UPDATED TUESDAY 2/9 WITH COMMENT FROM REMEDY OWNER
The Hop Shop, one of Spokane’s most beloved neighborhood pubs, has lost its lease and will close at the end of the month.
But owner Mel Wood says she plans to come back with a new craft beer-related business on the upper South Hill. “What it’s done has forced us to focus on our ultimate goal, to expand and bring something new to the area,” she says.
The small beer and wine bar, in a former coin and antique shop at 38th and Grand, was opened in April 2010 by brothers Andy and Glen Gardner (who now operate the Bite Me food truck).
Wood bought the business in April 2014 and continued its reputation as a quiet neighborhood gathering place, with no TV or Wi-Fi to distract from the conversation.
Her lease expired at the end of October, she says, and negotiations with her Seattle landlord stalled after that. Two weeks ago, Wood says, she got an email saying the space was being leased to new tenants – the owners of Remedy, a more upscale bar and restaurant being developed in the former South Grand Cleaners next door.
“It was very sudden, and very unexpected,” Wood says. ”It kind of eliminated every opportunity for me to try to sell the business, or retain anything that I’ve invested in it. That’s the worst part. If you don’t have a lease agreement, there’s no way you can sell a business.”
Remedy co-owner Matt Goodwin (owner of Backyard Public House, Volstead Act and The Boiler Room, co-owner of Fast Eddie's and Press) says his main interest in the Hop Shop property was the parking lot. There's only street parking for Remedy otherwise.
Goodwin says the Hop Shop building will be renovated as a private banquet room in conjunction with Remedy, which could open as soon as mid-April with 22 taps focusing on local and craft beer. "I think Hop Shop customers will find a very good beer selection next door for their tastes," he says.
As for Wood, she's in discussions with potential partners about a new project nearby. “If anything, it’s going to be bigger and better,” she says. “We want to introduce something to the South Hill that it doesn’t have right now.”
The Hop Shop’s mobile beer truck, affectionately dubbed Black Betty, will be part of the new plan, Wood says.
Meanwhile, the last public hours at the current location will be Feb. 26, with food trucks and live music.
“The goal is to kill the kegs,” Wood says. “The pint specials are going to be unreal.”