JJ’s at the Copper Pot opened in Laurie, MO, less than a year ago at the hands of three people whose paths crossed at two of the more popular restaurants at the Lake. Jeff Super, Joseph Cope and Mary Jung earned their food service stripes at The Potted Steer and The Blue Heron, but made the leap from employee to employer earlier this year when they took over the vacant Ivor’s Laurie House.
Super, who moved to the Lake from Kansas City in 1983, was the chef at The Potted Steer until taking over as chef at The Blue Heron. Jung brings 25 years of hostess and server experience from The Potted Steer until it closed a year ago to make way for the Hwy. 54 Expressway; and Cope worked at The Blue Heron a couple of years before he joined Super and Jung. “The best thing is we each have a different function here, so we all have a vested interest,” Super explained. They bring several years of experience to The Copper Pot under the tutelage of restaurateur Joseph Boer, owner of The Potted Steer and The Blue Heron.
Ivor’s Laurie House was a landmark on the Westside for years before it closed in 2007. When Super began his quest to become a restaurant owner, he considered Kansas City or Osage Beach. Then, he learned that the Ivor’s building was available. In January 2009, they struck a deal and began a massive renovation project that lasted literally until the day they opened on April 9, 2009. Eighteen months after Ivor’s closed, JJ’s at the Copper Pot opened for business, providing upscale casual dining to not only Westside residents but also Lake-area diners. Super dined at a Paris, France, restaurant not long ago and was intrigued by how a series of copper pots impacted the ambiance. He was sold on the idea, and brought that theme to JJ’s (which represents the first initials of Jeff and Joseph).
The restaurant recently opened its Copper Room which seats 32 for private parties and is making a point to offer this room to businesses and families alike for the holiday season.
Cope notes several “points of pride” in JJ’s first year.
• They were cautioned not to expect much support for wine sales. The Copper Pot has thrown that theory out the window as wine sales have surprised even themselves, and made way for an additional Private Reserve list featuring Robert Mondavi, Cain Five, Silver Oak, Silverado, Dom Perignon, and others.
• They were also cautioned not to expect much support for their lobster. Batter-fried lobster tails have come to be the second most popular item on the menu.
• The slow roasted prime rib with horseradish sauce and Yorkshire pudding has far outpaced their expectations and has become JJ’s signature dish.
• JJ’s has the freshest fish in Missouri on Fridays when rainbow trout from Troutdale Farm near Gravois Mills is hand-picked by Jeff or Joseph mid-afternoon.
Also consider for appetizers the Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms, Onion Rings or Escargot; for soups, Lobster Bisque or French Onion; for entrees, Flaming Tenderloin Kabobs, Seafood Ravioli, or the Dover Sole as well as several cuts of steaks, several varieties of seafood, pork and chicken.
The Copper Pot also stands by its never frozen, always homemade desserts like the Hazelnut Cheesecake, Lavander Crème Brulee, and Pecan Divinity. Also during the holiday season Jeff Super will be making his classic Apple Strudel served with homemade vanilla sauce. Cope, Super and Jung believe in being involved in the community and have supported several projects and events including the upcoming March of Dimes Celebrity Chefs.
From kitchen work and waiting tables, Super, Jung and Cope have come a long way.
By Dan Field L•O PROFILE Editor
Photos by Andrea Holtmeyer