Popular HopCat craft beer bar may replace longtime Royal Oak hot spot

Posted at 6:34 PM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-21 18:57:06-04

Downtown Royal Oak will soon be home to another hot spot. 7 Action News has confirmed a HopCat bar and restaurant will take over the space at 208 W. 5th Avenue that currently houses Woody's and Onyx Steakhouse. 

Employees of the business were informed by text message yesterday that October 2nd would be their last day of employment.

A liquor license transfer for HopCat Royal Oak LLC is currently pending, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website. 

The popular bar is known for its "crack fries" and massive selection of craft beers -- more than 100 are on tap at locations that include Midtown Detroit and Ann Arbor.

HopCat first opened in Grand Rapids and now has 10 locations. Company representatives would not confirm the new Royal Oak location when asked about it on Wednesday.

Tony Conoscenti was at a restaurant and bar across the street from the Royal Oak spot when he learned of HopCat's plan to open a location in Royal Oak. 

"Anything that brings jobs to Michigan, brings people to Michigan, brings light on Michigan a good way is a good thing," Conoscenti told 7 Action News.

"I'm not from here originally but now that I'm here, I love the brewery scene and everything that goes on here and all the different places to eat," he said. "I think it's a great idea. I will definitely go there if they bring it."

The first HopCat opened in Grand Rapids in 2008. The company now has 10 locations in multiple states with two additional openings set for later this year.