BarFly Names Longstanding Team Members Craig Stage CEO and Andrew Woodruff CFO

West Michigan-based hospitality group promotes internally to expand executive team

Craig Stage BarFly CEO

BarFly, the hospitality group that manages HopCat and Stella’s Lounge, has made two new C-level appointments, naming Craig Stage as its Chief Executive Officer and Andrew Woodruff as its Chief Financial Officer. Both were promoted from positions at the vice president level, where they have served for over two years. These personnel updates will support BarFly’s continued and future growth; the organization has opened three new successful restaurants in the last 15 months and is actively searching for more. 

Craig Stage was hired as an assistant restaurant manager 10 years ago and has steadily climbed the operations leadership ladder. He also worked as a General Manager for HopCat locations in Royal Oak, Lincoln, and Kalamazoo and worked as an Area Director for several years, before taking over VP of Operations. Stage will continue prioritizing his time at restaurants, working closely to serve our guests.  

“I am excited and grateful for this new opportunity,” said Stage. “Throughout my career, there has been one constant — being surrounded by great people. Our success will continue to come from a people-focused approach and open-door decision-making. I’m thrilled to be working alongside our incredibly talented teams and provide the best bars and restaurants we possibly can for both employees and guests.”   

Andrew Woodruff made the leap from public accounting to the BarFly team in May 2018 and rose through the ranks to the Controller position, before the pandemic. He returned with the sale of the company to Congruent Investment Partners and Main Street Capital as the VP of Finance in 2020. Woodruff guided the organization to greater financial security and prosperity over the past four years.  

“BarFly has always been a special company to be a part of,” said Woodruff. “When first moving to Grand Rapids, I always hoped to get an opportunity to work for BarFly and have enjoyed every minute since. We have a tremendous culture — full of bright, hardworking individuals. I’m humbled by the opportunity and eager to continue to foster the growth of our brands.” 

Former CEO Ned Lidvall will stay with the organization as an Executive Chairman. Lidvall has been an industry veteran for many years, working with brands including Old Chicago, Chi-Chi’s, and Rock Bottom. “There is no chance we would be where we are right now without Ned Lidvall’s leadership the last four years,” said Travis Baldwin, Founder of Congruent. “His steady hand helped us navigate a pandemic, multiple restaurant shutdowns, capacity restrictions, an incredibly difficult labor market, and extreme commodity inflation — and he handled it all with a calmness and professionalism that radiated across the Company. I can’t say enough about the positive impact Ned has had to get us to this point, and I look forward to continuing to work with him at the Board level.” 

Source: BarFly