TNT Diner

Hop Jack’s has a new name. Don’t worry, the big burgers and icy cocktails stay the same

A bacon cheeseburger from Hop Jack’s, which will soon be called Hops N Drops.
A bacon cheeseburger from Hop Jack’s, which will soon be called Hops N Drops. skidd@thenewstribune.com

The burgers still will be hand-formed. The potato chip nachos still will be loaded with bacon and cheese. Happy hour still will be 2-6 p.m. daily in the entire restaurant.

The only thing noticeably different at Hop Jack’s — A Neighborhood Gathering Place will be the name on the sign.

In the next few months, Hop Jack’s will change its name to Hops N Drops.

Call it a slight tweak, not a makeover of the regional chain known for its casual menu of burgers and sandwiches.

Founder Mark Eggen believes the name will better describe what the restaurants want to be known for — the frosty booze, specifically.

Hop Jacks frozen cocktail.jpg
A frozen icy drop cocktail from Hop Jack’s, which soon will be called Hops N Drops. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

The hops is a reference to the 16 beers on tap at every location. Those beers are served at a chilly 34 degrees. The drops refer to the restaurant’s icy drops, which are cocktails made from fresh fruit and served in glasses made out of ice.

Does the name change have anything to do with a pending lawsuit filed against the company in December claiming trademark infringement from a similarly named restaurant in Florida?

Eggen said he can’t comment on the litigation because it’s ongoing but said, “It (the name change) is truly a branding thing for us. As we grow, the thing that happens to us, and it always happens to us, we have to address it — people come to our door at 8 in the morning and ask why we aren’t serving breakfast.”

Although the Hop Jack’s restaurants do serve weekend brunch, the restaurants need to detach from the perception that they’re all-day breakfast restaurants because of the name, he said.

“It helps us address that in new markets. Hops N Drops better represents our brand and who we are,” he said.

Eggen founded Hop Jack’s in 2009 in Bonney Lake and has since grown the restaurant group to 17 locations from Thurston to Snohomish counties and beyond. Eggen formerly operated Rock Pizza franchises, was an executive at Red Robin and also worked at Restaurants Unlimited. His children help operate the restaurants along with Jeff Morgan, the vice president of operations.

Hop Jacks dip sandwich.jpg
A burger dip from Hop Jack’s. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

The restaurant group has been on an opening spree in the last year. It opened locations in Lakewood (2017) and Gig Harbor (2018) and will open locations in Oregon and Colorado before the end of this year. The new locations will carry the Hops N Drops name.

The company expects the name change to be completed on its three Pierce County and all other existing locations by the close of 2018. The website, ordering system and a few other minor changes will be made alongside the name change.

Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270, @tntdiner

Hop Jack’s — A Neighborhood Gathering Place

Info: hopjacks.net

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