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Bavarian Rhapsody

The influence of German beer and food culture in Tulsa runs much deeper than Oktoberfest. And if you want to experience that heritage for yourself, it’s time to visit Fassler Hall.

Donna Leahey
Sarah Eliza Roberts
May 28, 2019

“Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!” goes the favorite Oktoberfest song: A toast to friendship and good times. Oktoberfest comes around once a year, with its oompah bands, a great German beer, sausages, and pretzels, pretty girls and handsome boys, singing, laughing and enjoying the company of friends new and old.

But when Oktoberfest comes to an end, that doesn’t mean the celebration of German food, beer, and friendly company ever has to. Fassler Hall, a German beer hall in the Blue Dome District, can help you enjoy the feel of Oktoberfest throughout the year.

Fassler Hall has been an essential part of the culture of downtown since it opened in 2010. “We’re established as a place to go in the Blue Dome District,” says Andi Martin, Fassler Hall’s general manager. “We’re a place people think about immediately when they’re downtown. We’re one of the few places that serve food until midnight.”

Martin is proud of the unique niche Fassler Hall holds. “We’ve got a great sense of community here,” she says. “We’re great for large groups because of our big tables. People sit together at these tables and meet. We’re a restaurant and a bar and a venue. We can host large events. We have a lot of art or music events here because of the size.”

Haus Salad with Falafel (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Haus Salad with Falafel (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

Because of the different roles Fassler Hall can play, it can seem like a different bar depending on when you visit.

“We’re relaxed during lunch or happy hour,” says Martin. “There’s a chill vibe through the week or for brunch on the weekends. We’re crazier Friday and Saturday nights when we have DJs and live music.”

Fassler Hall is in an old manufacturing building with the antique Indian Block and Safe sign still on display to pay homage to the building’s history. Before that, it was an auto garage, and the glass bay doors letting sunlight stream inside show that history as well. The exposed brick walls and high arching ceiling let you feel part of that history while the long wooden tables scream beer hall. The stage at the end of the hall waits patiently for the next band to start playing. Murals inside and on the patio by Clean Hands (Tulsa based mural crew and design team) give the whole place a modern touch.

Fassler Hall’s menu is a celebration of German beer hall food. The most popular items are the sausages, for a good reason. All Fassler Hall sausages are made in-house. “They’re made with pork from Prairie Creek Farms in Kellyville [Oklahoma],” says Martin. “We try to keep our food local and sustainable.”

The sausage choices include a traditional bratwurst, a habanero chicken, spicy jalapeno cheddar, hot Italian and a cheddarwurst. There are some special choices like the Hunter sausage made with smoked venison, bison, and pork, or the delicious lamb sausage.

Because of the different roles Fassler Hall can play, it can seem like a different bar depending on when you visit. (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Because of the different roles Fassler Hall can play, it can seem like a different bar depending on when you visit. (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

Each sausage comes with the perfect accompaniment. The brat comes with house kraut and mustard, the hot Italian is served with grilled red bell pepper and onions and sprinkled with Romano cheese, while the lamb is served on a pita with greens, feta, and a creamy tzatziki sauce.

Who could blame you for having a hard time making up your mind with all these tempting choices? Fortunately for you, Fassler Hall offers a sausage sampler with your selection of three sausages along with sauerkraut and mustard. What a great way to make a choice easier.

The appetizer menu is too full of great options to miss. The beer cheese bread bowl is baked at The Bond and filled with spicy cheese dip. It’s been very popular. Of course, the pretzels are a great choice, but consider the fries as a starter. “They’re fried in duck fat; that was new when we started doing it,” Martin says. “It makes for a rich, crispy fry you’ll keep craving.”

An option you should not overlook is the black pepper pork rinds with French onion dip. That creamy, flavorful dip makes it so worthwhile.

Of course, the schnitzel is good. More than good. Amazing. You can get a pork loin or chicken version. They’re hand breaded and fried to a perfect crispy crunch. You can get it either as a sandwich or a plate with savory triple mushroom sauce and a side of sweet potato spaetzle.

A surprising option at Fassler Hall is the falafel. It’s hearty, beautifully seasoned and can be served as your choice of a falafel dog on a pita or added atop the haus salad.

Don’t neglect dessert. Fassler Hall serves a to-die-for dessert: pretzel bread pudding. It’s generous chunks of German pretzel soaked in rich Bavarian cream. H‘s creamy, sweet, with a little salt from the pretzels. A perfect end to your meal.

Of course, what German beer hall would be complete without beer? “We have our German staples on draft,” says Martin, “with fun rotating kegs as well. We have tons of bottles and cans as well. We’re catering to the craft beer folks while still maintaining our German heritage.”

Come by on a Saturday or Sunday morning for brunch at Fassler Hall where they serve up hearty breakfast faves. There are breakfast tacos with your choice of chorizo, bacon, or veggies. You can enjoy a breakfast sandwich on a biscuit with bacon or sausage or indulge in rich, creamy biscuits and gravy. There’s the Southern classic chicken and waffles, or a thick Belgian waffle served with tart and sweet raspberry preserves. Or you can go back to Fassler Hall’s German roots and enjoy a hearty sausage roll.

Stop by during happy hour (4-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday) for tasty mini brats or mini bacon-wrapped chili cheese dogs. Burger and beer night is Sunday and Monday from 7 p.m. to close, featuring a rotating burger of the month and a beer of the month for $10. Or come for the sausage party Monday, when all the savory sausages are half price.

Fassler Hall
304 S. Elgin Ave. | Tulsa
Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-2 a.m.