Category Archives: East Lansing

HopCat To Expand With 6 New Locations

Since opening their first location in 2008, HopCat has run its business around the simple mission of delivering great food, great beer, and great music to the people. With plans to double their locations from six to twelve in 2016, they are working on bringing craft beer to an even larger market.

Seeking to fill a void of craft beer options in Grand Rapids, beer lover Mark Sellers founded as a place where friends could hang out and enjoy new local brews, as well as options from around the country and around the world. Now part of the BarFly Ventures family, alongside Stella’s Lounge, McFadden’s, and Grand Rapids Brewing Company, HopCat is now one of the staples in the burgeoning craft beer scene of Grand Rapids.

HopCat’s success in Grand Rapids caused for quick expansion throughout the rest of Michigan and even beyond the state boundaries. In 2013, HopCat decided to expand their brand and open a second location in East Lansing. The bar, adjacent to Michigan State University campus, offered a staggering 100 craft beers on draft as well as free “crack fries”. New locations soon followed in Detroit, Indianapolis, Madison, Ann Arbor, and Lexington. Now, a $25 million deal with a Texas-based lender will help HopCat finance 30 new locations over the next several years, starting with the recently announced upcoming location in Lincoln, NE.

Chris Knape, VP of Marketing and Communications, also known around the company as Mr. Propaganda, is extremely excited about the opportunity to expand HopCat further. “We wanted to see if the concept had legs [and] it was successful so we decided to expand.” While expansion on this sort of level can provide some challenges for a brand of any kind, Knape is sure that all of the HopCat locations, new and old, will stay true to their craft beer core.

Michigan State’s Best College Bars

A defining trait of any college town is their local bars, and Michigan State University is no exception. With over a dozen bars and clubs, MSU has a wide variety of places to check out no matter what day you visit. Here are some of the best bars in East Lansing and their weekly specials.

PT O’Malley’s – “It’s Like Cheers, but in Michigan. Everyone knows your name” – Kelly W. PT’s is the kind of place where anyone can become a regular. The waitstaff is friendly, the atmosphere is inviting, and the big game is on every TV.

Monday Specials: $3-4 pitchers, unofficial NBA Jam tournaments.

Rick’s – The twin brother to Ann Arbor’s Rick’s American Cafe, Rick’s East Lansing can best be summed up by the phrase, “I just want to dance.” With the largest and most subterranean of all East Lansing dance floors, Rick’s offers great times and live DJ’s every weekend, and with weekday drink specials, you’ll be able to blow off steam while saving money.

Tuesday Specials: No cover, ½ off everything.

Harper’s Brew Pub – Come for the live music and DJ’s and leave with a growler of Harper’s signature craft beers: Spartan Wheat and Harper’s Ale. Featuring weekly events and daily drink specials, Harper’s Brew Pub is a great place to live it up at night or cheer on the Spartans on football Saturdays.

Wednesday Specials: ½ off food and drinks, all sandwiches $3.75.

The Riv – Ask any Michigan State student to sum up The Riv in one word, and that word will be, “rama”. With cheap burgers, fries, and pitchers, The Riv’s Burgerama Thursday special is no tradition that packs the bar from morning til night, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

Thursday Specials: Burgerama ($2.40 burger and fries. $3.50 pitchers).

Whiskey Barrel Saloon – East Lansing’s only country bar, the Whiskey Barrel Saloon brings the fun with live country artists, line dancing and of course a mechanical bull. Learn to dance from one of their many instructors or just kick back at the bar for some good ol’ fashion Southern fun.

Friday Specials: You Call It’s ($3 on any single liquor or beer).

Crunchy’s – Trivia, comedy, live music, karaoke and craft beer. One of these is the reason you’ll go to Crunchy’s and the rest are the reasons you’ll come back. Great choice for some weekday variety entertainment or some jammin’ karaoke sessions on the weekend..

Saturday Specials: Karaoke and 3 Buckets for $35 (1 bucket of Miller Lite or Labatt Blue, 2 buckets of fries, tots, onion rings, pretzels, or pizza nugs).

Dublin Square – What bar scene would be complete without an Irish pub, and with daily drink specials Dublin Square is a must stop for East Lansing bar goers looking to take in some live music, enjoy a bite to eat from their traditional Irish menu, or step up to the bar for a cold pint of Guinness.

Sunday Specials: $3 Bloody Mary’s, $3 Mimosas & $3 Draft Beers.