Netty’s Fans Rejoice: Food Review of Coop’s in Downtown Toledo

Coop’s — Downtown
30 S. St. Clair St.
419-720-4345
Facebook: Search Coop’s Downtown  | Instagram: @coops_downtown
Monday-Thursday: 11am-8pm
Friday: 11am-10pm
Saturday: Noon-10pm
The Short Course:
Kids Menu? No, but the regular menu is full of kids’ favs.
Carryout? Yes.
Online Ordering? Yes, through DoorDash.
Delivery? Yes, through DoorDash.
Dine In? Yes.
Changing Table? No.
Got Milk? No.
High Chairs/Booster Seats? No.
Healthy Options? Not much, but they do have dairy-free ice cream.
Reviews:
Google 3.9 out of 5 with 10 reviews

We enjoyed Coop’s classic chili dogs, cheese curds with sauce and chili cheese fries topped with jalapenos, a new take on the Netty’s faire of my youth.

Brad Fields, the owner of the Netty’s on Fearing, wanted to bring the taste of Netty’s to downtown, but he wanted to add something to spice it up a bit. After brainstorming with his friend, Ed Beczynski (owner of the Blarney), Fields recalled a burger joint in Iowa that the two of them had been to where they had “boozy shakes.” The name Coop’s is in honor of Fields’s son, Cooper, while also providing the eatery with a the Mud Hens connection.

A boozy shake didn’t sound like my type of thing, although I do appreciate the occasional White Russian or Guinness float. Coop’s options seem endless, but the bartenders provide helpful suggestions. I ended up ordering a Reese’s shake with Peanut Butter Whiskey. Oh. My. God. Peanut Butter and chocolate is my go-to ice cream in virtually all circumstances, which made it an easy choice. The whiskey, which I thought would be overwhelming coupled with the ice cream, complemented the concoction perfectly. Fields’s favorite is a S’more with the same peanut butter whiskey, but that Cinnamon Toast Crunch with Fireball is a nice fall drink. All of their shakes are dairy-free. 

The casual outdoor dining ended up working out for us, as the indoor high-top options inside weren’t ideal for our little one. 18-month-old Townes was digging the cheese curds.

They advertise as being family-friendly so I was a bit surprised that there were no high chairs. The high-top/bar seating wasn’t ideal for our 18-month-old. Good thing we had (luckily) found parking nearby so we could quickly grab the toddler’s wagon from the car and make ourselves comfortable outside, watching folks passing by.  Coop’s carryout window opened and a tray was passed to us on the sidewalk, a perfect place to sit and people watch. One, perhaps, benefit of the pandemic, is that more places have outdoor seating. 

South Toledo nostalgia

If, like me, you are a fan of Netty’s, you know that the chili dogs are a great joy and comfort. I grew up just down the street from the Netty’s on Fearing which was a great stop after a day of swimming at Highland Park. Our baseball coach would bring the team after a hard fought game. I have a long running bet with my brothers about Netty’s, that I could eat ten chili dogs. Maybe we will hold a chili dog eating contest at Coop’s and be able to finally settle our boasts. At $3, the chili dogs are reasonably priced and just slightly more expensive than the Netty’s chili dogs ($2.45) all across town. 

The cheese curds ($7.50) were amazing: perfectly crispy on the outside but not too deeply fried and almost-but-not-quite gooey on the inside. And the Coop’s sauce that they were paired with was delightful. The chili cheese fries ($6) were delicious as well with nice crisp fries complementing the Netty’s chili. What I would really like to see is a poutine combining the fries, the chili and the cheese curds. They just added a new chicken sandwich for the cooler months that is on the order for our next visit.

Downtown ambiance

Coop’s has boozy shakes in addition to all kinds of non-alcoholic sweet treats.

Coop’s is a great stop before or after a ballgame. The prices may be a bit higher than ice cream joints around the city, but the selection is impressive and they also have beer on tap. My wife and I shared a Peanut Butter Crunchy Hippy from Earnest, which has a new taproom right across St. Clair St. The day we were there a family was stopping by on a bike ride and one of the Dad’s grabbed a quick beer from Earnest and brought it back. Ah, the wonders of the DORA cup.  The boozy shakes also come in a DORA cup.  Not quite the drive-thru daiquiri huts of Louisiana, but we’re getting there.

Although chili dogs and ice cream really harken to memories of summer, Fields explained that Coop’s is going to “try to stay open” throughout the fall and winter. It really depends on whether the customers continue to show up. “Come down and support us,” Fields says, and maybe, like me, you’ll find a new spot to frequent on your trips downtown.  Years ago I was disappointed that the Mud Hens left South Toledo and moved Downtown. Today I’m glad that Netty’s has finally joined them. 

Bottom Line: A small place with a limited menu, but Coop’s combination of Netty’s chili dogs and some new menu items (chili cheese fries and cheese curds: yes please!) along with a vast array of adult shakes make it an intriguing stop before or after a game or to provide a destination for a trip downtown.. 

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