In the fall of 1998 Hallock Cooper, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, decided to open a restaurant with the help of her parents Pam and Buddy Cooper and a few old family friends. They found a charming almost turnkey location on the Morehead City waterfront and in April of 1999 Amos Mosquito’s Swampside Café opened for business. After 4 years of lunch and dinner, they decided to throw in the towel. Although the restaurant had been successful, it was hard work and Hallock thought she’d like to go back to school to study psychology. Besides, she’d met someone, a young man named Sandy Howard. They wanted to get married and have a family. It’d be tough to run a restaurant while raising a family.
Not long after the decision had been made a new opportunity presented its self. A building, an old restaurant in Atlantic Beach, became available for purchase. Inspired with a new challenge Hallock and Sandy decided to work together and make a new Amos Mosquitos: Amos Mosquito’s Restaurant and Bar. This time the team was much smaller: Hallock, her mother Pam, and Sandy opened the new spot in the spring of 2003. Hallock was the chef, Sandy was the general manager and Pam was the bookkeeper. They had all the bases covered, but it was clear they were going to need more managerial help.
One night in early 2005 Sandy’s good friend Su Brumley came in for dinner with her new husband Dave. Su and Dave met while working together at The Glenwood Grill in Raleigh. Dave had been managing that restaurant since 1998. As Dave recalls, they were dining at table 40 one night in March, Sandy sat down with them and asked, “What can I do to get you to move here and work with us?” The next day there was a meeting. The day after that Dave said yes. He came to work the week before Memorial Day weekend and became a partner two years later.
Meanwhile, Hallock and Sandy had a couple of kids. In 2006 Richard Alexander took over Hallock’s role as chef in anticipation of the birth of the first child. After the birth of their second child in 2009 Hallock began working less and parenting more. In the early spring of 2012 Richard decided to leave Amos Mosquito’s in hopes of fulfilling his dream of owning his own restaurant. In April they welcomed Luke Maguire as Executive Chef. Luke came to Amos Mosquito’s from the Wilson Country Club and has spent the past 14 years working in some of the finest restaurants Eastern North Carolina. He specializes in modern American cuisine with a southern flare and enjoys cooking with local, sustainable ingredients.