By NC Beer Magazine
CHARLOTTE – As this magazine previously reported, the Charlotte location of the “Hops” brewery and restaurant closed its doors for good on Sunday. The Hops location in Charlotte was located near the intersection of Independence Boulevard and Interstate 74 in the suburb of Matthews.
However, it was recently reported by WCNC-TV, the Charlotte’s NBC affiliate, that apparently the store management decided to call the Town of Matthews Police Department to clear the restaurant of its patrons during the Sunday evening dinner service.
The story was the number one article on the station’s website today and was even mentioned in The Huffington Post, a national publication.
In a video posted by the station, several police officers are seen on the site as patrons leave the restaurant and brewery. No arrests were made, but one wonders what prompted the decision to have a police escort for patrons to get them out of the door.
The station’s website story titled “Get Out: We’re Closing For Good,” says that patrons were interrupted while they were eating.
Police cars were parked outside as patrons who were obviously emotional about the closing hugged when they were exiting the brewery.
“Customers tell NBC Charlotte once police walked in, the managers walked around to each table and told everyone they had to leave because the restaurant was closing for good,” said the station. “Customers said they were handed their bill totals and a to-go box for their food.”
The abrupt way in which the brewery closed had many scratching their heads. Hops posted a simple notice on its door saying it was closed after all the patrons were escorted out.
“The Hops restaurant is no longer open,” said the note. “Our managers and staff have enjoyed serving you and apologize for the inconvenience.”
A NC Beer Magazine reader alerted the publication to the brewery’s closure and said he went there on Sunday for one last beer.
“Today is the last day of business for the Hops on 74,” said the reader on Facebook. ”They gave people less than a week of notice. I am here for one last beer and to support the staff.”
According to the NBC affiliate the brewery could not come to an arrangement with the landlord that owned the property. A NC Beer Magazine reader told this publication that Hops had already made arrangements to sell its brewing equipment before it closed Sunday.
The Charlotte location received overwhelmingly good reviews from customers online.
“Consistently provide excellent service and good quality food and beer,” said one customer in an online review. Other customers also remarked that the prices at Hops were very reasonable and their beer was good.
“Bartender is very friendly and beer is good too,” said a Google Plus user.
The Charlotte location of Hops was the only one in North Carolina, although the other locations will remain open. Hops currently still has a location in Alexandria, Virginia and two other locations in Colorado.
The company brews its own beer on premises and offers both recurring beers and seasonals. Hops only sells its beer on location and does not offer bottles for sale in stores or elsewhere.
Hops describes itself on its website as “a casual dining microbrewery restaurant” and features the brewing areas enclosed in glass so that patrons could watch the brewing process.
All Hops locations are owned by by Rita Restaurant Corporation based in Madison, Georgia. The firm also owns the Don Pablo’s chain of Mexican restaurants.
Started in 1988 in Florida, the Hops chain had as many as 13 locations in that state before being sold a couple of times to various other companies. ::