Q&A: Maggie Gall

  • Photo by Eric Wagner
By Columbus Alive
From the April 19, 2012 edition

For kid of bar owners, Hey Hey will always feel like home

When she was growing up, Maggie Gall went to Hey Hey Bar and Grill every day after school. The German Village dive bar owned by her parents, Susan and Tim, was her second home. Gall, now a bartender at T. Murray’s Bar and Kitchen, shared stories about her childhood at the bar, which is famous for its sauerkraut balls and friendly service.

The Hey Hey actually got its name during Prohibition. The guys who brought the bootleg would say, “Hey hey, the beer is here!” They were known as “the hey hey boys,” and the name stuck.

When I left the hospital — I was born at Riverside — I came straight to the bar. I know bartenders used to change my diaper on the pool table and help me with my math homework after school.

I remember playing in the beer room and climbing on all the beer boxes. I used to rollerblade down, and we used to have a pool table in the back room and I’d circle it all the time. When the bar was closed, I’d always put on Patsy Cline and I remember I’d walk on the bar and dance. I used to take naps in the beer cooler — the Igloo cooler.

I had to close my ears a lot. All the jokes, they’d be like, “Maggie, close your ears.”

I’ve rolled thousands upon thousands of sauerkraut balls. My mom does the Columbus Oktoberfest, the Cincinnati Oktoberfest, Dublin Irish Festive, Dayton Oktoberfest, Circleville Pumpkin Festival. I’d help at all of those. We’d roll them ahead of time, and we’d have to roll the whole time we were there. I don’t eat very many of them anymore — maybe once a year at this point. I’ve had my fill.

When I was in college, I was a fishmonger in Olympia, Washington, and then I moved to my brother’s yak ranch. It’s called the Hey Hey Yak Ranch, and it’s in the world’s highest alpine valley, in Colorado. He sells his meat to The Coop, the food truck on Indianola.

He put me to work digging trenches, throwing hale bales and herding yaks. Yaks, if you have big sticks and you hold them out, they think they’re your horns. If your horns are bigger than theirs, you’re a threat. I did that for about a year, and then I moved back.

When I’m at T. Murray’s, people are like, “Oh, your folks own the Hey Hey.” And I have so many people I’m serving that say, “Tell your mom and dad I say hi!” One of the great things about German Village is that everyone knows each other and wants to support one another.