HopCat restaurants sells assets for $17M, under new ownership

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

After filing for bankruptcy in June, BarFly Ventures — the parent company of several Michigan restaurants including the HopCat beer bars — is under new ownership. 

Through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Grand Rapids-based restaurant group sold its assets to Congruent Investment Partners and Main Street Capital with a bid of $17.5 million. Both companies had previously lent funds to BarFly. 

HopCat craft beer bar on Woodward in Detroit.

“We know the business extremely well from our experiences over the last five years. We strongly believe in each restaurant concept and intend to return the company’s focus to providing a unique, best-in-class customer experience,” said Travis Baldwin, founder of Congruent Investment Partners, in a media release Tuesday afternoon. “Our goal is to focus efforts around the company’s key markets and ensure HopCat, Stella’s and Grand Rapids Brewing Company remain a thriving part of these communities.”

Customers will see the restaurants continue to focus on off-premise sales, including delivery and carryout as indoor dining capacity has been diminished due to COVID-19 safety regulations. The company also says it's working on restoring hours of operation at all locations, which include HopCat restaurants in Midtown Detroit, Ann Arbor, East Lansing and elsewhere in Michigan and the Midwest. 

BarFly was founded by Mark Sellers in 2008 with the opening of HopCat Grand Rapids. He shut down all restaurants in mid-March when the pandemic hit.

"Because of the COVID shutdown, we’re so far behind on our loan payment and our rents, we don’t really have a pathway of getting out of that without a Chapter 11 reorganization," he told The Detroit News in June. 

In late May, word broke that HopCat Royal Oak would be moving out of that location. 

Besides the HopCat restaurants, the group also includes Stella's Lounge in Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Brewing Company. 

More:HopCat parent company files for bankruptcy, restaurants plan to open June 13

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Twitter: @melodybaetens