The Cove of Twin Falls ABout Us

Since 1952

Our Story

The Cove’s long and rich history make it a local favorite! Established in 1952 by Gene Kopp, the décor and façade were much different than they are today. The building had previously been a roofing store, made of cinderblock, which was painted to tout the original “The Cove.” Rumors tell of slot machines being residents of the early Cove, before they were made to be removed.

Historical interior dining counter at The Cove of Twin Falls in Idaho

Finger steaks, referred to as “steak fingers” by some, were introduced as one of the first food items offered to guests. There was no kitchen on site yet, so they were prepared in a nearby house (currently the location of our parking lot) and brought over to Cove guests. There were only two other locations in Idaho at that time known to have “steak fingers” on their menu, so there is speculation that the owners may have known each other and shared the idea. This item is still by far the most popular item on The Cove’s menu to this day.

Gene’s son, Richard Kopp, came home from California, where he worked at a ship-yard, in the 70’s to help his father run the business. He introduced the nautical and tiki theme to The Cove, re-faced the cinder block with lumber, and brought many items from the shipyard, including the hatch doors that he made into the Cove tables we still use to this day. He eventually took ownership of The Cove and continued to add tiki flair, rumored to have been modeled after a favorite bar in Mexico, including the classic light fixtures covered with blowfish shades, and other décor that is still proudly cared for, throughout the remodels and facelifts in later years. During Richard’s ownership, a young girl named Charlotte joined his employment as a cook and worked her way to management and then eventually became owner of the business.

Historical exterior photos of the building front at The Cove of Twin Falls in Idaho

Charlotte Meyers' notoriety as the next Cove owner was in her amazing capacity to care for and cultivate an incredibly loyal following of people… lots and lots of people. Her guests became members of her family, whether she called them “Honey” or by their name, she loved them all. She threw grand parties, danced while balancing shot glasses on her head, and was perpetually the life of the party – whether at The Cove or supporting other local businesses. Her loving nature extended to her predecessors, whole heartedly pouring herself into introducing the next owners to her loyal patrons and friends, and mentoring during the next transitional period.

Deb and Johnny with family beginning their new restaurant and bar journey in 2005 out front of The Cove of Twin Falls

Debra and Johnny Urrutia purchased The Cove in 2005, having minimal experience in the bar and restaurant industry. They were local entertainers who wanted to have a place of their own to celebrate live music after other venues either closed or traded in their stages for pre recorded music. Deb left her profession in teaching to take Charlotte’s crash course in bar & restaurant management, and, perhaps against the odds, eventually found her footing and came to cherish the role.

Deb and John, with the help of friends, family, and supporters, chose one area at a time to remodel or refurbish. They added a patio for outdoor seating, completely remodeled the bathrooms and kitchen, replaced the bar, and added a saltwater fish tank for guests to enjoy. All the while, there was a strong dedication to keep the integrity of the theme and the richness of the history. Throughout their years of ownership, business has steadily grown, thanks to the continued patronage of loyal guests and an amazing crew of employees who charm first time visitors into becoming the newest members of our Cove family!

The Cove of Twin Falls

Meet The Management Team

Debra Urrutia, prior to purchasing The Cove, was an elementary school teacher. Her interest in performing musical entertainment with her husband, Johnny Urrutia, led her to enter this new industry. Immersing into this new and very different career path was challenging to say the least.

Karyn, John and Deb of the management team at The Cove of Twin Falls

Having the mentorship of her predecessor, Charlotte Meyers, the support of her family, and also having the patronage of an amazing group of loyal regular customers, were all integral to her success as a bar & restaurant owner-operator. She takes part in the management team in an administrative and employee management capacity, and also loves the marketing and promotional aspects of her career. She works closely with John Fuss and Karyn Jones, who manage from the front line. The two dubbed her, “Captain Deb,” and they all very much enjoy working together. In fact, she looks forward to going to work each day and takes great pride in every accomplishment, improvement, and success the business and her crew have attained during her ownership.

John Fuss and Karyn Jones have both been members of the Cove Management Team for over a decade! John, often referred to as J5 or Johnny 5, has a background of bartending at Cactus Pete’s, Diamondz Bar & Grill (formerly of Jerome), and Woody’s (formerly of Twin Falls). In addition to his excellent bar service, he is also a “foodie,” and shares his culinary talents with our kitchen, making that an area of focus for him in management duties, along with building maintenance – which is extra challenging with an old structure. Outside of work, John loves to follow Nascar and the NFL, or you may find him fishing or hosting backyard barbecues with friends – many of whom are Cove regular personalities!

Karyn Jones also has a rich bartending and serving background, which, early in her career, even included The Cove under the previous owner! Her dynamic personality is locally renowned, and makes her perfect for entertainment booking to be key in her management duties, along with keeping a well-stocked bar of favorite beverages for guests. Karyn’s interests outside of work include metaphysical studies such as astrology, tarot reading, and the qualities of crystals. She even shared these interests with work by bringing a medium into The Cove to learn about a different kind of history! It’s not surprising that her personal world circled back to her work world, because she feels that “work” is more of a “second home” than a place of employment. As an illustration, her husband and children have all taken active roles in working Cove shifts or helping with events, and now her granddaughter is even beginning to learn the ropes!

Outdoor patio seating and front of restaurant and bar building at The Cove of Twin Falls in Idaho

The management team, in fact, all feel that The Cove is their home and that the crew of staff and guests are their family! The three enjoy working together and their areas of focus, strengths and even weaknesses, formulate a perfect balance to navigate the sailing of this Cove ship!