Okay, so I'm giving this one a 100% for ambiance because, not only is it one hip spot, but also we saw a bouncer kick someone out as soon as we walked in, and that interaction might have been the funniest thing I have seen in my 33+ years! Anyway, heck of a tap list, and the food was very good!
It was now 5:00, and the bar was packed for dinner. We still managed a spot at the end of the bar. Not much of their beer, but they make up for that by offering a ton of others. 3 5-ounce pours to a flight. Despite the amount of customers, service was excellent. We didn’t try their food because it was so busy. Prices were a little higher than everywhere else.
This was my first visit to a HopCat. I’m told by some...including staff...that all of them are good...yet I came to this one first because it has the highest rating of the HopCat family of locations. Part of that is because it was the original and has been around the longest. It also has the most reviews as a result (doesn’t hurt that it shares the city with Founders and Brewery Vivant). I thought the place itself was very attractive...extremely cool...and fun to hangout in. We sat at the bar and tried numerous beers making sure to start with the 3 HopCat beers that were available that day...Light Side of the Sun session IPA, Unicorn on Acid mixed culture stainless sour, and Zugspitze Hefeweizen. I thought the session IPA was the best of the three. I thought the staff was great...friendly...helpful...talkative in spite of a good size crowd late last Saturday afternoon (there was a bar crawl going on in town too). The guest taps were very strong with many local MI beers as well a regionals beyond that and some nationals too. All in all...great visit to a great brewpub in Grand Rapids...before heading on to Brewery Vivant and Founders.
This place was a lot of fun. Great atmosphere, right in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids. Really cool old building that was huge enough to accommodate a large crowd comfortably. Servers were attentive and knowledgeable. Food is good enough. This is a must try if you’re ever in the area.
A nice long bar with all sorts of seating options. Service was pretty decent, but nothing spectacular. Selection was large, but after only a couple I found it hard to find anything interesting. Food is pretty good and hearty pub/burger fare. I can understand the popularity, but now with so many good options, it just isn’t that unique.
Stopped in on a cold Thursday mid afternoon. Had to park a couple blocks away at a meter. The place was very busy. Only one table was available and it still had the last visitors remnants on it. Needless to say, service was pretty slow. Our waiter seemed good, but was overloaded. It took a long time to get a beer, but the fries we ordered came right out. Prices on most beers seemed overly inflated. The crack fries were good. All in all, don’t think I would want to come here again on a busy day.
Stop #3. Really awesome looking place. It was a bit crowded but we got a table quickly. Great selection of bottles and taps. Food was really damn good, and they had good music and a nice lively atmosphere.