he opened with his wife, Katie, in 1997.
Part of the reason is sentimentality—Kooper's was his first restaurant, named for Russell's beloved yellow Labrador—but part of the reason is the good American food.
"It has everything you want," said Russell who, with his wife, is deeply involved in the operations of all their restaurants. "If I want a fresh grilled pizza, I can get a fresh grilled pizza. If I want a crab cake, I can get a crab cake. If I want ahi tuna, I can get ahi tuna. If I want wings…" He stopped himself before he recited all his favorites from the menu. "The doors are opened to every walk of life."
Russell enthusiastically stands by the quality of the food and service at his other establishments, too. But there’s something to be said for Kooper's Bahamian Grouper Fingers, lager-battered and served with spicy tartar sauce, and Homemade Meatloaf and Mashers, which need no description.
Kooper's North, opening on Tullamore Road in the Round Wood Shopping Center in Timonium on Aug. 21, will be sharing the same excellent menu that’s won awards from Baltimore Magazine and City Paper.
Timonium, get ready.
There's the MacGuinness burger, served with apple-smoked bacon and cheddar, and the Lamburger a la Grecque, prepared with feta cheese, black olives, garlic and herbs, and served on a toasted rosemary focaccia roll with cilantro mint chutney.
The Doc Pizza has mozzarella cheese and homemade marinara sauce, and Kooper's Summer Pasta is fettuccini tossed in wine garlic sauce and Italian seasonings, with blackened shrimp and vegetables.
Now we’re the ones quoting the menu.
Kooper's North will be Russell’s fifth restaurant and he’s excited to serve Timonium.
"I think the area needs a restaurant like Kooper's," Russell said, who noted that Timonium has residents from young families to retirees and everyone in between, all within a four-mile radius.
"Kooper's has all the things you’re looking for," Russell said. "Seafood, steaks, pastas—and it’s casual. I'm serving a phenomenal beer selection, great handmade cocktails, and a pretty eclectic wine collection, from small batch wineries that my wife and I visit. We like to keep it kind of interesting and different than your everyday place."
Russell is excited to work with a new managerial partner, Miles Perman, who will operate Kooper's North. Russell and Perman grew up together in Pikesville and have been friends since they were 12. The pair worked together at Owings Mills' Ruby Tuesday when they were only 21.
Russell stayed in the restaurant business, but managing Kooper's North is a new opportunity for Perman, who spent his career assistant directing episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street, The Corner, and producing America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back.
“He's going to be great—it's a new role for him,” said Russell, who was eager to give Perman credit for his hard work preparing the new location. “I'm looking forward to doing this with him.”
Who wouldn't be excited at the prospect of serving up the El Diablo, a ground turkey burger with jalapeno jack cheese, tomatoes, onions and avocado? Or the steamed mussels, sourced daily, served in three different styles?
How about a Bailey’s Irish Cream homemade brownie sundae?
“I love the business,” Russell said. “I love what I do. I'm looking forward to the community up there.”
We’re looking forward to the food.