German Village Gazette

Tatoheads food truck owner buys Hal & Al's


Hal and Al's, a rare vegan refuge on the South Side, has been purchased by a restaurateur devoted to potatoes.

Hal & Al's is now Tatoheads Public House, an offshoot of the Tatoheads food truck.

Daniel McCarthy, founder of Tatoheads, took over the restaurant in Merion Village in early July.

He said he decided to keep the name and menu for two weeks while the changeover took place. The transition was smooth, he said, and the restaurant did not close.

Gone is the exclusively vegan menu, replaced with the Tatoheads menu and some vegan options.

Customers still can look forward to the wide selection of craft beers, plus, in the near future, a built-from-scratch wine list and signature cocktails.

The menu will evolve, McCarthy said, to include items different from the food truck menu.

"We pay homage to the potato," he said. "That's why I'm excited about this venture because I get to reach beyond the fries."

McCarthy started the food truck Sept. 3, 2011, when he set up before an OSU football game at the corner of Lane Avenue and High Street.

Tatoheads uses three types of potato: tater tots, sweet potato fries and russets, tossed with seasonings, served with dipping sauces, piled high with toppings or served in wraps.

Jay Cheplowitz opened Hal & Al's, celebrated for its meatless menu and notable selection of beer, five years ago at 1297 Parsons Ave.

When the opportunity opened up to buy a restaurant, McCarthy took it.

"I was interested and I made the right offer," he said.

McCarthy said he's pleased to have more kitchen space, where he can prepare more items for the food truck.

"Every food truck wants a brick and mortar," he said. "Basically, now, I have a situation where I have a kitchen and can create all sorts of great things."

Tatoheads Public House is open for dinner only Monday through Thursday and lunch and dinner Friday, Saturday and Sunday.