There are some projects that seem to need to marinate a little longer than others and, for whatever reason, the Hopleaf expansion is one of those special projects. When owner Michael Roper first talked about it with Eater more than a year ago, he had hoped it would open mid-summer of 2011. Now it looks like it's on track to finally open this April.
Roper emailed Eater to say they're in high gear, getting the final touches done with equipment coming in, painters working hard and the space on track to be completed in about five weeks. They'll do some charity dinners to "break the space in" and then quietly open on a Monday in early April. As promised, lunch will begin shortly after opening and they'll phase in new menu items over the first few months.
Once the new space opens, Roper said they'll dismantle the current kitchen and convert it to additional seating. The same will happen with the upstairs bar that often goes unused. The restaurant, which will have a 48-inch wood-fired grill, will add a new full dining room, another full bar and additional mezzanine space on the second level. Once completed, Hopleaf will be able to seat about 275 in winter and 310 in the summer with the backyard patio.
And if you're thirsty, you'll be happy: The bar will add 230 draft lines, eight draft wine lines and even more bottled beer. And yes, they'll expand their wine program. So pretty much enough for you to raise a toast come spring.
· Hopleaf to More Than Double in Size; Will Open for Lunch [~EChi~]