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HopCat in downtown Minneapolis permanently closes due to COVID-19

It's "hard" to run a business built on 100 taps when you can't sit at a bar or sell to-go cups of beer. (Our words, not HopCat's.)

It's "hard" to run a business built on 100 taps when you can't sit at a bar or sell to-go cups of beer. (Our words, not HopCat's.) HopCat Facebook

If HopCat Minneapolis had to dip out of the Twin Cities, at least they did it with class? 

“It is with a heavy heart that we confirm the rumors,” began this year’s winner for Best Beer Selection, who shared their message as a "COVID-19 Update" on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.

The announcement only confirmed what many onlookers had suspected for months: HopCat's doors are, in fact, permanently closed. 

Since debuting in downtown Minneapolis three years ago, the bar had come to inherit the local beer scene’s mantle (burden?) of providing a go-to spot with 100 taps hailing from near and far, once only found at the likes of the original Happy Gnome and the Muddy Pig—both of which shuttered in the past two years.

During the first phase of the pandemic, HopCat had weathered early bumps by providing takeout food options to guests. But by early June, the bar announced it had “temporarily closed.” It had not been open since. 

“Thank you for welcoming us into Minneapolis with open arms and allowing us to bring you great food and beer, in exchange for the memories we will take with us,” they wrote in parting.

That feeling of welcome ain’t nothing considering HopCat is a chain operating in a metro known for patronizing independent operations über alles. But these are the type of folks to say goodbye by asking “one more favor” of the right kind on their way out the door: “Please take the time to support the local breweries that we had the pleasure of supporting in Minneapolis,” they wrote, before name-dropping “friends” like Fair State, Fulton, Indeed, and Badger Hill. 

Nonetheless, that a locally enjoyed, nationally run chain has decided to take its proverbial ball from downtown Minneapolis and go home is worth noting in its own right. And unlike another recent closure (cough: Butcher & the Boar), HopCat kept its exit tidy by crediting COVID-19 (alone) in the decision-making process. 

“This pandemic has been nothing short of challenging for the restaurant industry as a whole,” they wrote in Wednesday’s announcement. (Requests for elaboration on the decision to pull up stakes in Minneapolis from HopCat Corporate were not immediately answered.)

Continuing their seemingly sensible streak, the bar concluded their farewell note with an actual “*Mic Drop*” …because in times like these, sometimes there’s simply nothing left to say.