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Craft beer chain to open $2.5M Broad Ripple location

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A Michigan-based bar chain specializing in craft beers on tap plans to open a $2.5 million location in the heart of Broad Ripple.

Called HopCat, the bar will anchor the long-vacant corner space in the Broad Ripple parking garage on the southwest corner of College and Broad Ripple avenues. It will be HopCat's third location and its first outside Michigan.

HopCat exterior 15colThe bar and eatery will help fill remaining retail space in the Broad Ripple parking garage, which opened in May 2013. (Image courtesy HopCat)

The owner claims that its 130 craft beers on tap will make it the city's largest beer bar. It will offer seasonal outdoor seating along College Avenue and a keg storage room with windows on the street to show the complex logistics of switching out hundreds of kegs during business hours.

“Broad Ripple’s history as a place with an artistic heart and musical soul made it the ideal area for us to open our first HopCat outside of Michigan,” said Mark Sellers,  founder of HopCat, in a prepared statement. “We also look forward to showcasing the liquid art being produced by Indiana’s brewers. ”

HopCat is expected to open in early August, pending approval by local and state officials.

The last major bar and eatery to open in Broad Ripple faced considerable neighborhood opposition. In 2011, Kilroy's Bar n' Grill drew scrutiny from the Broad Ripple Village Association for its plans to open at 821 Broad Ripple Ave.

Opponents argued the area is oversaturated with watering holes and instead needs more retail businesses. They also feared the additional bar would increase demands on the neighborhood's limited parking. The restaurant cleared regulatory hurdles in late 2011 and opened soon after.

The $16 million, 350-space parking garage opened in May 2013. It initially was slow to add tenants in its street-level retail spaces.

The Broad Ripple Village Association's land use and development committee will discuss HopCat's plans at its 6 p.m. meeting Tuesday at the Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E. 67th St.

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  • hopcats
    can we get one in chicago? the northwest side, preferably walking distance to my house!
  • another one?
    this sounds like an interesting establishment, but just how many bars do we need in Broadripple? Can we trade this for one of the nasty ones down the street?
  • No Bud
    Al, the East Lansing menu of draft beer selections lists 100 beers and none of them is Budweiser or Miller. The only mainstream beer listed is Hamm's.
  • Parking Garage
    Italiana, so you think it was a good idea for taxpayers to shell out $6.25 million to building the garage and commercial space for a political contributor of the mayor's and in return get no ownership and no revenue off the building whatsoever? While it is a terrible location for a parking garage the garage was merely a diversion. This was always about using our tax dollars to give Ozdemir commercial space in Broad Ripple.
  • Alert!
    Change proposed for Broad Ripple! By a CHAIN with local competitors! Call out the troops!
  • HopCat Beer
    Al, HopCat does not (and never has) offered "macro" beers at any of its locations. We offer almost exclusively craft beers and a selection of imports. About half of our beers in Michigan are sourced from Michigan craft breweries. We typically have one "lawn mower" draft with something like PBR or Hamm's.
  • That's what friends are for
    Keep smiling, keep shining Knowing you can always count on me, for sure That's what friends are for For good times and bad times I'll be on your side forever more That's what friends are for
  • Poor Silly Stuart
    Aw,Stuart, sweetheart, the IMPD has been operating out of their station at the garage for months now. You're not one of those people that complains about Broad Ripple, but haven't been to Broad Ripple in years...are you?
  • Police Substation???
    This large bar should be a great fit with the promised IMPD substation!! OR, is Ersal and Keystone getting out of that commitment??
  • oh wow
    oh wow, yet another craft brew place. how many more do we need? the city is going to become oversaturated w/ breweries and craft brew bars. fine by me, but nothing new. i'm sure it'll be the same as all the others. i'm glad I moved away from ripple and bought a house downtown. just wait till summer and the thugs come out shooting the strip up
    • Presenting to BRVA tonight
      All - HopCat will be presenting to the BRVA Land Use committee tonight (04/22/14) at 6:00pm at the Indianapolis Art Center in the library. If you have questions and want to talk to the owners/developers directly, this is your chance. This is an opportunity to hear about their concept and share your thoughts. I hope everybody here attends so that you can hear the plans directly from the developers (as opposed to believing what others post in the comments section of the IBJ message boards). Get your own info: make your own decision!
    • Woo-hoo!
      This is great news. Sounds like the East Lansing location was a bit of a dud (maybe b/c it's a college town?), but the Grand Rapids Hop Cat is great and Beer Advocate rates it among the Top 10 in the world. Not sure how scientific that rating is, but still a good sign. Glad to see that space being put to use - welcome to the neighborhood.
    • RE: Italiana
      I never was opposed to the garage. What I was and still am opposed to is giving the garage to a politically-connected developer for free with no revenue at all going back to the taxpayers who paid for it.
    • good
      Good to see this spot fill up. Hopefully other remaining spots on the first floor will lease out soon. Then the spot across the street (old Scholars Inn). And finally, apartments/Whole Foods projects, and we have this corner fully developed.
    • Beginning of a trend?
      I've been to Grand Rapids, and their downtown prides itself on being a craft beer destination. Maybe Broad Ripple can become a destination for craft beer/food. With Three Wise Men, Brugge, BR Brew Pub and now HopCat, hopefully Broad Ripple can find its identity, because it'll never go back into a quiet neighborhood of craft shops. The NIMBY's are going to have to accept some forward thinking, and this direction is better than adding another generic late night bar or losing business altogether to Mass Ave.
      • I guess it's better than nothing
        I visited the East Lansing location last summer and was not very impressed. It is basically a clone of Scotty's Brewhouse: cheap, greasy fried food and a large selection of decent (not great) beer. I was excited to visit this place when I was in Michigan because of their "100 beers" claim. However, I quickly found out that 25% of those 100 beers on draft were Bud Light, Budweiser, Miller Light, etc. They did have the full line of Bell's, which was awesome, but 75% of the beer list was just beer from major breweries that you could find at any chain restaurant. But, if this is what it takes to get the empty space in that garage filled, I'm for it. I just wish BR could get a few more bars that cater to people older than 23 years old.
        • Hmm...
          So maybe that parking garage with first floor retail space was a good idea after all?? But of course there will be those (looking at you Maria) who will still criticize it. Always something to complain about... Bottom line is, this is a great news development for the Broad Ripple area. Well done.
        • YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!
          With all the recent vacancies and businesses in Broad Ripple proper departing, this will be a nice addition that adds greater draw to the neighborhood.

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