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Hop Jack’s opens in Bonney Lake

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Aug. 11, 2009 at 2:37 pm | No Comments »
August 11, 2009 2:37 pm

Mark Eggen wants to serve the frostiest mugs of beer in Bonney Lake. With a mug froster and high-tech beer taps installed at his new restaurant Hop Jack’s, he just might. His beer is served at a chilly 27 degrees. My teeth hurt thinking about it.


A beer-sicle might have slid down parched pipes a little more easily two weeks ago during the heat blast, but even on an overcast Monday, Eggen had a better than expected turnout when he opened Hop Jack’s yesterday. And the brew was cold, as promised, he said.


The casual restaurant, located a few doors down from Old School Custard and Jersey Mike’s subs, is the first of its kind for Eggen, who also owns The Rock pizza franchises in South Hill and Lacey.


Eggen comes with a long resume in franchising and concept restaurants – he was an executive in franchising for Red Robin, and also worked at Restaurants Unlimited. Hop Jack’s is what Eggen describes as a modern interpretation of Red Robin. If Red Robin were to open today, Eggen said, it would look like this: twelve beers on tap, a decent bottle selection, an accessible wine list and food that is economical and comfortable for a wide range of palates. "If mom wants brie and roasted garlic on flatbread and dad wants to have wings – we got ‘em both," said Eggen.


Eggen just opened the restaurant yesterday with business partner Greg Troger, so we’ll wait a week or two to let the crew settle in before doing an anonymous and unannounced drop-in dining report, but here are crib notes Eggen shared today:


MENU: Comfortable food at economical prices. The menu is burger and sandwich focused, with eight versions of a burger in the $9-$10 range and eight sandwiches in the $6.50-$11.50 range (most around $10). Entrees include pastas, steaks and seafood in the $7.95-$13.95 range. Read the menu here.


BEERS ON TAP: Four lagers, seven ales and a porter. For lagers: Bud, Bud Light, Coors and Pabst (served in a kitschy paper bag). For ales: Alaskan Amber, Widmer Broken Halo IPA, Mack and Jack Amber, among others. The porter is Black Butte from Deschutes.


FROSTY BREW: It’s a complicated process how Hop Jack’s delivers frosty beer that I think I need to spend some time investigating (on TNT’s dime, of course), but it’s a fascinating sounding system that Eggen said ensures cold, cold beers. Of course, not every beer swiller likes ice-cold beer. A porter, I think, tastes better closer to room temperature than frosty, but for some, icy is just the right degree of drinkable.


WINE: Hop Jack’s serves 7-ounce pours in stemless 9-ounce glasses. A focus is on Washington wineries like Sagelands and Washington Hills, but a few Sonoma/Napa wines are on the menu, too.


HAPPY HOUR: Served daily 2 p.m.-6 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to close (midnight most dates), the focus is on the eats, although brews are discounted 50 cents. The menu is tiered into plates for $3 (fish tacos, fries, quesadilla), $4 (mozzarella sticks, onion rings, nachos) and $5 (flash fried scallops, buffalo wings, salt and pepper prawns).


OPEN: Hop Jack’s opened Monday (yesterday), but locals may have noticed activity at the restaurant Friday-Sunday. Friday and Saturday, Eggen and crew hosted pre-opening dinners that raised $4,000 for the Bonney Lake High School booster club. Sunday, the restaurant had an opening night party for contractors, friends and family.


Hop Jack’s

Address: 21290 Highway 410

Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight 7 days a week (they may begin serve breakfast soon)

Phone: 253-862-6530

Web: http://hopjacks.net/ (not affiliated with hopjacks.com, a restaurant in Florida)

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