Located on the West Bank of the Flats, the expansive McCarthy's Dowtown is, as you might expect, very green. Danceable bands and DJs entertain during the weekends; during the week, plasma screens assume that duty.
The Agora's hot-pink neon sign is a Cleveland rock icon. Divided into a spacious theater and a more comfortable ballroom, the club has three bars, and it's as big as the names who play there.
A former Croatian Hall now nationally known as a top live venue, the Beachland made its bones with rootsy Americana bands, but regularly hosts sounds of all kinds. The Tavern next door is a great place to grab a beer and catch an up-and-comer.
Part of a three-club complex (along with the staid Man's World in the back and leather-only Crossover in the basement), the woodsy Shed is home base for Cleveland's only gay country line-dance group. On Sundays, the evening starts with dance lessons for beginners.
This comedy club south of Cleveland books many of the region’s best comics, in addition to top-flight headliners.
Located below the Grog Shop, this sleek dance club provides a steady menu of the best local turntablists along with occasional guest stints by big-name DJs.
The accountrements are quintessential Lakewood: unpretentious atmosphere, happy-hour drink specials, filling and unfancy bar food. But the music calendar is filled with some of the area’s best singer-songwriters, blues acts, and rootsy rockers.
There’s something so Cleveland about the Winchester. Maybe it’s the way it books the familiar (’70s singer-songwriters), the reliable (veteran rockers), and the safe (acoustic duos). Its music room, hidden behind a tiny bar, is surprisingly large and comfortable.
Nestled on the edge of the industrial Flats, Pat's is an unlikely haven for high-minded experimental music and punk shows.
On weekends, local jazz and R&B bands play on a small stage in the back of this eclectic American steakhouse, which offers fine dining in a casual atmosphere. Reopened and under new management.
This House looks like any unassuming neighborhood bar — except for the jazz photos and posters, and the 15,000 jazz LPs stocked near the turntables. A mix of blues and jazz bands play every week, with guest DJs taking turns spinning the vintage platters.
This vintage Akron club hosts everything from indie bands and electronic DJs to punk nights and jam sessions.
Located on the Case campus, the Barking Spider Tavern is best known for singer-songwriter types, but jazz combos, blues groups, and indie rock bands squeeze onto the small stage too.
Small and intimate, the Pirate's Cove boasts a great sound system -- the better to hear everyone from crusty underground punks to glam-metal hams.
In addition to offering hot dogs with dozens of toppings, the Dog slathers on the live music — with an emphasis on local indie-style bands, mixed with some cool out-of-town rockers you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
This downtown Akron club books bands that never would have found the Rubber City a few years ago — say, Dinosaur Jr. and the Drive-By Truckers. Between the touring acts, original locals take the stage.
This casual bar's back room has plenty to do, with vintage videogames, pool tables and a dartboard.
With its Celtics pennants and Guinness drafts, McCarthy's is an Irish American refuge with a penchant for he-man shots -- among the largest on the West Side. They're the perfect complement to the club's boisterous rock and roll.
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