Hal & Als Press

Where I Eat: Donna Bates

AGE: 69 | RESIDENCE: South Side | OCCUPATION: retired, state of Ohio
They’ve got a lot of vegan stuff on the menu. I like meat and potatoes myself, but they’ve got great french fries and other food as well.

Socially Just Dining: Hal & Al’s

Hal & Al’s has been a staple and generous supporter of the vegan community since it opened in 2009. The ENTIRE dining menu is VEGAN. They also happen to be one of the coolest venues in town for local music and for those who like beer, have one of the largest selections of beer I’ve seen in this town...

Spring into craft beer

Whether it be TV series, films, albums or food, I'm apt to revisit my favorites—to play it safe. So, naturally, as a lover of craft beer, I’ve had more than my fair share of Southern Tier and Great Lakes drafts. The logic—a cost-benefit-like analysis of defying my comfort zone—is frivolous, but I know I’m not the only one to play this game while perusing a bar’s draft list.

Fortunately, for those of you who share in my dilemma, Merion Village bar Hal and Al’s has our much-needed incentive: The Parsons Challenge...

Scandalous Suds: Columbus Landmarks Foundation’s bracing book reveals the secrets behind our favorite haunts

I’ve always thought it was a good thing that Hal and Al’s bar is as vibrant on the inside as it is on the outside, because it helps you overcome the external aesthetic of the vividly blue building on a stretch of Parsons Avenue that has seen better days – though most people would be hard pressed to tell you when those better days took place...

Great bars: Beer joints A few of our favorite bars to tap into the latest, and greatest, brews

Merion Village’s best-kept beer secret is disguised as a dive bar on Parsons Avenue. The standalone building with a bright blue exterior wall is a little cramped and dark inside. But the space behind the bar is oddly illuminated, as if guiding the way to an oasis—which, for beer freaks, this place is. On 23 taps and in more than 100 bottles and cans...

The Vegan Hucklebuck Review

In downtown Columbus at 1297 Parsons Ave is where you find the most well stocked 100% vegan bar that you will ever see, and the only one I have ever heard of. Now I have only be a vegan for 17 months but I truly love the lifestyle on a morale and a medical level I have never felt better in my life, but I still crave damn good bar food and that is what I found here....

Beer-tivities: The Parsons Challenge at Hal & Al’s

...The Parsons Challenge seemed simple enough: Drink 30 different beers in 30 days. Drinking a beer a day on average is nothing....

Restaurant review: Hal & Al’s presents flavorful vegan meal, enjoyable experience

Upon entering Hal & Al’s nearby German Village, which has been open for about four years, I was a little shocked when no one greeted me at the door or even seemed to acknowledge my presence...

VEGAN INCOGNITO Hal & Al's expands it meatless menu

For the past three years, Parsons Avenue watering hole Hal & Al's has done an exemplary job of stripping pretension from the vegan milieu. Instead of sticking to unpronounceable from-the-earth veggie esoterica that can make the palate inhospitable to newcomers, the restaurant has transformed its key ingredients...

Review by Columbus Food and Beer

I've read about Hal & Al's before, but I had never been. Their vegan cuisine is what seems to make this establishment stand out from the crowd, but it turns out there is much more to this place...

Foodie Girl visits the Food Truck and Cart Hop

So, Columbus area peeps, have you heard of Hal and Al's? If you haven't, then you are missing something...especially their Food Truck and Cart Hop the last Sunday of the month...

Parsons Ave. future tied to hospital (no, we think it's tied to us;))

It has been three years since Jay Cheplowitz opened his vegan restaurant and bar — Hal & Al’s — on Parsons Avenue.

So far, no regrets. Cheplowitz said he thought Hal & Al’s would draw patrons from Merion Village and nearby German Village, and it has.

But the future of his and other businesses along Parsons likely will be closely tied to the growth of Nationwide Children’s Hospital...

Food Truck and Cart Hop at Hal & Al's

The Food Truck and Cart Hop will make its debut Sunday, May 27 at the southwest corner of Parsons Avenue and East Gates Street.

About eight vendors, offering everything from grilled cheese to pizza to vegan fare, will gather from noon to 6 p.m. the last Sunday of every month through October.

Because the June 30 hop coincides with ComFest, it was moved to July 1.

Some proceeds from the event will benefit local charities.

Fizzy Fruity: Kombucha finds favor with fans of fermented drinks

The adage rings true with kombucha, an ancient beverage with a newfound audience.

The drink, according to kombucha fanatics, cures everything from digestive ills to anxiety and depression (the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t evaluated such claims), but many people favor the fermented tea simply for its taste: fizzy and refreshing, earthy and sometimes vinegary.

“I like that it’s kind of unique-tasting,” said Taylor Kruse, 25, of the Short North, who has tried several brands. “I’m not sure about the health benefits, but my stomach feels better when I drink it.”

The flavor also appeals to Rachael Beeman, 22, of the University District, who recently sampled locally made Luna Kombucha at Hal & Al’s on Parsons Avenue, in the Merion Village neighborhood.“It’s fruity,” she said. “It has a good level of carbonation.”

Where I Eat: Dave Coyne

...Q Is there a place in your neighborhood about which more people should know?

A Hal & Al’s (1297 Parsons Ave.). It’s a great bar with a good selection of beer, but it also has good vegan cuisine. I think the best thing on the menu is the fried avocados.

Best of Columbus reviews us

The best way to discover Hal & Al’s vegan bar is by surprise. When my date spoke the name of this place, my ears heard “howlin’ Al’s”. I had never heard of Howlin’ Al’s and I’m always up for some live music so I just hopped in the car. He told me it was on the south side of Columbus...

614 Magazine features one of our bartenders

There’s something to be said for straying from the beaten path. Fortunately, in Columbus, such jaunts don’t take you all that far out of the way. Hal & Al’s has worked hard to distinguish itself as a destination...

Pretzel rolls: Who does it best?

...The South Side neighborhood bar incorporates lots of locally produced ingredients on its entirely vegan menu. So this standout sandwich is made with Columbus’ own Luna veggie burgers served on fantastic Brezel pretzel rolls produced at the North Market. A big tangle of grilled onions and mushrooms plus lots of terrific smoky-sweet barbecue sauce bring lots of flavor.

Happy Cow Reviews

follow the link to see what many different people have to say...

Food Embrace give us a review

My absolute favorite bar in Columbus, is by far, Hal and Al’s. My friend John is responsible for introducing me to this fabulous place.

He kept saying to me, “Andrea, they have a great beer selection and I really think you would enjoy their stouts.”

These are the kinds of friends you need to have in your life.  The ones that seriously look out for you and have your back.

John, totally has my back when it comes to beer.

Cold hands, warm hearts for Festivus

They wore reindeer shirts and snowman suits and rode bikes decked with wrapping paper and colorful lights.

But don’t be misled: The riders pedaling through Downtown yesterday weren’t starting Christmas early — they were celebrating Festivus.

The ride, which ended at Hal & Al’s bar and restaurant on Parsons Avenue, also raised donations for area food banks.

Pumpkin Beer is HERE!

Seeking to capitalize on the rising seasonal craze for all things pumpkin, Hal & Al’s proprietor Jay Cheplowitz last year picked up two kegs of Harpoon UFO Pumpkin — a nutmeg-and-cinnamon-infused ale with a sweet taste crafted to resemble that of the familiar pie. 

Patrons slurped it up.  

Our Happy Hour Reviewed by Columbus Alive

With a friendly staff and a casual vibe, complete with couches for chilling, Hal & Al's is a bar that's best described as homey. Only your house probably doesn't boast an incredible selection of beers, excellent vegan food and a black-and-white-checked stage for bands. If it does, when are you inviting me over?

The booze:

The beer selection at Hal & Al's is reason enough to swing by during happy hour. Everything from ales to stouts and seasonals is available; there are 19 beers on tap, some of which change weekly. The best part is they're all half off from 4-8 p.m.

The standouts include the ever-popular Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Hop Bomber from Cincinnati's own Rivertown Brewing Co. and a selection from Ithaca Beer Co.

Ithaca's Flower Power IPA has a traditional super-hopped aftertaste with an initial fruitiness - think pineapple and grapefruit - that makes it ideal for summer imbibing.

Local brewery Neil House is represented with their strong Rye IPA and award-winning Cranberry Cider.

Besides the draft list, Hal & Al's has two large coolers packed with bottles and cans. All top-shelf bottles are $1 off during happy hour.

If you're overwhelmed by the massive selection, stop by on Tuesdays for the weekly beer tasting to sample a few and discover some favorites.

Book Signing at Hal and Al's!

I absolutely love Hal and Al's. Amazing vegan food, true community spirit, and an all-around awesome hang-out. The only downside for me is that it's roughly three hours away. But when I was approached to come to a vegan meet-up being held there, I jumped with enthusiasm.

I'm not the only one who loves Hal and Al's. It's so popular that this event had a waiting list. We got there a half hour early to meet Debra, the coordinator. Walking through the door, we were surprised to see a nearly full room! A half hour early! Obviously, people couldn't wait to get in the door. The group was wonderful! I've never seen so many vegans in one room. There were very warm and welcoming and it is always fun to talk about vegan cooking. Thank you, Debra, and all the attendees.

MFA's Ohio "Rock Out for the Animals" Concert Is a Hit

Ohio's MFA supporters came out in droves to the "Rock Out for the Animals" concert in Columbus last weekend. The benefit concert was held at the popular Columbus vegan hot spot, Hal & Al's bar, and featured local musicians Darcey Hile, Noiseblanket and Southside Chiefs.

Hal & Al’s: Oasis in the South Side Desert

Just five minutes from downtown. Five bleak, scary, nail-biting minutes down Parson’s Avenue with the last signs of civilization—Black Creek Bistro and Carabar– left twenty-five blocks far behind to the north. The good people of Merion Village have become frontier homesteaders, tough-skinned, wise, and ready for anything here on the border of their hard-working, charming, and character-filled neighborhood. But if you are city-folk be sure to travel in groups and be on your guard, and maybe even hire a local to guide you on the trail and watch your back….Okay, it’s not really that bad, and I promise you that your bravery will be rewarded. El Dorado, the Treasures of the Sierra Madre, the Fountain of Youth, or in this case, Hal & Al’s will be well worth the adventure.

Karen M's Vegan Anniversary

... We are so lucky to live in Columbus OH, where the vegan community is supported. We have a bar that serves an all vegan bar menu! Have you ever had deep-fried avocados? Hal and Al's Bar on Parsons Ave has everything from Vegan corn-dogs to sushi---ALL VEGAN! I love that I can go to a vegan salon and not worry about all the nasty chemicals being dumped in my water supply.

Taste Test: Fried Sampler at Hal & Al's

...Fried avocado tastes better with beer, which the fair is sorely lacking. At Hal & Al's, you can try this fried green rarity by itself or go all out and order the Fried Sampler ($6), which also includes the more commonly fried mushrooms and pickles. Either way, pair your beer-battered cuisine with a new spring brew or one of the other craft beers on Hal & Al's extensive drink menu.

New York Blogger visits and reviews Hal & Al's

While researching veg restaurants in Columbus on Happy Cow, I stumbled upon a bar called Hal + Al's that serves only vegan food.  Vegan bar food?  I had to try it, even if it is in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood.

Columbus Monthly Dining Notes

The folks at Hal & Al's, 1297 Parsons Avenue, are doing things differently than most Columbus Bars that serve food. Yes, they offer standard bar fare, but there's a catch: It's all vegan...

West Coast blogger reviews Hal & Al's

My last vegexperience in Ohio was probably one of the best I've ever had ANYWHERE, and that's all thanks to the friendly people, comfortable atmosphere and orgasmic food of Hal and Al's.

Columbus Alive's featured Bartender: Michelle Graef

Michelle Graef has worked at Hal & Al's for less than a year, but she's already developed a following of loyal regulars. She says the awesome beer selection at Hal & Al's makes it easy to please her "very friendly" customers....

Best Old-School Arcade Game: Galaga. Find it at our place!

Galaga started swallowing quarters at shopping-mall arcades almost 30 years ago. That's an eternity in video-game years - hell, it's a long time in human years - but it's never needed an upgrade. The game's vintage simplicity is precisely why it remains great: It's a pure, low-resolution test of reflexes, eye-hand coordination and rapid-finger-flicking firepower.

We're voted one of the top ten places to get a burger and a brew by Columbus Dispatch's 2010 Dining Guide

You needn't be a culinary expert to appreciate a good hamburger. For many, a juicy burger - coupled with a cold brew - reigns supreme. The Dispatch recently invited readers to brag about their favorite burger-and-beer haunts in the area. The responses speak to a wide variety of tasty patties, whether prepared simply or loaded with toppings.

I highly recommend the vegan Luna Burger on a pretzel bun, with the toppings of your choice. I prefer cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms, mayo, ketchup and pickle. I wash it down with Indigo Imp beer (the only place in town that has this beer!) and add some sweet-potato fries - and I am one happy woman.
- Jill Davis, Columbus

American Vegan Kitchen author reviews Hal & Al's

We had the pleasure of a whirlwind eating spree in Columbus earlier this week. Of course, we hit the tried and true... but we also got to try a few new places, too. One of these was Hal and Al's, which is located in a windowless, but brightly colored building on Parsons, which I think is beyond German Village. It's actually a vegan bar/restaurant. I admit it, I've got a thing about a lack of windows, but I've got an even bigger thing about vegan food so we gave it a shot.

yelp

I am a meat-eater and damn proud of it, too.  But, Hal and Al's is one of the few vegan places I've eaten (from Anchorage to Seattle to San Fransisco to New York) where the food actually "tastes" like I am not eating sawdust.  I can't write enough about the BBQ burger and the pretzel bun.  Additionally, their sweet potato fries are the best in town with a wholly unexpected flavoring and a raspberry dip.  The mac and cheese is another pleasant surprise and a perfect carbo-base for the many tasty beers on tap and in bottle.  Beyond the food, the bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable about their product.  Further, these drink-slingers' taste in music completely voids the vegan stereotype of "Hippies Only" (no tie-dye or dreads is a good thing, people).  I've taken a few fellow carnivores and they were blown away by the "meatness" of the burgers, having returned frequently.  Who cares if Rad Dogs is no longer there, this food is better!  Finally, If you're catching a cab, on your way out, try the Dill Thrill shot...yummy.  One of my faves in all of Columbus.

Hal & Al's Vegan Sushi

Every Tuesday night, Hal & Al's in Merion Village features a different tasting. Typically, it offers a full line of beers from a particular brewer, and participants get to take home a glass. Instead of focusing on beer this week, the tasting debuted vegan sushi from the Hal & Al's kitchen.

Skinning a Cat with Joshua James

Joshua James might be relatively new to Columbus, but this transplant has wasted no time digging in and becoming an integral part of the local music scene. James, who made his way to the capital city just over a year ago, pens and performs his own brand of folk pop for audiences, but is also helping other local musicians to get in front of a crowd at one of south Columbus' best cultural refuges, Hal & Al's.

Art, unexpected

With gallery space at a premium in Columbus, artists are finding new and unusual places to exhibit their works.... For silk-screen poster artist Mike Martin, owner of EngineHouse 13, who is currently exhibiting his art at Hal & Al’s bar on Parsons Avenue, the concept of art will always be in the eye of beholder, no matter where it’s found.
“Good work deserves to be viewed, whether it’s in its native habitat or in a gallery,” he said. “I would rather have it at a bar, because it’s the average person, average concert goer and they understand it more.”
Martin, who hails from South Carolina, has created silk-screen posters for the Black Crowes, 311 and Slayer, as well as a T-shirt design for Metallica. His work has been published in eight different art books and can be viewed on display in eight major libraries nationally.

 

Tuesday Tastings with Thirsty Dog Craft Beer Zimbio

Before I get started here, I'll have to lay my biases on the table: when I first started college education, had to find a way to pay for beer.

Obviously, I needed to be educated, pay for books and gain insight from social interactions while in school. These things were very important things as well. But in college, ultimately the most important thing was to figure out an effective method to pay for beer.

I killed two birds with one stone by getting a job at the original Thirsty Dog Brew Pub.

Fast forward many years into the future (namely last night) at Tuesday Tastings at Hal & Al's......

Hot New Dives: Hal and Al's Parsons Project

Alt rock, alt location, alt bar...alt kinds of stuff.

A bright blue pocket of pop culture sits on a stigmatic South Columbus street. The beer selection is vast, the dress is casual, and sirens only occasionally interrupt the alternative music.


Hal & Al's on Parson's

Photo: Christopher Atwood

The main obstacle for this newly opened bar is the location, yet instead of considering the rough neighborhood a worry, Hal and Al's made it the punch line.

Bar manager Dan Ores, 37, refers to Hal and Al's as The Parsons Challenge. And he is even making promotional t-shirts with the motto.

"Parsons Avenue has a stigma," said Nichole Endicott, 30, Hal and Al's patron. "But this is a great-feeling bar. I think it has a lot of potential."

If Parsons has the potential, Ores has the practice. He has worked at House of Blues for 12 years, opening a venue in Chicago as well as in Cleveland. With the nearby Carabar facing a grim future as highway development plans take place, Hal and Al's is likely to become the next hangout for alternative music fans with cult beer-oriented taste buds.

Hal and Al's "top shelf" beer features Coors cans for "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" fans; Oranjeboom for those curious about Holland's version of Pabst Blue Ribbon; and 6oz pony bottles of Miller High Life, which Ores describes as "Capri Sun for adults."

The top shelf also holds Black Label, Schlitz, and, of course, PBR. Although they sit on the uppermost rack of the beer fridge, these beers are only $1to $2 during happy hour (Tues. - Fri., 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Ores said he plans to keep this section a "revolving door" of interesting beers; he is currently seeking the Duff brand of beer inspired by "The Simpsons."

The rest of the cooler is an eclectic collection of imports including Original Sin Cider, Framboise, Arrogant Bastard Ale, Chimay, and various IPAs. At Hal and Al's, beers on tap or in bottles are worthy of a pint glass. Plastic cups are reserved, however, for the liquor and the boxed wine (which is surprisingly delicious).

"It's definitely a whiskey and beer crowd," said Ores.

Regardless of one's drink predilection, Ores encourages an inclusive atmosphere - which is why the bar's entertainment calendar is about as varied as the cooler.

The Hal and Al's week begins Tuesday with acoustic open mic night. Guests get in free; participants can win a $50 cash prize. Sign up starts at 9 p.m., music starts at 10 p.m., and the winner is based on crowd voting.

The crowd votes for the best music again on Wednesday's iPod Night. Anyone with a playlist can participate in this musical battle against the iPod of Ores, who takes his music as seriously as his beers.

He is so protective of his music, in fact, that Ores has refused to install a jukebox at the bar; he describes his iPod soundtrack as "CD101 with more of an edge."

"It's an alternative rock bar," said Ores. "You're never going to come in here and hear Steely Dan."

Unless, of course, you put him on your Wednesday night playlist. Patrons text their votes for their favorite 30-minute iPod deejay and the most popular participant wins a pair of tickets to an upcoming concert at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion (405 Neil Ave.).

Thursday is Ohio Roller Girls Derby Night, when guests can meet their favorite female fighters on wheels. Fans sporting a Roller Girls t-shirt are treated to drink specials, and some t-shirts are sold at Hal and Al's. Also, PBR Tallboys with a shot of Jameson are only $5.

The music features carry out the weekend, with the Beat Oracle deejaying on Friday and live bands scheduled for Saturday. The Hal and Al's stage is reserved for local original music, and it's booked until September. There will never be a cover, and there will never be a cover band, said Ores.

The week ends with a Sunday Comedy Night hosted by Jennifae. For default smiles, drink specials include $1 Old Style and $2 Beam.

"Some people might think it's too much too soon, but we're just offering variety," said Ores of the weekly lineup.

Ores knows that the crowd around Parsons Avenue is just as varied as what Hal and Al's offers, and he wants everyone to feel welcomed.

"I think it's a good thing," Ores said with a chuckle. "People realize that we actually give a shit."

"The bottom line is: mixing it up is a good thing," said Ores.

5 O'Clock Somewhere: Hal & Al's

Thursday, July 16, 2009 6:00 AM
By John Ross

The loose archipelago of great neighborhood bars along Parsons Avenue got a bit longer several months ago with the opening of Hal & Al's, a small music and comedy spot south of Thurman Avenue. Nearby neighborhood blight along the Gateway to the South may seem a bit scary to those who frequent more established nightlife districts,

"My goal is to have this place be the start, midpoint or end of a really great night,"... "That would make me smile."

No big challenge there.

Colorful and inviting, the interior bears some similarities to Carabar, its neighbor to the north, with a black-and-white tiled floor, elevated stage, a smattering of chairs, popcorn machine and emphasis on cheap beer in cans.

That's clearly Hal & Al's strongest suit - more than 10 beautiful brands in aluminum. For $1. At all times. In addition to Tecate, Busch, Blatz and other kindred spirits (pun!) for a buck, Jim Beam is served up for $2. A great happy hour, which lasts a hefty five hours, makes things even more enticing.

Once you're oiled up by the cheap drinks, you can order a frozen DiGiorno pizza for $7, then explore a South Park pinball machine, foosball table and small side patio. Plans are in the works to expand the outdoor area into an adjacent lot before the weather turns.

Hal's also offers an interesting entertainment slate bound by the delightful motto, "No cover bands. No cover charge."

Instead of off-key renditions of "Brown Eyed Girl," you can hear local and touring acts on Saturday. There's an acoustic open mic Tuesday, local comedy Sunday, underground sounds Friday and guest iPod night Wednesday, when patrons compile half-hour sets and compete for a cash prize.

"Word's getting out, so we're getting people from German Village, Merion Village, the Short North," Ores added. "Having the variety is nice, because we're getting different crowds."

Can-Do Attitude

Hal & Al's celebrates beer in cans. Here's what lies waiting in aluminum.

Beamish
Black Label
Blatz
Boddingtons
Burger
Busch
Coors
Coors Light
Guinness Draught
Miller High Life
Milwaukee's Best
OranjeBoom
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Tecate
Stroh's

CU Happy Hour - Wed July 22 @ Hal & Al's

Wednesday, July 22
at Hal & Al’s in Merion Village
6pm-9pm | 1297 Parsons Ave.

Featuring $1 cans of Stroh's, Coors Originals,
PBR, Blatz, Milwaukee's Best, Busch and Schaefer.
$2 Jim Beam Cocktails & $3 Sailor Jerry or Skyy Cocktails
Complimentary Pizza Provided | Bring Your iPod for iPod Night