By JOSHUA SHAVER
From the outside, Hop Street Lounge looks like a smaller bar.
But once I walked in, I saw a really big, clean bar. Impressive.
There’s a lot of room for people to lounge around, socialize and feel comfortable while drinking a variety of alcoholic beverages.
Hop Street opened about six months ago. It has seen an influx of people that are there to play various games and drink craft beers.
The very clean bar and new equipment give off a comfortable vibe. I loved the setting and the lighting of the bar, which gives off a smooth and chill environment.
The eight TVs that Hop Street features is a bonus for people who want to drink and watch sports.
The owner of the bar, Damien Jenkins, talked about opening his first bar.
“It was an exciting risk that has paid off due to chasing my dream of owning multiple bars,” Jenkins said. “I loved to go to bars and liked the environment, so I decided to create my own experience.”
Hop Street Lounge offers 35 beers on tap, along with a cider, four red wines, four white wines, two hard kombuchas, one hard seltzer and coffee.
Its cooler alone features 600 to 700 different selections of IPAs and other styles of beers. Hop also sells non-alcoholic beverages to add to the variety.
Julian Armenta is a “beertender” for Hop Street Lounge.
“I went to high school with Damien,” he said. “We were friends, so I saw he was opening his own bar. He told me that if I wanted a job, I could have it. And here I am today.
“The bar has a nice variety of people,” Armenta added. “And I enjoy serving every customer that walks through those doors.”
Hop Street also partners with local artists and local food trucks such Bemo’s Sweets & Sauces Ol’ Joe’s Catering.
The food trucks generally offers five to six different foods. One of the entrees most of their entrees cost about $8 with deals on appetizers. I tried the Totchos bowl ($8), and it was amazing. The food was rich, flavorful and very filling.
Local artists, such as The Lesbaxter Factor on Wednesdays and Paul Opocensky provide free entertainment while patrons enjoy their beverages.
Blake Gray is a self-described regular at Hop Street Lounge.
“The vibe has always been really chill here,” Gray said. “Nothing ever gets too crazy; you come here to hang out and relax.”
“I would absolutely recommend this place to anyone,” he continued. “I’ve told all my friends about this place and told them if they are looking for a new place to drink, this is it.”
Expect your overall experience of Hop Street Lounge to have a friendly vibe, and the beertenders are very interactive with their customers.