HopCat emerges from bankruptcy under new ownership


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Cosmik Fries live on.

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, BarFly Ventures LLC, the parent company of Grand Rapids-based craft beer and bar food chain HopCat, has sold its assets as part of months-long financial restructuring.

The sale, which was announced Tuesday, was made to Congruent Investment Partners and Main Street Capital for a whopping $17.5 million. All of the assets, including Stella's Lounge and Grand Rapids Brewing Co., have now been acquired through a newly formed operating company, Project BarFly LLC. Both companies were previous lenders to HopCat in 2015.

Congruent Investment Partners founder Travis Baldwin says their “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.”

Before the pandemic forced Michigan restaurants to close for dine-in service, HopCat had its sights on expanding locally and nationally. Since filing for Chapter 11, however, the focus has been on safely reopening and maintaining growth among the company's surviving 11 locations.

In May, HopCat's Royal Oak location closed suddenly, citing landlord disputes, but announced that it had plans to relocate within the city. The Royal Oak closure is one of three HopCat locations to shutter in 2020.

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