Homegrown Hoppers

After fortifying the menu upon Jason’s ownership, Hoppers recently reinstated their $2.50-pint Tuesdays, “[which] went away for a while,” says Jason. “We extended it to $2.50-pint Sundays, so we’re doing both days now.” Jason started as a busser for Sizzling Platter 21 years ago and worked his way up to regional manager before he bought the business. With that background, he’s found that customers have been excited about the changes. “There’s a little more of a buzz going on,” he says. “We’re seeing more regulars than we used to, [and] they’re coming in more often than they used to. They do feel like they have a say in the beers. They give us the input, and we take the input and make things better.” Jason values what Hoppers customers have to say and the “local feel” that that dynamic generates. He also credits boosted sales and customers’ increased appetites to the overhaul that he has enacted with the menu—about 30 changes. “We added two steak items,” Jason says. “I think the best change we made was [that] we went to fresh burgers immediately. It was frozen burgers before. … That’s a huge difference.” They’ve also focused on Saturday and Sunday brunch, having added five different items and modified other selections on the brunch menu, which they serve between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends.
Hoppers is located at 890 E. Fort Union Blvd in Midvale. For those who are just thirsty and want an excellent beer, they have a tavern license and a bar area for draft-beer-only purchases. Be sure to keep your eyes and mouths open for their quickly rotating seasonal and offsite drafts, as Steele plans to “keep using all the great quality grains and hops that we use,” he says. Jason esteems Brewmaster Steele and the continued talent and experience that he embodies for Hoppers. “I love to drink beer,” Jason says. “Donovan’s always been great with beers, and he’s the talent behind the brewing operation. I’m just letting him run the show.”