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.
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 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.
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.
Nestled in the industrial Flats, Hoopples caters to clock-punchers who like their blues served steamy side up. The giant window behind the bar yields a sharp view of downtown.
Manja is a hip little martini of a bar, even with the addition of a foosball table. The jukebox -- heavy on ’80s and ’90s alternative -- is one of the best in town.
Weekends, the Mardi Gras Lounge and Grill returns to its roots, serving up live jazz and blues. The Bourbon Street beats make a great go-with for the club's spicy Creole cooking.
A red-orange-yellow decor and a steady flow of pop and top-40 keep a crowd of 20-somethings and college students chattering the Mars Bar; it’s quieter and darker in the rear lounge area.
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