Broad Ripple to get new beer bar

Photo courtesy Hopcat
Broad Ripple is about to get another beer bar.

HopCat is the name of the $2.5 million restaurant and bar which will be located on the bottom floor of the new parking garage at the corner of Westfield Boulevard and College Ave. BarFly Ventures says it will bring 100 new jobs, 130 craft beers and a full food menu.

The bar will be across the street from the Vogue, and it will be HopCat's third location and the first outside of Michigan.

BarFly Ventures says the restaurant's draft system will be the largest in the city, with many taps dedicated to supporting Indiana’s craft brewing industry, as well as craft beers from around the country and the world.

The restaurant will also have outdoor seating along College Ave. in the summer.

Hopcat will all but fill the half-vacant building that opened last April.

Chris Knape, marketing and communications director for Hopcat , believes the busy College Ave. corridor is the perfect location for his business. While some who live nearby may dread yet another bar and the traffic it will bring, Knape says Hopcat won't be like the other bars on the strip.

"We really want this to be a place where the neighborhood can feel comfortable coming and just having a great meal, having a nice glass of beer," said Knape.

The competition is not quite as thrilled. John Hill opened the Broad Ripple Brew Pub 24 years ago - the state's first brew pub. He's astonished at Hopcat's sheer size and selection.

"The unusual thing of this is its size. It's 9,000 square feet or something and also the number of taps - which is totally confusing to me being an old Englishman who just likes to drink a couple of different beers and that's it," Hill said.

Hill believes the Broad Ripple Brew Pub can hold its own, but he wonders when the market will hit the saturation point.

"We can always say there's too many bars around and too many of this, that and the other, but as long as people do it right, it's a part of the community, that's just the way it is," Hill said.

Jim Noble is a big fan of craft beer. He doesn't think Hopcat will hurt the Brew Pub's business. "In fact, it may even make Broad Ripplle into something of a destination point for craft beer lovers."

Assuming the restaurant meets all the official hurdles for approval, it is slated to open in August.

Hiring for management positions is under way with special hiring events for more than 100 other team members expected to begin in June. Resumes may be submitted to owners also say HopCat will use a composting and recycling program which has reduced the amount of waste BarFly’s six bars and restaurants send to landfills by more than 90 percent in the past three years.