Hopper’s Corner to Replace High Tide Bar on the Tuscaloosa Strip
A new bar is set to open its doors on the Strip later this year after the Tuscaloosa City Council approved its lounge liquor license Tuesday night.
The new establishment, to be called Hopper's Corner Bar, will open in the same space on Red Drew Avenue that once housed High Tide 2.0, which had its business licenses revoked after a bouncer was shot there last fall. The building has been vacant in the 10 months since.
Hopper's Corner will be co-owned by Michael Musgrove, Evans Smith and Alana Sasser, all veterans of the bar industry in Tuscaloosa.
Musgrove helped found the Gray Lady bar and Black Warrior Brewing Company and said Tuesday he is going into business with Smith, who was the general manager of Willhagen's Grille & Tap Room until 2017, and Alana Sasser, a longtime manager of FIVE Bar, to give the service industry on the Strip a place to unwind. Smith and Evans both also worked at Gnemi's Top Shelf Tavern until last month, when they left to oversee the launch of Hopper's Corner.
Musgrove said the area's bartenders, wait staff, cooks and more generally head downtown to unwind after their shifts, and the trio of entrepreneurs see an opportunity to keep that business on the Strip.
Musgrove was also quick to distance the new operation from High Tide's troubled past -- even before the shooting last fall, the bar had a long history of trouble with area police, usually for serving to minors.
"We have no affiliation whatsoever with the past owners," Musgrove said. "We want to run a clean place, and it's not going to be an underage bar whatsoever."
Extensive renovations are underway at the site of the bar, and Musgrove said he can't wait for the public to see the "absolutely beautiful" result of their labor on Red Drew Avenue.
Sasser told the Tuscaloosa Thread that the trio hopes to open Hopper's Corner in early October, but said that target date could change if circumstances demand.
For more information on the bar and other restaurant and retail development news, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.