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?

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.

The food:

First, I must share that my three favorite foods are bacon, fried chicken and chorizo. My carnivorous desires weren't going to be satiated by Hal & Al's vegan menu, but I found some hearty and tasty dishes.

I recommend the Smoke House BBQ Luna Burger ($6) for its smoky sweetness. Topped with mushrooms, onions and served on a wonderful Brezel bun, it's one hell of a meatless burger. Pair it with sweet potato fries, or some fried avocadoes ($5) with cilantro line dipping sauce if you're really hungry.

Another option is the sushi special on Thursdays. The vegetable rolls are well-made and plentiful; $8 buys you four rolls. Get there early, because they usually sell out.