Good beer and families welcome at Chuck's Hop Shop
Photo: Joshua Huston
As a new father, Chuck Shin gradually realized there were few spots in Seattle where he could grab a good brew and sit awhile with his kids in tow. He noticed many of his friends shared his frustration. So in 2010, he and his wife, Yina, decided to do something about it: Chuck’s Hop Shop was born.
“The store is basically made after my needs,” Shin joked. But really, he’s not kidding. He offers 39 beers on tap and 1,200 beer and cider options in bottles and cans at his original, nondescript location in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood, most from the Northwest and North America — where most of the awesome beers are coming from these days, he notes.
There’s also local Full Tilt ice cream by the scoop. Kids are welcome. Dogs are welcome. Throughout each week, 10 different food trucks set up shop by the patio in the pint-sized parking lot; customers of all ages line up for crepes, poke, gumbo, falafel, you name it. It’s become the kind of casual place where you relax, bump into neighbors and happily loiter, beer in hand: just what Shin craved. And, of course, there are growlers to go.
This community didn’t happen overnight, and Shin credits lucky timing. He scheduled a regular food truck visit after customers requested more than snacks to enjoy with their beer, then added more and more as the appetite for food trucks became insatiable. His beer store opened as Washington became second only to California in its abundance of craft breweries (200-plus), with interest in local beer and ciders soaring.
In 2015, Shin opened a second location in Seattle’s Central District, also jam-packed with young families most nights of the week and on weekends. There are 54 beers on tap, plus the rest of what made the original tick. And it too is thriving.
Shin still marvels that what could have been simple convenience stores have become community gathering places, the type of place he’s delighted to bring his daughters, Yuna and Yena.
“It’s not much,” he said. “But our customers make it come alive.”
Chuck’s Hop Shop
Chuck’s Hop Shop CD
Editor's Note: This updated article was originally published in October of 2014.