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Friday, December 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 26.0° F  Overcast
The Daily
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The Coopers Tavern expands upward, readies for second CSA dinner series
The Coopers Tavern
The Coopers Tavern

The Coopers Tavern, 20 W. Mifflin St., is moving fast with its second-floor expansion. It should be open in early May, "in time for Craft Beer Week," says owner Peter McElvanna.

The space echoes the long, narrow first floor, but opens up at the Mifflin end with floor-to-ceiling windows that boast what may be the best unobstructed view of the Capitol on the Square. The new space more than doubles seating capacity; it will be dominated by a 32-foot communal table, currently being made by an Amish craftsman in Ohio. Seats for smaller parties will dot the perimeter. The second floor will be open for extra seating Thursday through Saturday and for private events at other times.

That comes into play for the Coopers' second year of hosting four Plough and Barrel CSA Dinners to benefit FairShare CSA Coalition. The Monday evening dinners will be held upstairs, allowing the number of tickets to increase from 60 to 80-90, says McElvanna. Last year's dinners sold out, and $5,000 went to FairShare. McElvanna would like to see that amount increase.

The four-course dinners pair two local farms with a local brewer -- and this year, a winery. On June 3, One Barrel is up with Parisi Family Farm and Tipi Produce; on July 1, Central Waters will join Driftless Organics and Equinox Community Farm; on Aug. 5, Wollersheim will be paired with Small Family CSA Farm and NatureSense CSA; and Oct. 21 brings Lake Louie together with Two Good Farms and Christensen Farm. Menus are TBD (and should be announced in the next couple of weeks), but expect barbecue in July and surprises throughout, McElvanna says. Tickets are on sale through or by calling 608-256-1600.

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