Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Bar chain expands south

January 12, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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HopCat Louisville partial rendering
A partial rendering of the $4-million HopCat Louisville planned by BarFly Ventures. Courtesy HopCat

A bar chain is planning a $4-million location in the heart of bourbon country.

BarFly Ventures has said that it will open HopCat Louisville this summer in the Highlands neighborhood on Bardstown Road in the former Spindletop Draperies/Studebaker building, at 1064 Bardstown Rd.

“Kentucky’s bourbon-making heritage has helped make it an outstanding place for craft beer lovers,” BarFly Ventures CEO Mark Sellers said. “When we decided to open in Louisville, we wanted to create a hub that would draw craft beer lovers from the neighborhood and from around the world, showcasing the best beers made in Kentucky and around the world.”

As Kentucky’s second HopCat location, it will have 130 beers on tap and two private event spaces. HopCat Lexington opened last October.

It is the ninth HopCat location and will be the largest yet, with renovations for the 600-person space ongoing with the help of building owner Priam Capital.

Hiring is underway for the 150 jobs the location is expected to create.


HopCat has been named by an assortment of publications as one of the top beer bars and chains in the nation and world.

Food Network Magazine named the bar’s Crack Fries one of the “10 best french fries” in the nation.

Other HopCat locations are in East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Indianapolis, Ind. and Madison, Wis., with Lincoln, Neb. set to open in March.

The original HopCat in Grand Rapids opened in 2008.

The company saw a $25-million investment from a Texas-based investor last September. With the investment, BarFly announced plans to open 30 HopCat locations in the next five years, with the primary market being Midwest college towns.

BarFly Ventures also includes Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and Stella’s Lounge. The company recently shuttered McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon and will re-open it next month as The Waldron Public House.

The company commits to recycling 90 percent or more of its waste. 

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