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The Cleveland nightlife scene is varied and diverse: pulsating clubs, wine bars, vintage pubs, rock venues, rustic watering holes and trendy lounges. The scene can be different depending on what district or neighborhood you are in, but rest assured you can find what you are looking for Cleveland if you head to the right strip.
One option for partiers that don't want to drive is the West Side Shuffle, a bar/brewery shuttle that operates on Friday and Saturday nights, and occasionally on other nights when there are major sporting or other events downtown. Contrary to the map at the Shuffle's website, this shuttle will pick up guests at East 4th St. in addition to West 6th St. in the Warehouse District. Call to arrange pick-ups or for further details.
Visitors to University Circle or the Cleveland Clinic might enjoy Nighttown on Cedar Road hill, Cleveland's most acclaimed jazz dinner club. The Barking Spider offers entertainment nightly. The Grog Shop, in the nearby Coventry district of Cleveland Heights, is one of Cleveland's premier rock venues. The Euclid Tavern, a legendary rock venue, has been resurrected as an east side Happy Dog.
Visitors to University Circle also can take the 24/7 Healthline bus rapid (see the"Public Transportation" travel article) to the PlayhouseSquare, Gateway District's East 4th St., and Warehouse District entertainment/dining districts, all within 15-20 minutes of University Circle on the Healthline.
Cleveland's trendy Warehouse District, west and northwest of Public Square around West Sixth Street, is where old Brick Victorean Era warehouses have been rehabbed into modern loft apartments, upscale restaurants, and contemporary clubs. Velvet Dog, Barley House and Liquid are the most popular dance spots, while D'Vine Wine Bar is a chic place to chat with friends over cocktails. If you want to soak in the energy without paying the high prices or getting dressed up, head to Johnny's Little Bar tucked away on Frankfort Avenue and experience one of Cleveland's finest neighborhood bars and late night kitchens. Take 5 Rhythm and Jazz Tapas Lounge is a recent addition.
After several decades from its one-time prominence as a Cleveland entertainment district, the East Flats (Cuyahoga River valley through downtown), adjacent to the Warehouse District, is being reborn. Entertainment venues already open there include The Big Bang dueling piano bar and FWD pool and night club.
Experience the eclectic nature of Cleveland's Gateway District , home of both Progessive Field and Quicken Loans Arena. Gateway's East 4th Street features entertainment venues such as the House of Blues or Pickwick and Frolic, a comedy complex, restaurant and martini bar. Society Lounge is a recent East 4th St. addition often featuring entertainment. East 4th St. draws people from all over the region to this narrow brick street with lights strung overhead year round, and a restaurant patio-lined pedestrian alley in warmer months. Flannery's, an Irish pub on East 4th St., also offers entertainment on weekends.
Another Gateway District mainstay is Wilbert's, the top dive bar downtown, with above average bar food and with live entertainment most nights. Sports bars in the Gateway District include the Winking Lizard, Harry Buffalo, and Panini's.
The Azure Sun Lounge at the Metropolitan is a 15-story sun deck and lounge offering a DJ or live music on some days and cocktails. There reportedly may be a cover charge for men.
The Cleveland Improv comedy club is located in Nautica in the West Flats, across the Cuyahoga River from downtown. Nautica also is the site of Jacobs Pavilion, a 5,000-seat venue that is Cleveland's premier downtown outdoor performance venue, offering great views of the Cleveland skyline and river traffic, which might include a giant lake freighter.
Also at Nautica in the West Flats is the Music Box Supper Club, a performance and dining venue.
For people who like good food, good beer, and multiculturalism, then head to the Ohio City neighborhood on W.25th Street. Bier Markt - a contemporary Belgian beer bar and lounge, Great Lakes Brewing Company -Cleveland's famed micro-brewery, Market Garden Brewery, Nano Brew Cleveland, Kan Zaman- hookah lounge, Middle Eastern fare, and belly dancing, and Old Angle Tavern - Irish pub, mingle among the ethnic and contemporary eateries and cafes in the diverse and historic early ninenteenth century part of town around the West Side Market. Next to the Bier Markt is Bar Cento, a favorite late night eatery featuring gourmet pizzas.
The original Happy Dog in the Gordon Square Arts District also offers a variety of musical entertainment to supplement its popular hot dogs and tater tots.
Once a quaint ethnic enclave and filled with architecturally notable churches, Tremont has been recently revitalized with cutting edge art galleries, and cutting edge cuisine. Its no wonder why Cleveland's painters, writers, actors, sculptors and musicians frequent the bars and restaurants. Tremont is also a popular late night place for taxi cab drivers, servers, and after dinner people. Perhaps no place quite exemplifies Tremont (or Cleveland) like Prosperity Social Club, a vintage 1930s bar with a unique atmosphere and great selection of drinks and music. The Velvet Tango Rooom makes its cocktails from scratch from its own sodas, syrups, and bitters, and using as well fresh-squeezed juices and premium liquors to earn a national reputation; entertainment, typically jazz, is offered nightly from after 9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., and from 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Cleveland's socially conscious college student population hangs out in the eclectic Coventry Village where its Bohemian roots go back to the 1960s. Tommy's- the city's vegetarian dining mecca and the Grog Shop- the city's indie rock mecca draw people of all ages who are decidingly different. Coventry's offbeat nature has been toned down in recent years with sports bars and some corporate chains, but it still has the reputation and crowds that attest to its hippie culture.
For those who enjoy live music, popular venues include Beachland Ballroom, located in the Collinwood neighborhood, about ten minutes east of downtown. Brothers Lounge on Cleveland's west side is a popular performance venue and night club, also about a 10-minute drive from downtown.
Here's a thread discussing jazz in Greater Cleveland, with a focus on Oberlin College.
A thread discussing a night on the town from Beachwood, an eastern suburb: