Bar orders $3.3M expansion
A world-renowned bar is expanding its presence in Michigan — and the Midwest.
Following the opening of its second location in East Lansing last summer, HopCat will open its third bar in Detroit later this year.
The $3.3-million project will be located in Detroit’s Midtown district, at 4265 Woodward Ave.
The building, purchased from the Michigan Land Bank, has been empty since 2006. The investment in the neighborhood is expected to bring about 100 jobs to the city.
“Detroit has a rich brewing heritage and a vibrant community of breweries and brewpubs,” said Mark Sellers, owner of BarFly Ventures, which owns HopCat. “This location puts the state’s largest selection of draft beer within blocks of Wayne State University, TechTown and the future home of the Detroit Red Wings. We also are thrilled to be next door to a stop on the M-1 Rail streetcar line, which will be a vital connector for our customers and our team members.”
HopCat Detroit will have 130 taps, the most in Michigan.
HopCat Detroit will continue to serve one of the best beer selections from around the world and maintain a full menu – including Crack Fries – and a full liquor and wine menu.
Unlike the first two locations, HopCat Detroit will have the space, 11,000 square feet, to include an outdoor beer garden and a live music stage on the second floor. The stage will host a variety of musical genres.
The project also is working to secure brownfield tax credits, a façade improvement grant and an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax exemption.
BarFly Ventures is working with Midtown Detroit, a nonprofit that promotes economic development in Detroit.
“We are happy to welcome HopCat to the community as an exciting new choice for dining and entertainment,” said Susan Mosey, president of Midtown Detroit. “HopCat’s reputation as an award winning beer-lovers’ destination will help make HopCat Detroit a vibrant addition to the Midtown neighborhood, while providing more than 100 new jobs.”
The announcement of the Detroit bar came less than a week following the news that Sellers intends on taking the bar to 12 to 15 states across the Midwest in the next five years.
Sellers is in the process of raising money from investors to move the chain out of Michigan.
HopCat LLCs have been set up in Ann Arbor, Chicago and Indianapolis. Possible locations in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., Milwaukee and Madison, Wis. have been confirmed as well.
The flagship HopCat was founded in 2008 in downtown Grand Rapids, next to Van Andel Arena, at 25 Ionia Ave.
Since its opening, HopCat has garnered worldwide attention, including rankings such as No. 3 “Beer Bar on Planet Earth” by Beer Advocate Magazine, No. 2 “Beer Bar in America” by CraftBeer.com and two consecutive No. 1 “Brewpub in the United States” selections by RateBeer.com.
HopCat East Lansing opened with 100 taps and has quickly become BarFly’s most popular location, situated next to Michigan State University.
Combined, HopCat and HopCat East Lansing have annual sales of about $9 million.