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    You may have heard of HopCat before. Their Crack Fries - so named because of their addicting taste - were ranked in Food Network’s Top 10 Fries in America. When I heard that they would be giving out passes for free Crack Fries for a year to the first 200 people in line for the Louisville grand opening, I vowed to be one of them. I’d been waiting my whole life for this moment, and you’d better bet I rose to the occasion.

    When they opened the doors and ushered in all 200 of us, of which I was lucky number 142, we were greeted by a line of clapping and cheering employees, a free HopCat grand opening glass, and one of the coolest restaurant spaces I’ve seen.

    The walls are covered with paintings of musicians, the ceiling around the bar is layered with records, and Muhammad Ali is everywhere, painted and photographed. The bar is a glowing line of endless taps, boasting Kentucky’s largest draft selection, surrounded by light fixtures made out of old bottles of gin, whiskey, vodka, you name it.


    Image: HopCat Louisville Facebook

    HopCat is known for their fries and their beer list, and neither disappoint. The Crack Fries ($5, for those who didn’t stand in line for over an hour) live up to the hype. Beer battered, coated in their special black pepper seasoning and served with a side of warm cheese sauce, these fries are some of the best, of all the taste tests that I’ve conducted. In addition to these sinful fries, my friends and I split an order of the Loaded Pretzel Smackz ($10). They were delicious, but I can’t wait to go back and try the Loaded Baked Potato Dip ($9).


    Image: Alexandra Winters

    No matter what your palate prefers, there’s probably a beer for you at HopCat. Draft or bottle, local or not, dark or light, their beer menu offers a dizzying array of options, with 132 on tap alone. They also have ciders and wine if you - dare I say it - don’t drink beer, and what’s Kentucky bar without bourbon? Fifty or more bottles of liquid gold line the shelves. But it’s HopCat and I’m a stout girl myself, so I ordered the Mushhushu ($7), a Rhinegeist imperial stout with notes of coffee, vanilla and cocoa.

    The brunch menu, available the first weekend of August, includes options such as the Dude’s Waffle ($8) and the Mac and Chaz Sandwich ($10). The rest of the menu is one of those that makes it really hard to know what you want, with options like the Killer Mac and Cheese ($10+), which came with the option of adding grilled chicken, Sloppy Joseph, chorizo, or bacon; the Kitchen Sink ($11), a black bean patty topped with Spanish rice, corn, veggie chili, avocado, pico de gallo & haystack onions, and drizzled with avocado ranch; and the Supper Club ($11), turkey & hickory smoked bacon with Wisconsin Swiss & cheddar cheese with fried egg salad, avocado, tomato, spinach & garlic aioli in a cheddar-jalapeño wrap.

    I ended up with the Madtown Grilled Cheese ($12), a trio of Wisconsin dill Havarti, smoked Gouda and Muenster on grilled Italian sourdough with apple slices, garlic aioli, honey and served with cup of apple-tomato soup topped with blue cheese crumbles.


    Image: Alexandra Winters

    HopCat has two floors, each with their own uniquely cool feel, and they will be opening their rooftop patio in the next couple of months. It looks like just the spot to spend some cool autumn evenings.

     

    See Hopcat’s food menu here and their beer menu here.
     

    Hours of business:
    Mon-Wed: 11am - 12am
    Thurs-Fri: 11am - 2am
    Sat: 10am - 2am
    Sun: 10am - 12am

    Happy Hour:
    Mon-Thurs: 2pm - 6pm
    Sun-Wed: 10pm - close
     

    Cover Image: HopCat - Louisville Facebook

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    Alexandra Winters's picture

    About Alexandra Winters

    I love coffee, brunch, books and the Highlands.

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