Beer bar empire HopCat appears to be preparing for yet another metro Detroit expansion. According to a report by MiBiz, filings through the Michigan Liquor Control Commission show that Hopcat-Royal Oak applied for a liquor license transfer on August 1. The Class C license is located at 208 W 5th Avenue in Royal Oak — currently home to Onyx Modern Steakhouse & Whiskey Bar and Woody’s.
While HopCat’s operator, BarFly Ventures, has yet to confirm the move WXYZ reports that staff at Woody’s and Onyx were informed in a text message (classy move) on Tuesday that the restaurants would be shuttering on October 2.
BarFly Ventures has been very clear about its intentions to blaze a path towards Midwest beer bar domination. The company, which debuted its first location in Grand Rapids in 2008, has launched Southeast Michigan locations in Ann Arbor and Detroit within the past two years. In September 2015, BarFly signed a $25 million deal to open 30 new gastropubs in five years and according to the MiBiz report recently secured an additional $5 million investment this summer. Stay tuned.
Update, 9/23, 3:22 p.m.: Per a release, Crain’s reports that BarFly has confirmed the Royal Oak location for HopCat. The restaurant, which will serve Detroit-style pizza, is slated to open in early 2017.
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