(map) Like a proud hipster phoenix, Proof & Cooper rises from the ashes of the former Bert ‘n Ernie’s location near Drippin’. And what a transformation it is! Those of you familiar with that quirky-yet-almost-comically-dilapidated biker bar will be amazed. Craft cocktails, craft beers on tap, live music, and best of all, incredible fried chicken. The owners have a whiskey bar downtown, so there is plenty of emphasis on the cocktail menu. In fact, the name comes from two steps in the distilling process. But they’re also serving up what they call “picnic fare.”
You order at a window and the food is brought to you in brown boxes. You can take it home, or eat at any of a number of tables inside or out. Appetizers include bourbon jerky, deviled eggs, and house-made pickles. There are fresh, locally sourced salads and sandwiches. And then there’s that. Fried. Chicken. Crunchy and juicy, it’s worth every calorie. Served sizzling, with cool crispy coleslaw. They also have smoked ribs, burgers and fried catfish.
There are tables for dining outside, or you can just spread your own blanket out by the chicken coop. Yes, they do have chickens, and no, those aren’t the birds they’re frying up. An attack rooster roams the grounds, but he can be mollified with a Moscow Mule. Cheers!