Published in Breaking News

Plans for Chicago HopCat location announced

BY Friday, March 25, 2016 03:19pm

Grand Rapids-based Barfly Ventures LLC today confirmed reports from earlier this week that it would open a HopCat location in Chicago.

The bar and restaurant operator intends to open one of its signature craft beer bars in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, according to a statement. The proposal currently awaits approval of a rezoning request and additional permitting.
According to the statement, the planned location at 2577 North Clark St., the site of a former Italian restaurant, could be open in late-summer. This would make it the chain’s 10th HopCat.

HopCat founder Mark Sellers told MiBiz that the company has been looking at potential Chicago locations for years. Given the overall competitive market for bars and restaurants, the brand wanted to be intentional about its final location.
“In Chicago, you don't want to do something haphazard,” Sellers said, adding that the approximately 9,000-square-foot Chicago space is ideal for a HopCat. “We found the perfect location for us.”

HopCat-Chicago will include 130 craft beers on tap, with approximately 50 dedicated to Illinois breweries. The location will also include a full food menu and a space for private parties and events.

The most recent HopCat locations have opened in Lincoln, Neb., Lexington, Ky. and Madison, Wis.

Much of HopCat’s recent growth can be traced back to $25 million in mezzanine financing that BarFly raised last September.

Sellers said that the company is not seeking any new capital currently, but additional raises could be necessary in the next couple years.

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