Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Retail

Bar chain hiring for new location

August 24, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Bar expands into college town
HopCat in downtown Grand Rapids ranks as one of the top beer bars in both the world and nation. Photo via

A locally based bar chain is hiring for its second location in the region, which will open this fall.

BarFly Ventures said this week that HopCat Kalamazoo is filling its staff prior to the location’s Oct. 8 opening date.

The company is hiring servers, bartenders, cooks, bar backs, bussers, dishwashers, hosts and security, with open interviews at a temporary hiring center at the United Building in Kalamazoo, at 242 E. Kalamazoo Ave.

The hiring center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Fridays and 12-4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Kalamazoo bar

HopCat’s 11th location will open at a restored train depot in Kalamazoo, at 300 E. Water St., and feature a four-season beer garden, a re-purposed Airstream trailer for an outdoor bar and a display of “Heritage guitars paying tribute to the city’s history as a guitar-making mecca.”

HopCat and PlazaCorp, the building’s owner, are investing more than $3 million in the renovations for the beer bar.

BarFly Ventures Founder Mark Sellers was born in Kalamazoo.

“I've wanted to do a location in Kalamazoo for years, but never found just the right space until now,” Sellers said. “In my 20s, I was in a band that regularly played at Club Soda, and we even opened for Blue Oyster Cult at The State Theatre once.”


HopCat and its parent company, BarFly Ventures, were founded in 2008 in Grand Rapids.

The HopCat brand has since expanded with a number of other locations opened or planned: Ann Arbor; East Lansing; Detroit; Indianapolis; Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Madison, Wisconsin.

HopCat Chicago is slated to open in September.

BarFly Ventures also owns Stella’s Lounge, Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and The Waldron. 

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