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Beer, cheer, food, friendship at Kooper’s and the world’s greatest gumbo that brings us back

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As the Maryland Crab Cake Tour presented by the Maryland Lottery, Liberty Pure Solutions and Jiffy Lube returned to Kooper’s North, general manager Terry Beck and owner Patrick Russell discuss the legend and growth of Fell’s Point and the joys of being longtime and local with Nestor.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

gumbo, oysters, cooper, great, baltimore, crab, years, week, bar, wife, samantha, fells point, give, fleet, beer, burgers, place, put, good, friends

SPEAKERS

Patrick Russell, Nestor J. Aparicio, Terry Beck

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:00

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Welcome home we are wn St. Towson, Baltimore. Baltimore positive we’re positively up here at Cooper’s north. Not to be confused with Cooper incident and Fells Point. We’ll be there next Friday for Fleet Week. So I’m brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery get Pac Man scratch offs to give away at a $20 winner over here. I you know, I’m a Dundalk guy that lived downtown all these years. And I live out in the county now. You know, I’m in the city four days a week. I was afraid these earlier this week I’ll be down downtown this weekend for the Orioles. I came up here earlier and I sat at the bar with Megan early at 1230. Patrick Russell’s back on the program Terry’s here as well. And I sat at the bar here and the gumbo came and his folks got some Gumbo and they ordered the cup and then he ordered like a whole platter. He felt like he was getting like he said I thought I was getting this little thing a gumbo and they bring him this vat. So they they brought him his food he couldn’t eat and we got the talking and they’re like where are you from? And I said Dundalk and they’re like dog dog too. And I’m like man people don’t know can be from anywhere up here. Turns out they’re not really from Dundalk. They’re from Patapsco we wouldn’t say that you guys man you amateurs with your A your headsets that can you hear both sides now. She sees guys are great. is fine. But I did not expect to meet to gray manner Dundalk people They said they’ve lived up here for 35 years at Dundalk people were everywhere. We’ve even infiltrated Cooper’s north up here. Well, I you know, for you guys up here in the Cooper’s north for tearing I’ve known for a long time coming up here. You’re a cancer survivor like my wife you come on the show. I remember coming in here. Maybe about five years ago was one of your posts with damn St. Patrick’s Day brisket is not proud of Dr. Lu. What is in that is that Dr. Pepper? What’s in? Dr.

Patrick Russell  01:46

Lu is actually my partner here. I have two small partners that Cooper’s north, okay, and they’re they’re friends of mine. Okay. They Dr. Luiz Liu Halak Minh, he’s a surgeon. He’s retired surgeon

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:57

he’s a real doctor. Yeah. He was a doctor corned beef. Now he is now okay. All right. So

Patrick Russell  02:03

he has a method of where he does the brisket and is is unbelievable. Is it is second to none.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  02:08

Well, you bragged about it, you show videos of it. So this is it’s right before COVID probably 18 or 19. I did the show in here during COVID. At one point I did like a show in here with Cal Ripken senior people. So I’ve been here a couple times through the course of time having your gumbo but you were the one at the bar that you recognize me we get to talk and you’re like, hey, you ever had to gumbo here and I’m like Jerry Yeah and I’m like no he’s like I’m gonna get you a little little some dude must be like giving crack out you know what I mean? Like cuz you gave it to me and now there are days were like it’s cold out like driving my answer over here my wife said grub stop grub all the you know whatever. And I’m like I’ll call go out we’ll find some excuse to go over down the road find some other reason stop by curio stop by wise marks coming out so so right so I will come over here but it’s because I would not have ordered it right. I mean, I would have come because I think if you for burgers. When my wife was battling the battle her first battle the first time she came out of the house after she left the hospital for 45 days. The original original battle Kim night was my my traffic Gao forever. Kim wanted to spend time my wife and she we met her here. This was the first restaurant my wife came into and she survived the first time and she didn’t get much you might think a little super rare but I never thought the order the gumbo that’s why I’m always yelling about it. I mean, do you yell about it enough?

Patrick Russell  03:38

You know was on diners drive ins and dives but you don’t yell about

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:41

it enough. You know everybody walks in here should know how good it is and he made me know and you know I was gonna love it.

Terry Beck  03:49

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Just because it’s on a spicy most most guys I would say like our Maryland crab crema crab with the gumbos more of a New Orleans style spicy it’s a me All right.

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:04

Well, look, I don’t tell the restaurants here’s how to do things. Okay, but here’s my recommendation for you. Especially for this gentleman over here that got this vat of it and didn’t know what to do with it except to eat it and then didn’t have any room for his rat. You serve this little thing rice in the middle of it. I think you should serve a thing of rice a small thing of rice and just one ladle of the of the just a little bit of that. That could be its own little mini appetizer you know just because if people order that they want the whole thing, but I like the rice because it is spicy I need I always want to like can you give me some more rice you know, I beg you to give me more because it is a little like I need something with it. That’s all it’s double Q’s recipes that

Patrick Russell  04:47

mine when I went down to New Orleans a couple of times, okay, and did a little research and development stumbled across a few bars had some gumbo, some oysters

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:57

it got chocolate in it like what’s in it? I don’t I know there’s more ways. What is it?

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Patrick Russell  05:02

Telling you?

Terry Beck  05:04

secret recipe I’ll get about what’s in it.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:08

Tell everybody what’s it’s got into play. Okay, okay, it’s got some fish in it right? No, no, crab. It’s crap. Chicken.

Patrick Russell  05:15

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Not chicken crab. Do you know what’s in your fish? Crawfish.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:23

Crawfish is what? That’s what makes it different. Yeah.

Patrick Russell  05:26

And then what I don’t put in it is okra. And a lot of people do put over in it and that kind of thickens it up and it kind of makes it mushy. So I stayed away from that. It’s all about the rule. It’s all about sit there for hours. And making sure it’s flour. Yeah, flour and butter. Just just whisk, whisk, whisk.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:42

Well, good. Companies, anything I’ve had anywhere. I bet that I get I mean, I

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Patrick Russell  05:47

appreciate it. And I’m telling you that everybody that that anybody likes gumbo. loves our gumbo. I put up against anybody North Mississippi, here.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:56

Here’s where I’m gonna do the crab cake tour. Right and I do crab cakes everywhere and it’s cool. I’m always like I’m doing the show Coco’s next Wednesday and everybody knows Coco says great. She ships them all over the world as big as your head they’re delicious. She is this coconut shrimp that she does that is she doesn’t with a raspberry halibut. It’s as good as anything. So like I always try to find that other thing because I think it you for burgers. Right I mean, but originally the burger was your thing then it Cooper’s and your your specialty, but I would not have tried that Gumbo and I say this with all respect to scallops, oysters in most cases, I won’t ever make that the first thing on the menu because you all are your restaurant tissue given everybody everything there’s a salad for this and an app for that and ahi tuna things that I’ll just put in front of the line and I never get a scallop. I never get oysters and I’m doing an oyster tour now. Well, I want you to talk to me about it which because it’s huge for you if you do oysters make the crabs right i mean you got to have this desalination and and the grasses. The oysters oxygenate the water that allows crabs to live so the oysters are the most important part. If there are no oysters, there will be no crabs, right? So I learned this with oyster recovery and the shells that create the oysters. Damian did a whole thing and fade these last week on that. But with oysters, I as a kid I would eat them raw at crab. Bullen oyster roasts, right? Sure. They’re always a little expensive for a kid from Dundalk in a restaurant. Now Fells Point how much for doesn’t just give me the burger, right? So I’ll do something else. I had never eaten a fried oyster in my life until like three years ago. Damien brought it to me. And it was one of the most delicious things. In New Orleans. I had those char broiled oysters with the butter Garcon, I would never think to order that at $20 to throw in a restaurant as a younger person. So my palate never tried it. Now I get it more to tasting or animal society event where I try something new. But that dog I grew up with the ham and eggs, you know, spamming, but wasters can be done a billion different ways, but they’re never at the top of my menu when I go in. So your gumbo was the greatest example something like I come in. It’s a little intimidating. It’s 15 or 20 bucks. It’s like a meal. I have to totally be in the mood for it. And I came here for the ahi tuna salad or something else can’t eat. I can’t eat it all. No, but I’m telling you once I tasted your gumbo, I get in the mood for a whole meal around gumbo. And I think boisterous are one of those things too. There are traditionally just a gimme six. It’s an appetizer, but like the oyster thing that you do and your celebration oysters down there, it’s just a really important thing for the state. And that’s why I’m doing the tour this year for that.

Patrick Russell  08:39

Well, the wish festival was in September and it’s awesome. Last year was a first year we kind of did it but I’ve always done them a Cooper’s Estancia. Since I’ve opened I do an oyster tasting and it’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving and we have 2530 different types of oysters and it’s it’s awesome it’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:54

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amazing how different they are to it really based on where they’re from Sally nation and you know up in Prince Edward Island and Canadian oysters and new

Patrick Russell  09:02

New England and Canadian pretty much are the same unless you get like a raspberry point or pickup point. Pickle point is actually it tastes like pickle juice Hinsicht pickle it’s it’s amazing. Go out west go to to Japan. I don’t really like the West Twizzlers. I don’t love their a creamier right like they’re the shells are brittle. They’re creamier, like yeah, it’s just I don’t think those

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:24

are good and like it Apalachicola down in the Florida panhandle of Florida. I like those oysters down there too but salty big. Yeah. And but but the oyster thing and the scalping things down the menu a little bit. Gumbo is one of those things like a lot of people have never had a good gumbo because they’ve never been to New Orleans and they’re a little afraid of it or they had it at a party and it kind of sucked you know wasn’t great. So that’s why I’m saying like your gumbo is a leading diners drive. It’s why did he come in? I always see that on

Patrick Russell  09:51

goes that couple years ago. A couple of months. Were

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Terry Beck  09:54

you here we were part of that. It was in Philly at the time nine years ago.

Patrick Russell  09:59

Eight or nine years to go, Okay, that was a while ago now is

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:02

that do people still every day come in and mentioned that once he does that thing on your gumbo, it’s over? Well,

Patrick Russell  10:09

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they replenish show which is great, but I wasn’t kidding. I go away, we’ll look to find a DDD place. We’ll go and try to find I do too. Yeah, just because I’ve been on it so I can share that with another restaurant tour. So it’s gonna go nice.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:20

Patrick Russell’s here, Terry’s here. We’re at Cooper’s north. And you know, we were I was going to talk a little cancer with you talking about Fleet Week with you and all that. But just the state of what Cooper’s is because I follow. I’m Facebook friends with you. Now. I’ve been friends with you for a long time. And I kid you about your corned beef when I came in today. And this is the way the Facebook people. Facebook knew I was coming together with you today you were at the top of my timeline with this Pipi thing that you’re doing. So you got your hands in a little bit everything. So I didn’t know where to begin. were telling me about that. Because Samantha did the show with me. I didn’t when he did when Houston has been a friend of mine forever. When he did the Ukraine brew that two and a half years ago, when the war started over there, I decided to jump in right away, go to the show over there. And he brought you over as the crabcake that day because he was doing a festival already. So you have a long standing relationship. This bottom line Baltimore, you and you system, right? I mean, literally, do

Patrick Russell  11:14

you know who actually and I are very, very close friends. But one thing you probably did not know about you is that when I own Cooper’s Tavern and Fells Point, he and I were sitting there and we’re and I thought she was under renovation. I was going to Ireland to go buy all the furniture and human are having a pint of beer. And I’m like, Whew, I just don’t know what that I don’t know what to name that place. I can’t be Patrick’s. It’s gotta be something else. And we’re back aboard. He says How about Slusher? So Houston names launch Irish Pub.

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:45

Look at that. Yeah. over a beer. No doubt. Right. Well, we

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Patrick Russell  11:48

had a couple but yeah, yeah. Well, you’ll never is one this guy right here. When I was when I graduated high school. I moved into his house. I’ve known him since I might he came to my football games. When I was in high school. He’s his own miracle, right? Yeah. At 1988. So so that’s how we met we became buds. And another friend of mine was living with him and he moved out. So I moved out of my house when I graduate high school and live with Terry went to UMBC played lacrosse in his small tomorrow. Yeah, we’ve been I was his best man. And his wedding. He was mine and my wedding. We’ve been for this he’s not just my manager here we were.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:24

He didn’t tell me that when he gave me the gumbo but they get that so for you with you. Just as we talk food all the time. I went into systems and I tell him this to this day. I went in there chasing girls down across street when Turner’s had those those those mind apps in those, were they off optical illusion pictures all over the walls, right? So I go into his place and he always had I said your beer was always flat and warm. And I never understood like who’s gonna buy this craft beer who’s ever give me a Budweiser give me a Coors Light, you know? So give me a bush light. I’m from Dundalk, you know, or natty boh even at that point, and he had the best wings in that place. He did a lemon pepper baked when it was like the most and to this day, it resurfaced at the smokehouse on over near the piano grotto on Central Avenue that wing resurface because I found the general manager from systems we added it to the mailing, but I find these last menu items like you’re not telling me how to make the gumbo if anything happens to you. We’re at a combo you know what I mean?

Patrick Russell  13:34

Guys downtown know what’s going on. They know how to make that room. Oh yeah. So I hear these guys are

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:38

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launcher for you is like an offshoot for Cooper’s Can we talk about Cooper’s in the dog and Cooper’s north and all that. What how does launch come about? I’m an Irish Catholic. Born in Baltimore. Why don’t you need another bar next to a bar yard? Yeah.

Patrick Russell  13:50

I wanted to I want to I always want an Irish bar. I always wanted a pub. And when I had Cooper’s I was crabcakes and burgers. And I really wanted to do an authentic Irish Pub. So I had a guy working for me from who lived in Baltimore. He’s from Dublin. So you

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:02

got all that stuff in Ireland. I flew over there. That’s why it looks that way.

Patrick Russell  14:06

Yeah, I flew over there and designed it. And with a company out in New York, they will they they’re from Dublin. Actually, it’s not sure they’re from Belfast. They came to New York for a show. I met them. Like, look, this is too big. You need to come out. So I flew out there and we picked out all the furniture, all the patterns, everything. That was 2020 years ago. I told him I count on my kids. Yeah, 20 years ago.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  14:30

And you were doing the fish

Patrick Russell  14:31

tacos upstairs at the time right had Woody’s Yeah. Unfortunately, the deck bar was was not I didn’t own that building that was at least building so I would always come and get the fish tacos. Well, we have them here. We we lost Woody’s we started taking some of the influence from that and putting into Cooper. So we have fish tacos and a couple other things.

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:47

Well, I know Patrick forever. We’ve done the show its launch. I remember the banner folks being down there. I remember doing stuff back in oh six and 10 with World Cup I mean, because it immediately became a soccer place right the day we He opened the cross guy. Yeah.

Patrick Russell  15:02

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But Paul, my buddy who was working for me, who was from Dublin said, Hey, if you’re gonna open an Irish pub, you should do soccer. So I said, Okay, well, can you give me more information about I didn’t know we have to open early? I didn’t know. You better have breakfast. Right? That’s it. So we have an Irish breakfast every day. We’re open at six o’clock or 7am 7am every day. And then the soccer match started six. We’re up at six. But I mean, 6am Every day you can get in that place. We don’t start serving breakfast till seven. But yeah, it’s I mean, it’s a soccer bar. It’s our tag is where soccer is religion as long as and everybody that comes to the barn knows it. Well, we’re

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:37

going to Fleet Week next week, we’re going to be broadcasting from Cooper’s next Friday in the middle, you gotta get Furman over, right? I mean, you listen, Samantha put this all star group together here we got Chris here will Fleet Week all that Fleet Week and the importance of it downtown talk, talk to me about how you got involved in this and what people are gonna come down, they’re gonna be amazed. They’re gonna hear it, they’re gonna see it. It’s powerful. But more than that, it’s a real community thing. It’s a chance to sort of in the way we talk about pregnancy. This kicks off summer really? Well,

Patrick Russell  16:04

last week has been going on for for a long time. But it’s never been in Fells Point. It’s always been around the harbor. So I’m a board member of sell Baltimore, I throw my hat in the ring. I said, Hey, you know, why don’t we they actually asked me if I would be interested in doing it. Next, you know, we have a full fledged stage, beer trucks, food trucks. I mean, the whole entire event on the Broadway square, it’s gonna live music off the Thursday night through Sunday. All day, all night. We have a battle of bands for kids, which is gonna be awesome. With

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:33

the buildings being lowered down there in the water, you’ll see that you’ll see the flights made it better than downtown in that way.

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Patrick Russell  16:39

Yeah, come to Phil’s point.

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:40

Yeah, well,

Patrick Russell  16:41

I do care but come to Baltimore, it’s gonna be all around the harbor is gonna be great. You can’t you get back to the city as we went doesn’t matter where it’s so my

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:52

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wife and I lived in the 23rd floor of harbor court. I mean, the middle of the middle of the city. And this is before for one for even blocked part of the view. Right? And we would think whenever there was Fleet Week, and the Blue Angels come through what that we could watch it or would that be great? We’ll come to your place and watch it. You can’t watch it. It moves too fast. Yeah, and you your sight of what you need to watch it someplace where you can see the sky. And that’s why I’m saying like Fells Point would even be better than great.

Patrick Russell  17:19

It’s awesome. I mean, the pure the square anywhere on the harvest way Fine.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:23

How you feeling You doing all right, good. Feeling great. I thought we were gonna come on and do the cancer thing and you’re gonna make me cry. You made me cry anymore. You know, me cry if you take my gumbo away is what you do. clean bill of health. Well, first thing he said to me, How’s your wife doing? I said when she broke her ankle Saturday. But other than that, clean Biller, you always ask how long is remission been used now and has been about eight and a half years for my wife. So she’s been completely clean. So she’s doing great, it’s awesome. And you did not need a transplant right now. Yes. So my wife has this incredible relationship with the man who saved her life. They went to the to the NFL game in Germany back in November on his birthday. So she flies over and once a year he goes there or you know we spend time with him. So it’s a story that keeps on giving but so many people around you What do you think the morning your best friend calls since you got hairy cell leukemia you can probably probably Google that what the heck is that?

Terry Beck  18:16

Well was it was a it was a shock for all of us because the history of my family so the first thing you think it’s always worse. But yeah,

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Patrick Russell  18:26

I mean, I’ve been with him right? We’ve been friends for I’ve been there for every bit of his family’s challenges. So

Terry Beck  18:32

the first thing anybody always thinks cancer when they hear the word cancer. First thing you think is the worst but you know, you just don’t get through it and you come to the bar and pray for the best Yeah,

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:44

you’re you’re wanting to join. It’s always music up here. I kid you about your corned beef and your pig beef and all that but how long have you been doing you do a lot of bands every Friday

Terry Beck  18:53

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and Saturday Night Live Music normally from eight to 11

Patrick Russell  18:56

We got a great band come this weekend.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:58

Well you’re always bragging on these bands. Yeah, young lady here I saw you put some videos up on blogs daughter Maddie. She was awesome. Okay,

Patrick Russell  19:05

I saw you brag those bands coming called called grapefruit dub. They’re actually called the creation of roots or Bucha creation. They’re a Grateful Dead reggae band. Their national touring band. They’re they’re literally going from like down south of the main what are the here their stop here Saturday for an hour and a half acoustic set. It’s gonna be what time you gonna be here six o’clock to start. All right. I’m telling you it’s gonna be awesome. My wife can’t

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Nestor J. Aparicio  19:27

do much. I mean all respect to Fleet Week I’m not dragging her around. But I keep saying her the summer is going to be me dropping you off at the front door of a place and us going in at least so she can get right. You bring it here. We’ll take care of you. Well, you know I’m limited but you got gumbo here that’s all I need to know. So come on at Cooper’s North come on out the Cooper South we’ve had a Fells Point next week in front of slosh it and Cooper’s a there’s a rumor Ron Furman is gonna be bringing his rock and roll app back and some some beer my way as well. Come see Terry up here. Come see everybody up here. Megan was behind the bar Samantha’s up here from time to time. Come see some music I do love you have these wooden planks UMBC Towson Hopkins, Maryland Loyola, you got all your lacrosse stuff going on up here it’s rock and roll and a great crabcake as well. We’re set back take a break. Chris is going to come on and finish things off here with Marilee they don’t leave anything out with Cooper’s or Slava my good daughter

Patrick Russell  20:18

on man dead daughter on good Terry on all’s good man.

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:21

I was really worried like Samantha we booked the show last week here. And I don’t usually allow other people to be the executive producer of the show. She called me something that she I got the whole thing booked up and I’m like, I thought it was gonna be Terry and I sitting here drinking a beer and gumbo, you know, talking about the Oreos or something like that. So Oreos are cracking the bars here though, right? Yep. Yeah, absolutely. In a way that you guys have been at this a long time. This is starting to get fever pitch again, right? Absolutely. I fell here at Oriel white panel kept sitting at the bar right now waiting for the game to come on.

Patrick Russell  20:51

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And then my dad’s over there

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:55

is your adopted adopted dad. If we keep this up, man, we’re gonna scare business. I’m telling you right now. Don’t try to get people here. Don’t

Patrick Russell  21:03

let them on camera.

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:04

I am Nestor. We are wn sta a 5070 Towson Baltimore back for more from Cooper’s North brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. Stay with us.

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