Cleveland Heights is well-known for its trendy art scene and series of independent places to ear in the Cedar Lee area. Get off the beaten path and check out the 10 best bars in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
The Wine Spot is versatile neighborhood space that combines a superior wine and beer collection and a relaxed, welcoming environment. The interior is large, as it doubles as a store, and offers couch seating inside and an outdoor patio. Tastings occur weekly and a 4,000 square-foot private room is available to reserve for events. As a converted local hardware store, The Wine Spot promotes the same neighborly values of hospitality and community, showcasing student artwork from the Cleveland Institute and using only local vendors for their cheese plates.
Styled like an old-fashioned pool hall, The Social Room is a locals’ favorite dive bar that offers games, theme nights, and an off-the-charts selection of craft beer. The space consists of two pool tables, a full bar, and outdoor patio seating where you can enjoy chilled beer by the bottle or on draft. Cleveland Heights natives/owners Jim and Jennifer Grenwis opened the bar, formerly known as ‘Kobalt,’ in 2011. Since then, they continue to promote a casual hangout with affordable drinks and friendly staff. Happy hour is on seven days a week from 4pm to 9pm.
The Fairmount is a Cleveland Heights institution. :ocals swear by the cocktails and small plates, as well as the location itself. The interior has an oakwood bar with table and couch seating and a spacious outdoor patio surrounded by gardens, which is an idyllic spot to spend a summer day. Many ingredients for the Fairmount’s signature cocktails are house-made, such as mint grown in the indoor herb garden. The food menu quality is on par with the cocktails. It offers small appetizers like chorizo tacos as well as some inventive pizza combinations. Happy hour is on weekdays from 4pm to 7pm.
Brennan’s Colony is the top choice for a local hangout in the Heights, where friends and family alike gather on the outdoor patio (equipped with a full bar) to eat, drink, and be merry. The indoor bar is elevated with stacks of exposed brick and the dining space has old-fashioned wooden booth seating. The patio is also spacious enough that there’s never any need to fight for a seat during the weekend rush. Traditional American bar food and a long list of beers is available, as well as a kitschy collection of arcade games.
The BottleHouse Brewery truly has it all: house-brewed craft beer, delicious food, board games and much more. This spot, which opened in 2012, has expanded from a simple ale house to a seven-barrel brewery that turns out lagers, porters, sours, and all other types of beer. A great addition to the BottleHouse is the ‘Meadery,’ which offers flavored mead on tap alongside a rotating list of beers. A full bar list including a stellar cocktail menu is also available. There is also various charcuterieand the Polish staple of the Midwest – pierogies.
On the outskirts of the Heights near University Circle is the Barking Spider Tavern, a locals’ bar and live music venue. The interior resembles a retro ski lodge, the walls are exposed brick and there is a wood-burning fireplace near the music stage. The tavern consists of a main room with nightly (free) live music performances, a front patio, a game room, and a lush beer garden in the back. This spot attracts an eclectic crowd of locals and students, encouraging camaraderie among all. The draft list is as worldly as the crowd, with labels from all over the globe and discount pitchers during happy hour.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Gigi’s on Fairmountis already a well-known spot for excellent food in the Heights, serving soups, salads, and their signature bruschetta boards. Recently, Gigi’s expanded to include a cocktail bar next door called ‘Gigi’s After Dark,’ which offers a sublime selection of cocktails, craft beer, and wine. The decor is chic and is complete with modern furnishings, crystal chandeliers, and more cozy couch seating away from the main bar. This an excellent place to treat friends and coworkers to a fancy night on the town without breaking the bank.
Taste is yet another wonderful addition to the Cedar Lee district of Cleveland Heights that offers food, drink, and the best happy hour deal in town. This upscale yet comfortable and welcoming wine bar has a dinner menu consisting mainly of American cuisine with Italian flare, which pairs nicely with their extensive wine collection. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available. Happy hour includes half-priced appetizers and discount cocktails from Sunday through Friday, 5pm to 7pm.
The Grog Shop is a Cleveland institution for musicians and music-lovers alike. This bar/concert venue has an impressive selection of micro-brews, domestics, and imports behind refrigerator doors covered in stickers. The walls are similarly artistic, with cartoon murals behind the bar and graffiti on every inch of the walls, courtesy of both the staff and the Grog attendees. This alternative punk scene has attracted many headliner bands over the years, including The Flaming Lipsand Oasis, to name a few.
If the Grog Shop is not your idea of a relaxing evening, then check out Nighttown on Cedar Road. This is a music venue, bar, and restaurant that takes up six rooms and two stories of a pre-WWII granite stone building. The interior maintains a turn-of-the-century New York atmosphere with stained glass windows, oakwood bars, and some of the best jazz music in the country. Upscale American fare and old-fashioned cocktails are available, and tickets to their concerts can be bought online.