After patrons at Oak
complained about the wine bar's beer selection, the owners thought it best to open a new space next door.
"We really want to get more people to [Oak Street], so we thought that opening a bar focused on beer would offer something for everybody," says Ale General Manager Pat Winters.
Ale (8124 Oak St.), which shares a courtyard with its sibling wine bar, opened Friday, July 18. "We got our last city permit at 4:30 p.m., opened the door at 5 p.m., and we were slammed immediately," Winters says.
The official grand opening is Friday, Aug. 1. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., happy hour features all draft pints at half price, including taps from Parish Brewing Co.
, Southern Tier
, Stone Brewing Co
. and North Coast Brewing Co
. There also are taps for Miller Lite and Budweiser. Winters sums up Ale's beer philosophy as, "We want to offer beer that people want to drink." It's the only non-Japanese restaurant in the city that serves Sapporo on draft, and it also carries Crispin on tap for those looking for gluten-free options and cider lovers. The bottle list includes roughly 60 beers in bottles and cans.
The decor pays homage to the city's brewing history. Ale's wide wooden floorboards were salvaged from the Dixie brewery.
The bar stocks 30 Scotches and 25 bourbons and whiskeys. Winters says that once Ale is running on all cylinders, the bar staff will offer four specialty cocktails per month, including of classics and original creations, and some may use beer as an ingredient.
There is a menu of creative comfort food such as duck confit queso fundido and lamb sliders with feta and mint chimichurri. On Saturday and Sunday, the kitchen offers brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and the menu includes smoked turkey grillades with cream cheese grits, a biscuit sandwich with fried green tomato, bacon, scrambled egg and pimiento cheese, and a sweet potato pancake with maple-bacon glazed chicken wings.
Ale is closed on Tuesdays; it opens at 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and on Friday it opens at 2 p.m.