A private equity firm has scooped beer bar chain Hopcat out of bankruptcy. Under the entity Project BarFly LLC, Congruent Investment Partners and Main Street Capital bought the restaurant chain and its sibling establishments Stella’s and Grand Rapids Brewing Company for $17.5 million.
Facing mounting debt and a challenging, pandemic-strained 2020 economy, Hopcat’s parent company BarFly Ventures filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June. In 2020 alone, the chain has closed three restaurant locations in Royal Oak; Port Saint Lucie, Florida; and St. Louis, Missouri.
Currently, Hopcat operates 11 locations in the Midwest, all of which are open or in the process of reopening for in-person and carryout service. Both Congruent and Main Street Capital were previous lenders to BarFly Ventures going back to 2015 when the company began its rapid expansion across the U.S. with plans for 30 gastropubs.
“The whole management team and I are very excited about the new owners,” Ned Lidvall, Project BarFly’s CEO, says in a release. “We think it’s a great fit for the company, and the energy and collaboration they bring will only enhance our recovery and growth.”