Best Of 2015

The Music Settlement recently took over booking gigs at this fine listening room, and the group has upped the ante. Constructed to feature extraordinary acoustics, this is a great place to hear jazz, even if other jazz venues in town have their selling points. Local and national jazz and classical acts regularly play the club on weekends.

2920 Detroit Ave., 216-771-6551<,

Even though this 1,200-capacity club is part of a national chain, that's no reason to steer clear — the place is a strong anchor for the Cleveland music scene and often hosts shows that independent promoters such as the Beachland Ballroom and the Grog Shop have booked. The intimate space has great sightlines — even the seats in the balcony give you a good view of the stage — and whether you want to get in with the crowd in front of the stage or relax in a seat far away from the pit, the House of Blues caters to every brand of concertgoer. The club regularly brings in an eclectic mix of hip-hop, classic rock, metal, EDM and indie rock, and it remains one of the best places to catch national acts.

308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583,

Located on the second floor of the 9, the ritzy downtown hotel that opened last year, the Ledger Bar offers a nice view of the hotel's lobby area. Normally, that wouldn't be terribly remarkable, but the 9 is the place where local celebrities come to hang out. In addition to offering the usual assortment of artisan cocktails and craft beers, the Ledger Bar occasionally hosts live music too. And you can order food from a small-bites menu as well.

2017 East Ninth St., 216-239-1200,

The art of hanging out at a blues club is a fine one indeed and one practiced most effectively at Brothers Lounge on Cleveland's westside. Brothers features music all week long, though the club's Wednesday night gigs (Brent Kirby's 10x3 event) and Thursday night gigs (the Bad Boys of Blues' jam night) are not to be missed. Tip your bartenders well.

11609 Detroit Ave., 216-226-2767,

Music comes first, and that's one of the great life rules. Thing is, most bars don't buy into that. Thankfully, newcomer Jukebox does. The Hingetown tavern is the perfect place to knock back a few while reveling in the city's rock 'n' roll traditions. This place is a throwback to everything we love about bars -- and authentic North Shore bars, in particular.

1404 West 29th St., 216-206-7699,

Cleveland boasts a dynamic hip-hop scene, one that thrives in many parts of the city. Readers have let us know that they think Rumor is the best spot in town to check out the best hip-hop. Open from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends, the club often enough caters to those who revel in the more contemporary and popular hip-hop offerings of the day.

1266 West Sixth St., 866-950-1919,

A neighborhood bar must satisfy the needs and desires of its neighborhood, no? Well, Lakewood Village Tavern, an unassuming outpost just a stone's throw from Lakewood's Madison Park, holds down the city's southside court very well. "A shot and a beer, please," you'll say as you sidle up to the bar. And, simple as that, you're taken care of.

13437 Madison Ave. Lakewood 216-521-0301.

The "barcade" idea is getting tossed around more and more these days, but we're happy to say that 16-Bit in Lakewood has all the right moves. Games are free (pinball will cost you a couple quarters), and the place stocks one hell of a liquor shelf. Weekend nights are busy as all get out, so get familiar with the joint's happy hours and weekday offerings. Trust us.

15012 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-563-1115,

With a pretty thorough renovation last year, Twist has returned with a fabulous vengeance. "We're a completely different place, from top to bottom," co-owner Constantine Katsaros says of the remodel. And with summer coming up, the patio at Twist Social Club anchors a splendid little westside district and offers a fun and welcoming trip for all. Garage doors open from the club onto the patio, and the energy inside (music! lights!) spills outward with zeal.

11633 Clifton Blvd., 216-221-2333,

Stunning views of the Cuyahoga, top-notch people watching, DJs, dancing, and happy hour deals that will make you giddy with glee, all make Shooters on the Water one of the most hoppin' party destinations around. Grab a few cold ones, kick back on the tremendous wrap-around deck, and kill an afternoon envying the boats of Cleveland's elite. Or settle in on a Saturday night at any one of Shooters six — count 'em six — bars and watch the youngsters get groovy on the dancefloor.

1148 Main Ave., 216-861-6900,

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