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Private equity firm buys HopCat out of bankruptcy, restaurants to remain open

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Posted at 6:26 AM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 06:26:04-04

(WXYZ) — HopCat restaurants will stay open after private equity firm purchased assets from the former owner that declared bankruptcy.

According to a press release, BarFly Ventures LLC sold its assets through Chapter 11 bankruptcy to Congruent Investment Partners and Main Street Capital. They have formed a new operating company called Project BarFly LLC.

“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. “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.”

In June, BarFly announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and said it has focused on reopening the 11 locations and finding new ownership.

“Over the last several months, the home office support team, general managers, and restaurant team members have worked hard to reopen the restaurants and stabilize the company. The company has continued to improve operating results in a difficult environment by focusing on keeping our team and guests safe, improving our off-premise sales and reconstructing our business as the marketplace expands and allows,” said Ned Lidvall, Project BarFly, CEO. “The whole management team and I are very excited about the new owners. We think it’s a great fit for the company, and the energy and collaboration they bring will only enhance our recovery and growth. We are also thankful for our loyal guests and teammates – and vendor and landlord partners who have been working hard to make our progress possible.”

“HopCat, Stella’s and Grand Rapids Brewing Company are important to both Grand Rapids and the state of Michigan,” said Nick Meserve, Managing Director of Main Street Capital. “We intend for these restaurants to succeed and very much believe the company can return to growth as the pandemic subsides. This is much-needed good news for the local community and restaurant industry as a whole.”

According to Baldwin, the company is focusing on restoring hours of operation and off-premise sales as delivery and takeout continue to grow.