Thursday, March 31, 2016

5th Michigan Location Will Feature 100 Taps In The Heart Of City’s Vibrant Brewing District

Written by  Paul Starr
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hop cat crack fries

BarFly Ventures LLC today announced plans to open HopCat – Kalamazoo, a restaurant and craft beer bar featuring 100 taps of craft beer, this fall in downtown Kalamazoo.
The location, the historic train depot at 427 E. Michigan Ave., will be the fifth HopCat in Michigan and the 11th location overall for the award-winning Grand Rapids-based restaurant and beer bar.

“Kalamazoo is one of the best cities in America for craft beer thanks to the legendary Larry Bell and the entrepreneurial spirit of the city’s brewing community,” said Mark Sellers, founder of HopCat and CEO of BarFly Ventures. “Bringing HopCat to the Depot will help further establish downtown Kalamazoo as a Midwest hub for craft beer lovers while creating a unique dining destination for people in the Kalamazoo area.”

BarFly signed a lease for 7,942 square feet in the Depot building, putting it within walking distance of Bell’s Brewery, Arcadia Brewing Co. and other downtown-area breweries, brewpubs, restaurants and bars.

HopCat will invest about $2 million to renovate the portion of the Depot facing Kalamazoo Avenue and Water Street, including a large multi-season outdoor seating area along the railroad tracks and Kalamazoo Ave. Property manager, PlazaCorp Realty Advisors, Inc. plans to lease the rest of the Depot to other tenants. The restaurant and bar will seat about 300 people.

HopCat – Kalamazoo will feature 100 taps of craft beer and cider, including more than 40 Michigan-brewed beers every day. A full menu for lunch dinner and Sunday brunch will feature HopCat’s scratch-made “Food Your Mom Would Make if She Loved Craft Beer,” including its award-winning Crack Fries. In 2015, Food Network Magazine named HopCat’s Crack Fries one of the Top 10 French Fries in America.

Hiring a management team is under way. Resumes may be submitted to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . More than 100 people are expected to be hired for the new location.

HopCat – Kalamazoo joins locations in Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Ann Arbor and Detroit, which together offer nearly 500 taps of craft beer – more than 200 of which are dedicated to showcasing Michigan craft beers every day.

Follow HopCat – Kalamazoo’s progress on Facebook at, Twitter and Instagram @HopCatKalamazoo.

About BarFly Ventures/HopCat

Founded in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2008, BarFly Ventures is the parent company of HopCat, a craft beer bar named “No. 3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth” by Beer Advocate Magazine and “No. 1 Brewpub in the United States” by HopCat has locations in Ann Arbor, Detroit, East Lansing and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Indianapolis, Ind., Madison, Wis., Lexington, Ky..and Lincoln, Neb. HopCat – Louisville and HopCat - Chicago will open this summer. BarFly Ventures also has three other restaurant/bar concepts in Grand Rapids: Stella’s Lounge, a whiskey and retro-arcade bar, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, and The Waldron Public House.

Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.