Let’s admit it: If you’re following social distance guidelines and staying far away from parties, bars and the Route 1 crowd, Friday nights can be a little less eventful than they usually are. So, if you and the people in your bubble are comfortable going out for happy hour (or just want to pick up some takeout), you might want to try The Hall CP. 

When I walked in last Friday, the indie-pop playlist alone got me in the mood to sip on drinks and hang out with my roommates. Complete with aesthetic outdoor seating, string lights and a painted fence that’s great for Instagram pictures, The Hall’s chill atmosphere is unbeatable. Plus, you can venture well beyond your typical drink of choice — and it definitely won’t be served to you in a cheap plastic cup. If you’re intrigued and not sure what to get, here are some recommendations.

[I’m stuck with a roommate who doesn’t care about the pandemic]

  • Tito’s Moscow Mule 

This is one of the best Moscow mules I’ve tried. The ginger-flavored drink is delicious and a great way to start off your evening. They even serve it in a Moscow mule mug with a lime and straw, as it should be. So put away those red Solo cups — it’s time for the real deal.  

  • Kamikaze shots 

If you’re looking to have a little more fun, these kamikaze shots will do the trick. They actually tasted great — no chaser needed — and made the walk home difficult, to say the least.  

  • Electric Lemonade 

If you like sweet drinks, one of the more unique items on the menu is the Electric Lemonade. The flavor combo of blueberry vodka, simple syrup and pineapple is intense, but it’s the perfect crush to cool off with on an unseasonably hot day. 

  • Margarita

Although this is a more typical drink, this margarita was really tasty. It’s not on the menu but it’s still included in The Hall’s $5 deal on rails mixed drinks for happy hour. Make sure to ask for this one.  

  • Graft Garnet City Hopped Cider 

If you’re looking for more of a fall flavor, this draft is a little unexpected. It’s still good if you enjoy a more savory tasting alcohol, though, and it’s $1 off during happy hour. It emulates the popular Angry Orchard hard cider but has a bit of a stronger kick to it. 

  • Martini 

Everyone has different likes and dislikes when it comes to alcoholic beverages, but I didn’t enjoy how strong this Martini was. I wouldn’t call myself a professional martini taster, but I do know that I did not take an extra sip of this one.

  • Luna Nuda Pinot Grigio

If you collectively decide on a wine night instead of throwing back shots, there is also a wide selection of red and white wines ($2 off a glass during happy hour!). The Pinot Grigio was very sweet, had a fruity aftertaste and lived up to expectations. I didn’t enjoy pairing this wine with margaritas and Kamikaze shots, but if you don’t do what I did and just stick to wine it could enhance your experience. If red wine is your thing, or you prefer a drier wine, they also have Malbec, Pinot Noir and a Black Stallion Chardonnay. 

  • The Freshman Crush 

Maybe it was because we left this drink for last and the melted ice watered it down, but the Freshman Crush didn’t live up to expectations. The taste of the gin, strawberry, orange juice, honey, lemon and Campari wasn’t too strong despite the promising recipe. No one went for a second sip on this one, but if you don’t leave it sitting while you try seven other drinks it might taste much better. 

When drinking responsibly, you always want to have some good food to munch on. The bar food here matches the uniqueness of the drinks served. If you get anything, the Biggest Mozz Sticks will never let you down. If you don’t finish the seemingly foot-long mozzarella sticks and spicy tomato sauce, you’ll want to box them up and save them for later. The Big Bag O’ Fries also comes with a seriously delicious creme fraiche and queso that I would have taken home if I could. 

One dish my roommates and I are still talking about is the Travis Tott bowl. With two hamburgers stacked on top of bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese and tater tots, this meal would taste delicious even if you’re the designated driver. I’d say it’s one of the star dishes at The Hall. 

[UMD students use fashion to express themselves during the pandemic]

I couldn’t try them due to my unfortunate seafood allergy, but there is also lobster macaroni and crab dip that keep up with the Maryland spirit. 

Considering the number of drinks we got, the total bill was not unreasonable or too expensive. Overall, if you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere with quality food and drinks, The Hall CP is a great option.