After patrons at Oak (8118 Oak St., 504-302-1485; www.oaknola.com) complained about the wine bar's beer selection, the owners decided 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 the wine bar, opened July 18. There are 30 beers available on draught, including selections from Parish Brewing Co., Southern Tier Brewing Co., Stone Brewing Co. and North Coast Brewing Co. Ale is the only non-Japanese restaurant in the city that serves Sapporo on draft, and it also offers Crispin on tap for cider lovers and those looking for gluten-free options. The bottle list includes roughly 60 beers in bottles and cans. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., happy hour features all draft pints at half price.
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 classics and original creations, and some may use beer as an ingredient.
The decor pays homage to the city's brewing history. Ale's wide wooden floorboards were salvaged from the Dixie brewery.
There is a menu of creative comfort food such as duck confit queso fundido and lamb sliders with feta and mint chimichurri. Ale serves brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 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 opens at 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and on Friday it opens at 2 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays.