Hector Martinez is an admitted “craft beer nerd.”
His wife, Marnel, loves beer — but, she said, it doesn’t love her.
Together, however, they’ve found success with The Hoppy Vine in The Oro Valley Marketplace. The couple hosted a grand opening party over Thanksgiving weekend. Upcoming events include musician Paul Opocensky playing on Saturday, Dec. 10, and the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party on Friday, Dec. 16.
“The Hoppy Vine was my husband’s dream,” Marnel said.
“He’s a total craft beer nerd. A couple years ago, he said he wanted to open a craft beer bar. I said, ‘No.’ The kids were moving out. I’m a realtor who specializes in Oro Valley, and business was good and life was calming down. Why would we want to do that?”
Hector, who works in the payroll industry, didn’t want to let the idea go, Marnel said. So, when she researched the area and the demographic, she found there was a demand for a spot like The Hoppy Vine.
“There was nowhere to go and hang out and have a drink, somewhere to meet friends,” she said. “I agreed to partner with him in this wild adventure with one exception: I get to choose 50% of what we serve. So, in addition to craft beer, we have a vast selection of affordable wines from all over the world, seltzers, ciders, margaritas and plenty of nonalcoholic options.
“It’s a really nice vibe, with the décor and the design. I wanted it to feel chill.”
Soon, The Hoppy Vine will serve charcuterie boards and packaged snacks, but guests are welcome to bring in their own food. The Oro Valley couple is planning bingo and trivia nights. It serves as a bottle shop, too.
The Hoppy Vine is dog friendly, with “a really great patio out front,” she said. “We had this couple come in. They got yogurt next door and then came in and brought their dogs. It’s been really fun to see that part, too.”
Marnel is just happy to see the early success as the grand opening was packed.
“This is every dime we’ve ever made, and we threw it to the wind and prayed it worked out,” she said.
“It’s been the most stressful year we’ve ever had. We had so many bumps along the way, with COVID and supply chain issues. We couldn’t get our electrical panel for eight months. That was the biggest problem. We were paying rent on an empty space month after month.”
The couple was about ready to shut it down and nix the project when the panel came in.
“We had to shift back into hurry-up mode,” she added. “I’ve never seen everything come together so quickly. It’s been a whirlwind. My husband’s just in heaven behind the bar. I’m in heaven in the office working, quietly doing my thing.”
The Hoppy Vine
12125 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley