Just another Monday night, finishing up work, when the text comes in: "The Hop is closed?!" Which is a shocking text to receive, as we had just been there Friday night with family, and the leftovers are still in our fridge. Several tables had diners, the bar was full, and a private party enjoyed themselves in the next room. Sure enough, a check of their Facebook page and website confirmed the news.
The Hop isn't the only eatery in town that is going through a change: Get Frosted Cupcakery is closing on October 31st due to a rent increase, The Vault put a halt to their live music yet their delicious food is going strong and happy customers continue to post good reviews to their Facebook page, Draught is for sale for $150K (though it remains open), and The Beacon Barkery moved next door due to a rent increase. And let's not forget The Beacon Bite truck's closure this summer. In that case, they owned the lot, which subsequently went up for sale for $450,000 (and as of right now, according to Zillow, has a sale pending).
What is the case with The Hop? It was a New York Times darling (mentioned here and here), having been written about several times in many publications. It had full seating - indoors and out! - and parking to match. One couldn't really get in without reservations; in such cases, we were lucky to squeeze in at the bar for a meal. [Edit 10/26/16, post-publishing: The Hop and its building are now listed for sale in The New York Times),
[Edit 10/25/16, post-publishing]: With regard to the rent-increase issue that growing numbers of Beacon storefronts are facing, one of The Hop's partners owns the building at 554 Main Street. The building, its apartments and business have been listed for sale one day after announcing the closure.
[Edit 10/25/16, post-publishing]: Akin to "Saturday Night Live" and "The Daily Show" pipelines, talented employees who worked at The Hop years ago have spun out of The Hop and are now proprietors of their own establishments, including John-Anthony Gargiulo, who opened the Hudson Valley Brewery at 7 East Main Street, and Harrison Manning, who opened Harry's Hot Sandwiches at 449 Main Street, neither of whom have a role in the current Hop. Originally, when The Hop opened on Main Street in the location that is now Beacon Bath & Bubble, it had three owners: John Kelly, Chris Kavanagh and Matt Hutchins, and has two now: Kavanagh and Kelly. When he was a partner, Hutchins was the chef and was behind the original creative flavors that helped establish The Hop's strong culinary reputation.
According to The Hop's website, as of this publishing date of October 24, 2016: "The Hop is closed until further notice."
[Edit 10/26/16, post-publishing]: The Hop's Facebook Page has since been disabled, so links to it may not go anywhere.
Published to their Facebook page, just hours after publishing a cute promo for beer, a post used this language: "The Hop is now closed indefinitely. Thank you all for making it a success. Cheers!" It is unconfirmed whether this message went up after the message was posted on the website, so as to indicate a follow-up, with the words: "is now closed," as opposed to maybe being closed. Neither message indicates finality because of the word choices: "indefinitely" and "until further notice."
Speculation about the precise meaning of these words is happening because a closure is just so unbelievable. An anchor on the east end of town, The Hop is a helpful destination for fueling your afternoon or evening strolls to visit galleries or shops. It, along with several other restaurants on Main Street, have helped Beacon tremendously in terms of keeping people here for dinner or lunch, as opposed to traveling up or down the Hudson River to find another eatery with a great experience.
With Hudson Valley Restaurant Week just around the corner, from November 1 to 13, we'd better all explore and keep those seats warm. The Hop did seem to have a lot of people in seats at all times, but one never knows in business. There are so many factors that go into keeping a business open. If they are indeed closed with no change, then we wish them well on their new endeavors and thank all of the creators of The Hop for bringing it to Beacon for the time it was here, defining a strong atmosphere with excellent employees, and being one of the first on Main Street to food compost.
Related Article: "Beacon Restaurants Rally For Their Own To Hire Some Hop Employees"