By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Throughout the new HopCat Detroit, crews are working feverishly to prepare the bar, restaurant and entertainment venue on Woodward Avenue for Saturday’s grand opening.READ MORE: City Of Detroit Secures $12.1 Million To Support 6 Affordable Housing Projects
Tap handles were getting placed on taps in the main bar and HopKittens were training beside painters who were putting the finishing touches on the Huma Room entertainment venue while construction personnel built the all-season outdoor deck.
“Detroit is a great beer city. It’s a great dining city. It is a great music city. Those are three things HopCat feels really strongly about,” said Chris Knape, marketing and communications director for BarFly Ventures. “HopCat Detroit embodies all those things. It’s different than any other HopCat we have done.”
Detroit is home to fourth HopCat, which hired nearly 200 employees for their new Woodward location. The 11,000-square-foot facility is located in the former Agave restaurant, which had been vacant since 2006.
Grand Rapids-based BarFly Ventures, HopCat’s parent company, spent more than $3 million to purchase and renovate the building. This included a 6,500-square-foot addition on the back of the building, construction of the bar — which features 130 taps — and the addition of a second floor music venue with a 60-tap bar.
“We focus on showcasing craft beers from around the world, but especially those made in our local community,” said Knape, who added that Detroit area, and Michigan, beers and ciders will be on tap. “It allows our customers to experiment … it also allows us to showcase breweries from all over the world.”READ MORE: Michigan Reports Its First Probable Case Of Monkeypox In Oakland County
In addition to the food and drink offerings, there are a number of murals on the exterior of the building and works of art on the interior.
“We wanted something that was new, that was kind of unexpected,” he said. ” It is not necessarily your typical pictures of cars, it’s not your pictures of Detroit scenes, it is truly original work that these amazing artists have put together.”
To mark its grand opening, Bellaire-based Short’s Brewing Company will attempt a world record beginning at 11 a.m. with tap takeover of 120 different varieties of Short’s beers.
“These aren’t repeats,” Knape said. “These are 120 different beers Short’s came up with.”
Also, the first 200 customers ages 21 and up in line prior to opening will receive a card good for a free order HopCat’s Crack Fries every week for a year, and there will be live music in the evening with a free concert with the Pitch Blak Brass Band and Howling Diablos in the Huma Room at HopCat.MORE NEWS: Crime Without Punishment: Detroit Homicide Clearance Rates Rise as National Rates Fall
“Midtown is an incredible place to be,” said Knape, who hopes people will use the M-1 Rail to travel to Midtown to shop, eat and visit. “There is a huge opportunity to build connectivity between the neighborhoods here in Detroit … we hope HopCat will serve as a magnet for that.