The Historic Arts District in downtown Akron will soon gain a new business, one that focuses on locally sourced craft beers, bourbon and live entertainment, among other attractions.
The High St. Hop House will occupy the space next to Uncorked Wine Bar, working in tandem with the wine bar for events and programming.
Co-owners Mike Troppe and Will Murphy recently offered an early look at the space, which includes a newly built stage near the entrance of Uncorked, which the two businesses will share, along with offering patrons the chance to move around between the two businesses and to Musica, which is located downstairs from these High Street storefronts.
“We want a symbiotic relationship with the wine bar here and we’ll book acts and work together on filling this room,” says Troppe, who adds that the Hop House will be much more than a bar.
For one thing, he adds, “We have 18 taps, and 10 will be Ohio beers, with the remaining serving as guest drafts. We’ll also have food pairings.”
The decor around the bar features panels of stained glass imported from a former Portage Lakes restaurant and bar called the Falcon, along with an antique cash register.
Murphy says the two also want to add an educational element to the experience. “We’ve talked about doing craft beer classes and teaching people about bourbons and whiskeys.”
You may recognize the Troppe name: Mike is the son of notable Akron Developer Tony Troppe, and both Mike and Will have taken cues from the elder Troppe, who has been all about making the downtown Historic Arts District a destination. And the opening of the Hop House will fill yet another storefront on this street and serve as an enticement to draw even more residents to this now flourishing section of downtown.
“It’s our goal to make downtown lively again with more foot traffic,” says Troppe. “We really want to help revamp this area.”
And indeed, there are a number of thriving businesses on High Street, from Akron Coffee Roasters, to the Nightlight Cinema and Chill Artisan Ice Cream (whose storefront can be accessed from High Street).
While this is their first endeavor owning an operation, the business partners have worked together for more than three years at the nearby BLU Jazz+. Troppe has worked in this district since he was 14, and Murphy has managed other bars in town.
Troppe, a resident of the nearby NOHO Akron Cascade Lofts, says they also have plans to eventually start brewing beer for the Hop House at Lock 15.