American Ale has opened at 14 East Cota Street, the former home of El Taco Tequila Taqueria and Square One. American Ale is the second location for the Union Ale Company which opened their first restaurant at 214 State Street in 2009.

“American Ale is a place that goes back to the basics,” says owner Matthew Jameson-Chrestenson. “It’s about true craft. No TVs, no point-of-sale, no happy hour. American Ale represents the real American dream. A place where people can come to relax, think and enjoy conversation without the distractions of modern today. A place where the food is prepared simple and delicious. Back to the basics for the true American.”

American Ale offers a selection of American craft beer on draft including American Ale Blonde, IPA, Double, Amber/Red Ale, Black Ale, Barleywine, Stout and Pale.

The menu lists a series of fresh ground burgers including the Make’N Bacon Burger (with maple bacon jam, bacon, Italian bacon, Canadian Bacon and American cheese), American Burger (double patty cooked with grilled onions and American cheese), Baron Von Burger (Munster cheese, garlic dill sauerkraut, caramelized onions, whole grain mustard), Firehouse Burger (crispy onions, habañero cheese, fresh diced chili, fried egg and cilantro jalapeño mustard sauce), Ole Southern BBQ Burger (frittos corn chips, havarti cheese, smoked bacon, and chipotle-peach BBQ sauce), Blue Horseradish Burger (Munster and blue cheese, fresh tomato slice, arugula and roasted poblano horseradish sauce) and PB&J Burger (crispy bacon, extra chunky peanut butter and grape jelly).

Hours are Sunday – Wednesday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday – Saturday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., closed on Monday. For more information call 845-6226 or visit

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17 Responses to AMERICAN ALE OPENS

  1. Justine says:

    I’m not sure how no happy hour is a selling point: “None of that pesky modern technology, like TVs or lower prices for several hours after work.”

    • mike says:

      I have to agree. I would expect most people who come, are doing so to a large extent for the beer, not the menu. The food is a foil for the beer. Whether they like it or not, this is their target demographic.

  2. Laurie says:

    Agreed! Not very friendly attitude for a new restaurant. Wonder if they have a better service model that Union Ale…

  3. a p c says:

    “Hm, so what did we learn from closing El Taco Tequila? What were the things about it that we don’t want a repeat of in a new business?”

    “The complete lack of advertising? The slow inexperienced bartenders?”

    “No no no, it has to be something else…. THE HAPPY HOUR.”

  4. My “American Dream” includes happy hour.

  5. Danny says:

    I never knew that not having a happy hour could inspire such anger

    • Justine says:

      On my part it’s not anger, Danny, just surprise at their marketing tactics. The fact that they state happy hour is something they’re not going to have, as if prospective customers will appreciate not being saddled with that tiresome old notion of value, is foreign to me. In this economy and with the glut of good dining and drinking options in our fair city, it seems offering a solid happy hour is the way to go, especially for a beer- and burger-oriented establishment. It’s not a matter of entitlement (“They owe us a happy hour”) but confusion at their strategy. If they’re not going to offer happy hour, which from the get-go seems like an unwise marketing decision, why trumpet that as a selling point. That is all.

  6. Charlotte says:

    Well said, Justine. What else won’t they be offering? Happy Hour
    isn’t completely alcohol driven these days (not everyone drinks
    alcohol) it’s just as much about getting a deal on discounted eats
    before dinner service, when normally a restaurant would be empty..
    It’s a win/win. But maybe they are hoping they won’t need a Happy
    Hour to fill their seats in the odd time. Most established
    restaurants are offering a Happy Hour for a reason…

  7. David says:

    I want to know how the Union Ale people seemingly have unlimited money. Union Ale surely isn’t making a lot of money. Has anyone seen it “busy”? The tequila taqueria must have been a huge financial disaster. How can they keep opening failed concepts?

  8. Charlotte says:

    They don’t even open until 5:00- no lunch or happy hour. That’s really closing their window of opportunity to get people in the door and make $$. You gotta be open….paying the same amount of rent regardless.

  9. Lily says:

    I don’t understand why they don’t open for lunch. Its understandable for places like Bouchon or Seagrass, but a burger place? It seems overly pretentious. I have to say their beer list is excellent. I am less impressed with the burger. The buns are perfect, not too soft and not too bready, but the patty is thin and the edge is too crispy.

  10. Seth says:

    I’ll show up when happy hour does…

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