John Rivers Announces Closing of The Coop Restaurant in Winter Park

The Coop Restaurant in Winter Park

Local restaurateur John Rivers has announced he is closing his Winter Park restaurant, The Coop, and the last day will be this Sunday, July 16, 2023.

Rivers said the closure is “A testament to the vibrancy of the Winter Park market, current market rates are unfortunately well beyond what our little business can justify in renewing the lease.”

In other words, the landlord is raising the rent above what Rivers wants to pay to keep The Coop where it is.

Here is the letter he posted announcing the closure:

The Coop opened in Winter Park on April 17, 2014, featuring signature Southern dishes like fried chicken, low country shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes, as well as sweets like Mississippi Mud and Lemon Icebox pies.

Rivers says it’s possible the southern comfort cuisine concept could resurface at a later date. Of course, the Chef has his hands full with the expanding 4 Rivers Smokehouse brand, which recently opened a new location in Lakeland.

And as he says in his letter, Rivers could bring some of the popular dishes into his 4 Rivers Smokehouse menus.

You’ve only got a few more days to enjoy The Coop’s menu, so head on over!

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida, and is head editor/writer at She's lived in Orlando near Walt Disney World since 1995, and still finds there's so much fun to be had in Central Florida.
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