HopCat Royal Oak opens May 20 with free crack fries

Melody Baetens, The Detroit News

The opening of a new HopCat beer bar is usually a big to-do, and the debut of the Royal Oak restaurant next month will be no exception.

The renovated space at 208 W. Fifth is the sixth Michigan HopCat and the 13th nationwide, and is expected to open May 20 at 11 a.m.

On its opening day, HopCat will give away baskets of its famous seasoned crack fries to all patrons throughout the day, and the first 200 customers on that day will get a coupon good for a free order of crack fries each week for a year. When Midtown’s HopCat opened in December 2014, there was a line of crack fries enthusiasts waiting to get in.

This 11,700-square-foot Royal Oak location is where Woody’s and Onyx bars and restaurants were. Founder Mark Sellers calls it their “newest, shiniest HopCat.”

“We spent a lot of time designing this one,” he said in a press release. “There’s nothing else like it in Royal Oak.”

This new location will have a rooftop deck and a private dining area for special events. To complement the 100 craft beers they offer, HopCat has a beer-friendly menu. In addition to the crack fries, the chain is known for burgers, wings, beer cheese soup and “pretzel nuggz.”

To fill 130 jobs needed to run the restaurant smoothly, HopCat has set up a hiring center at 514 S. Washington in Royal Oak. Bartenders, servers, cooks, hosts, security guards, dishwashers, bar back and other restaurant workers are invited to bring their resume and get an on-the-spot interview. The hiring center is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and noon-4 p.m. Sat.

For more information, visit facebook.com/hopcatroyaloak.

In other Royal Oak restaurant news, Jolly Pumpkin announced it would be moving into the space currently occupied by Bastone and Vinotecca on Main near Fifth. Bastone will replace Monk in the smaller, corner space. The plan is to close Bastone and Vinotecca in mid-May. Monk and the basement nightclub Craft Royal Oak will stay open throughout construction.


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