Raise your steins: Common Haus Hall, a Bavarian-inspired restaurant in Southern Indiana, is now open at 134 Spring St. in Jeffersonville.
Each of the restaurant’s three floors has a different function: the first floor is a full-service restaurant with servers and a full menu. The second floor is a biergarten, which will offer snacks and beers; it also has a rentable event space and two patio spaces, the latter of which are still being staged. The entirety of the third floor is a rentable event space for groups.
Menu offerings include schnitzel sandwiches, sauerbraten, German potato salad, “stadium style” vegan brats, pretzels, leberkäse (fried bologna sandwiches), and Berliners (jelly doughnuts.) The restaurant’s menu is slated to soon include a doner burger (a burger made of shaved meat from an upright rotisserie) and a vegan schnitzel.
Eventually, they’d like to add daily specials — for example, smoked pork chop on Tuesdays, rouladen on Wednesdays or pierogies on Thursdays, said executive chef Jonathan Exum.
Of course, there are also plenty of German beers served by the half liter, as well as in bottles and cans. The beer list also includes some brews from local breweries, including Akasha Brewing Co. and Monnik Beer Co. Beer director Roger Baylor, who also leads the beer program at Pints & Union, created a smoke beer for Common Haus called “Last Train to Bamberg.”
Exum did say that Common Haus’ menu is not strictly authentically German; after all, the restaurant bills itself as Bavarian-inspired, but it also draws from other European culinary traditions rather than Germany’s alone. One dish he’s working on is a spaetzle, a traditional German food, which will be cooked more like an Italian pasta, with mushrooms, chard, raclette and caramelized onions.
Right now, there are only four staff in the kitchen — Exum, his chef de cuisine, a prep cook and a dishwasher — but all four, he said, come from “big kitchen backgrounds.” Exum’s career history includes time at Jack Fry’s, Wiltshire on Market, Pints & Union, and Proof on Main. At Pints & Union, Exum worked for Joe Phillips, who also owns Common Haus.
The management team had originally wanted to open Common Haus in time for Oktoberfest last year, but, like so many other restaurants, they dealt with supply chain issues that delayed the arrival of equipment.
But after a few soft openings earlier this week, which included a smaller menu than the current one, Common Haus is now “quietly open,” Exum said — technically in another soft opening due to construction work, according to the restaurant’s Instagram — but still welcoming customers. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
This Friday, local German polka group Boom Pah Pah will provide live music.
Common Haus’ kitchen is now open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The biergarten is open for drinks from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Check out LEO’s photographs of the restaurant in the gallery above.
| Photos by Carolyn Brown • [email protected] • @cebrownphoto