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BarFly raising $7M to expand HopCat's footprint

February 18, 2019
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HopCat Knapp's Corner
HopCat Knapp's Corner features 80 craft beer taps. Photo via

BarFly Ventures is raising $7 million to continue HopCat’s growth in Michigan.

BarFly Ventures has announced a campaign to raise the capital to open three to four new HopCat locations within the next two years.

Mark Sellers, CEO of BarFly Ventures, said the company has raised $6 million, $1 million of which came out of Sellers’ own pocket. The other $5 million came from an undisclosed private investor.

Sellers predicted BarFly will have finished raising its $7 million by the beginning of March and added the company has received increased interest from other investors to close the $1-million gap.

“Opening restaurants costs a lot, especially with the way we design them, which is not cookie cutter,” Sellers said. “It’s been a fun ride the last 11 years, and we want to continue that growth.”

Sellers did not reveal the locations of the proposed HopCat locations, but said they would be scattered throughout Michigan. No plans have been made to open more restaurants out of state.

In the immediate future, BarFly will open its first HopCat in Holland by this spring. The 6,200-square-foot restaurant and bar will be located at 84 W. 8th St. and be part of Sperry’s Movie House and Retail Suites, a mixed-used development by Geenen DeKock Properties, the Business Journal previously reported.

Earlier this month, HopCat closed its Chicago restaurant at 2577 Clark St. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The company cited the lack of foot traffic and lack of convenient parking for the closure.

Sellers said BarFly is still interested in Chicago and will consider re-opening in a more feasible part of town, but not for the near future.

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