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HopCat, Beer-Focused Bar That Serves 'Crack Fries,' Opens Sept. 3 On Clark

By Mina Bloom | July 18, 2016 12:26pm

LINCOLN PARK — HopCat, a Michigan-based beer bar known for its "crack fries," is making its Chicago debut in early fall.

The bar/restaurant is set to open in the former Vapiano spot at 2577 N. Clark St. on Sept 3 at 11 a.m., the owners recently announced.

The first 200 guests will receive a card good toward one order of "crack fries" — French fries lightly battered in beer — every week for a year. Named for how addictive they are, the fries made Food Network Magazine's "Top 10 French Fries in America" list.

Patrons can expect more than 200 bottles of beer and more than 130 varieties of craft beer on tap, including at least 50 locally-made brands, at the Lincoln Park location.

The restaurant will serve American bar food for lunch, dinner and late-night grub, as well as Saturday and Sunday brunch.

Burgers, mac and cheese, hand-battered fish and chips, personal pizzas and sandwiches are just some of the items on the menu.

Since opening the first location in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2008, the bar/restaurant has expanded to seven other cities, including Madison, Wis. and Lincoln, Neb. 

The owners said they had been eyeing locations in Chicago for more than three years before finding the Clark Street location.

It's part of a larger expansion: HopCat is planning to open 30 new locations across the Midwest thanks to a $25 million investment, according to reports.

HopCat is currently hiring for its Lincoln Park location. Applicants should bring a resume to HopCat's hiring center, 2551 N. Clark St., Suite 300, which is open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

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