HopCat hosting crack fries eating contests

Steve Pardo
The Detroit News

The popular HopCat restaurant group will mark eight years in business Saturday with free orders of its crack fries until 5 p.m., an eating contest and special beer releases.

At 3 p.m. the four Michigan HopCats — in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Ann Arbor — will each hold the eating competition.

Contestants will have six minutes to eat as much of the seasoned fries as they can, said Chris Knape, HopCat vice president of marketing and communications.

“You have 2 pounds to start and once you finishes that, you raise your hand and get another pound,” Knape said. “And you keep going as long as you can for six minutes. It’s hilarious to watch.”

The record from previous, smaller-scale competitions was around 4 pounds, he said.

The first-place winners from the Michigan stores will compete against one another at this year’s Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti. That champion will bring home a $2,000 cash prize and receive free fries throughout the year at any HopCat location. On Saturday, second-place winners will receive a $100 gift card and third-place winners will get a $25 gift certificate.

Entering the contest costs $5. Proceeds will be donated to animal welfare charities and HopCat will match all entry fees.

There are seven HopCats. The original opened in Grand Rapids in 2008. New locations are planned this year in Lincoln, Nebraska and Louisville, Kentucky.