• Hopleaf Bar

    Promoting Better Beers, Wines & Spirits in Chicago since 1992.
    Belgian-inspired Kitchen featuring our famous Mussels & Frites.

  • A Message from Michael about Reopening

    Many of our loyal customers are wondering if and when Hopleaf will be opening now that mandated restrictions are being loosened. As painful as it is for us to remain closed, we have decided for many reasons, that is the best, most prudent and safest course to stay shuttered. 

    While the pandemic rates are dropping, they are still high and there are new dangerous strains proliferating. While we proved that we could do a good job separating tables and following safe practices last summer, we were also able to open window walls, doors, skylights and individual windows while also having 10 outdoor tables available as the safest option of all. In winter, none of those options are practical.With our capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy of each of our 6 serving areas, guests would be sparse and isolated scattered throughout the space. Besides being very unwieldy to serve, it is also anti-convivial, antisocial and rather incongruous to the festive, lively, communal, and serendipitous tavern experience that is Hopleaf in normal times. 

    We also know that while we can keep tables separated and have our staff constantly masked, while at tables, customers who are often from different households and pods sit across a 30″ table or next to to each other while eating, drinking and talking unmasked. At this point, we are uncomfortable with that.

    Lastly, to come out of this crisis with the best chance of longterm viability, we need to preserve our dwindling operating capital and to do that, we have “mothballed” Hopleaf so that we can hibernate for the winter. To do that we have suspended, deferred, cancelled or reduced every one of our fixed costs, turned off 26 of our 29 coolers, and are keeping the heat just so pipes don’t freeze. To turn everything back on, restart our insurance payments, restock, and rehire when we are so uncertain of safety, success and the chance of another spike, it may also be a financial mistake to reopen now at a time when we can’t afford one. 

    So, look for a grand reopening of a better-than-ever Hopleaf on or around April 1st, when we can open the patio, the windows and perhaps seat inside more fully. We can’t wait.

    ~~Michael Roper, Proprietor