HopCat, the Grand Rapids based beer and food restaurant chain, which has a location in Kalamazoo's "beer-muda" triangle, has been saved, for now.

Former HopCat investors, Congruent Investment Partners and Main Street Capital, have bought the chain out of bankruptcy for just over $17 million dollars. In addition to HopCat, the company owns Stella's Lounge and Grand Rapids Brewing Co. The plan is to keep all three operating. HopCat's CEO, Ned Lidvall stays on to manage the new company, named Project BarFly.

However, an ominous dark cloud on the horizon is, the bankrupt parent company, BarFly Ventures, filed for that bankruptcy in June, and blamed the pandemic. With rising Covid-19 infection rates in the past few days, and rumors of another possible shutdown by the Governor, how will that affect the new venture?

“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,”  “Our goal is to focus efforts around the company’s key markets and ensure HopCat, Stella’s and Grand Rapids Brewing Co.remain a thriving part of these communities.” -Travis Baldwin, Congruent’s Investment Partners, in a statement.

Unanswered right now is whether Kalamazoo is one of those key markets. The area around HopCat was part of a flourishing food and entertainment district on the east side of downtown Kalamazoo. The first domino to fall was Arcadia Brewing, which had serious financial problems even before anyone had heard of coronavirus. A Lansing company was planning on opening Arcadia's location as a restaurant, but with all the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and how the state will deal with it, it's anyone's guess what the eastern downtown Kalamazoo restaurant/bar landscape will look like a year from now.

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