For brothers Smith and Pratt Matthews, opening their own micro-brewery was a dream years in the making.
After spending nearly a decade helping build a local brewery, Smith branched out with Pratt as his business partner to open a new kind of dining experience in the growing mid-town area.
Situated just off Broad Street in a charming mid-century modern corner house, Hop Atomica features outdoor seating, homemade beers and seltzers, and wood-fired pub fare. It’s a collection of all the things the brothers love about eating out well.
"My brother, Pratt, and I conceptualized Hop Atomica from our love of craft beer and amazing food," Smith Matthews shared.
"We’ve been in the beer industry for a while now so we wanted to combine that knowledge and experience with amazing food in a direct-to-consumer, super local and neighborhood-oriented concept."
The result is a fun and classy addition to an area that is growing as downtown expands, with new bars and restaurants popping up to meet demand.
"The neighborhood is super cool," Pratt Matthews said. "It’s an eclectic mix of folks of various walks of life. We wanted to be the local neighborhood hangout, and this building is the perfect fit for that."
Hop Atomica opened in June and hit the ground running, offering nearly a dozen fresh beers and seltzers, and interesting takes on gastropub favorites.
"We are a brewery first and foremost. We brew all our own beer and seltzers on site," Smith Matthews added. "In addition, we have a very cool little wood fired kitchen. We aren’t sticking to one genre when it comes to beer and food, anything is possible on any given day."
From oven-roasted focaccia bruschetta, to pork belly tacos or classic margherita pizza, there’s something for everyone to nibble on as they enjoy a libation on the patio.
There are a range of sandwiches and salads, including the Korean bulgogi beef & cheese, or vegetarian options like the marinated portobello mushroom sandwich.
To wash down their culinary creations, the Matthews brothers deliver an array of made-in-house beers and hard seltzers.
The brothers recommend the "Jeffrey," a classic light pilsner beer with a hint or citrus and pine, or the "Mount Crushs’more" a session pastry stout with a taste of graham cracker and milk chocolate.
Recently, Hop Atomica rolled out several new seltzers, including the "Hey Bae," which comes in raspberry, blackberry or citrus, and the "Allrighty Then," a bubbly concoction containing gose, pink guava and pink Himalayan sea salt.
"We want to offer amazing drinks and food in a cool atmosphere," Pratt Matthews said. "Literally 100% of our food and drinks are made in-house, and that experience is what we aim to offer our customers."
And while opening a new bar or restaurant (or both) is never easy, the brothers also took on the task during the largest global pandemic in a century. But they are taking it in stride, cleaning everything they can and making sure patrons maintain safe distances thanks to plenty of outdoor seating.
They’ve recently added weekend brunches, with breakfast offerings and live music from a DJ to spice up the atmosphere. Moving forward, they hope to bring more live entertainment and outdoor activities to keep serving the neighborhood they love.
"We would love to thank our amazing team for keeping everyone safe while doing a great job," Smith Matthews added. "We’d also love to thank the local community for all the support. We are grateful to open in these trying times."