Camden County Parks along with the support of the Freeholders sought to re-imagine the Hadley House structure at the Cooper River Park. The Hadley House was the site for many years of the former Lobster Trap restaurant facility. The county’s vision was to modernize and upgrade the Hadley House’s structure and grounds to attract and create a family friendly restaurant that included indoor and alfresco dining experiences. The remodeled Hadley House compliments the Camden County Parks ongoing efforts to upgrade the Park and to continue to serve the Park’s goals of improving its services to the community.
The Camden County Improvement Authority was the lead contact and administrator of the project on behalf of Camden County Parks. R2Architects, LLC (R2A) was retained to provide complete architectural, interior design, and consulting engineering services for the project. R2A accomplished the County’s objectives of re-imagining the restaurant’s exterior, interior, and the outside amenities of the facility. The design upgrades focused on nature-inspired materials of wood and stone as well as rich earth tone colors along with lots of windows to evoke a ‘warm and welcoming’ experience for the guests. Particular emphasis was placed on creating a variety of seating experiences with sightlines to the wonderful outdoor vistas. Outdoor dining and ‘mix and mingle’ outdoor areas were carefully planned to provide more patron amenities and great views for the guests. The outdoor programs were placed to work seamlessly with the operations of the restaurant to further improve the guests’ dining experience.
The County settled on the name ‘Cooper House’ for the facility as it felt that it was important to create a brand and an identity for the new restaurant that was consistent with the Park and the project’s goals of attracting more families and outdoor enthusiasts to the waterway’s new eatery. Bellia assisted R2A and the County in the selection of the dining room, bar, and outdoor furniture creating an updated and inviting space. In keeping with the County’s vision for Cooper House, the furniture was carefully chosen to be comfortable, to enhance the design of indoor and outdoor guest areas, to be durable and cost effective. With a more current ‘look’ and a comfortable feel, the Cooper House is an inviting space to enjoy great dining, the views of the Cooper River, and its surrounding park.