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Best of Cleveland 2012 

Arts & Entertainment

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Best Hipster Bar

Happy Dog

It's easy to forget — with all the cooler-than-you'll-ever-be dudes sipping PBRs and listening to the indie rockers plugged in upfront — that this popular Gordon Square bar used to be the only place in town where you could get a hot dog with jelly beans on it (take that, Mom). You can still dress your dog dozens of different ways here, but now you won't look like the only bearded dork in the room when you order it.

5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474,

happydogcleveland.com

Staff Pick: ABC Tavern


Best Karaoke Bar

Tina's Nite Club

The best thing about Tina's is that you don't have to wait till the weekend to break out your best Eddie Vedder. There's karaoke here every single night, and the playlist ranges from oldies to classic rock to country to Top 40. Best of all, nobody judges your voice at Tina's, not even if you sound like that one girl on YouTube who massacred Christina Aguilera.

5400 Herman Ave., 216-651-8057

Staff Pick: Edison's Pub


Best Martini Bar

Velvet Tango Room

Stepping into the Velvet Tango Room is like stepping into a private swingin' club from the early '60s — you know, the kind where Frank and Dino used to chase leggy dames. The Tango Room is a classy joint, and the drinks here are of the classic-cocktail variety — especially the martinis, which come shaken, stirred, and in a dozen different tasty varieties. Ring-a-ding-ding, baby!

2095 Columbus Rd., 216-241-8869,

velvettangoroom.com

Staff Pick: Chocolate Bar


Best Neighborhood Bar

Prosperity Social Club

Nestled in the Tremont neighborhood and graced with a pool table, an old-school bowling machine, and one of the coziest patios in Cleveland, Prosperity is the sort of place where the food is tasty, the drinks are cold, and the company is friendly. Bonus points for the live music and friendly bartenders.

1109 Starkweather Ave.,

216-937-1938,

prosperitysocialclub.com

Staff Pick: Eddy & Iggy's


Best Dive Bar

Dive Bar

Like anyone else had a chance of winning. This popular Warehouse District hangout doesn't offer much in the way of amenities, but there's plenty of reasons to stop in for a few. The crowd skews young — especially on weekends, when DJs spin pretty much whatever the hell you want to hear. And there's skee-ball, one of the all-time greatest drunken pastimes. Plus, you can't beat their cheap prices at happy hour.

1214 West Sixth St., 216-621-7827,

divebarcleveland.com

Staff Pick: Corky's Place


Best Drag Performer

Veranda L'Ni

Veranda has got the perfect body for her gig: long legs, angular face, and a lanky frame that says she's all about having fun. Whether she's dressing up like Elvira, a socialite, or a prom queen, her performances always let you know she's in on the joke. Now that's entertainment.

Staff Pick: Mandy Merlot


Best New Bar or Club

Drop Bar

The Mercury Lounge always stood out among the long stretch of bars that line the Warehouse District, and Drop Bar continues to offer a breather from the usual crowds that congregate in the area on weekends. The music is a little more chill, and the vibe is a little more upscale. Plus, despite competition from all corners, it's still one of the best-looking clubs in town.

1392 West Sixth St., 216-862-3314,

dropbarcleveland.com

Staff Pick: Drop Bar

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