Cleveland's Artsy, Resurgent South Side Has Bars to Love, No Matter the Color of Your Collar

Ticket to Tremont

Cleveland's Artsy, Resurgent South Side Has Bars to Love, No Matter the Color of Your Collar

One awesome neighborhood, 10 cool bars, and just a mile to reach them all. If you haven't spent much time going out in Tremont, here's an ambitious bar crawl you should follow to familiarize yourself with the neighborhood's casual drinking establishments. This is entirely walkable — just a mile from start to finish, or 1.4 miles to end up where you started — because, frankly, you shouldn't be driving if you hit all 10. Uber, Lyft and cab drivers will be there in minutes. Go on a weekday to avoid the crowds and enjoy a low-key gathering of mostly Tremont residents; or head out on the weekend when people from around the region flock in for some fun.

The South Side

2207 West 11th St.

Starring exposed brick walls, a winding granite bar, funky artwork, large flat-screen TVs mounted to the wall, and the best Bloody Marys in Cleveland (according to Scene readers), the South Side is a great starting point for a Tremont bar crawl. And with a great kitchen serving food until midnight, it's a perfect spot to grab a bite. When the weather is tolerable, grab a table at the expansive outdoor patio. (Doug Brown), 216-937-2288


806 Literary Rd.

With whiskey, margaritas, beer and the best gourmet tacos around, served until 2 a.m., it's tough to beat the Barrio experience. Belly up to the bar, order a drink, take advantage of the free chips and salsa, fill in the bubbles on your taco order form (try the "Green Goddess" shell) and hand it to your hipster bartender. The tacos taste just as good at 1:30 a.m. as they did at 7 p.m., so there's no shame in making a return trip at the end of the night, before heading home. (Brown), (216) 999-7714


820 College Ave.

It's hard to miss this place: It's the one with the big tree wrapped in Christmas lights out front. Inside, there's a massive fake tree sprouting from inside the wooden U-shaped bar. Another Tremont bar with a great patio, Treehouse practically begs you to bring your drink outside in the summer for some solid people-watching on the busy Professor Avenue sidewalk. (Brown), (216) 696-2505

Edison's Pub

2372 Professor ave.

With a good vibe and the best drunk pizza in Cleveland, Edison's is a favorite of many Tremont residents. Sit at the bar or at a small table in the bar area (with regular live music), head up a few stairs for some booths and a pool table, or keep going to the fantastic patio out back — named the best patio in Cleveland by Scene readers — to grab a picnic table (and see if you can spot the turtle in the fountain). We weren't kidding about the pizza either. Open until 2 a.m. on weekends, Edison's serves slices of the greasy, cheesy goodness from a window inside the bar, or near the main door out front. (Brown), (216) 522-0006

The Bourbon Street Barrel Room

393 Professor Ave.

Opened this past fall, Bourton Street Barrel Room doesn't quite feel like a normal Tremont establishment. The dual-level bar and restaurant has a French Quarter feel about it, with wrought-iron railings around the opening on the second floor that looks down on the first, and elegant chandeliers hanging from ceiling. You should grab a drink, and maybe a bite to eat, just so you can say "yes" when your friends ask if you've been to that new place that just opened up in Tremont. (Brown), (216) 298-4400

The Spotted Owl

710 Jefferson Ave.

Also new last fall, the Spotted Owl is in a lower-level space inside the Tremont Place Lofts. Although it's a new bar, the sophisticated interior dates back to the 1850s, and the dark ambiance, weathered bar and large wooden tables give the place a relaxing vibe. It's not a place for binge drinking (unless you're extremely wealthy, I guess), instead featuring fantastic $9 to $12 cocktails — with awesome names like "A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts," "Rich Mahogany and Leatherbound Books," and (my favorite) "Like Two Midnights in a Jar" —  along with a few $5 to $6 beers on tap. (Brown), (216) 796-5595

The Flying Monkey

819 Jefferson Ave.

Though we're in the thick of a February chill, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the Flying Monkey's killer patio, which is one of Tremont's finest. If the air warms up a bit, sip one of their many bottled or draft beers with friends. Don't forget the nightly drink specials, an old-fashioned bar feel, the neighborhood's finest darts board and weekly trivia and karaoke nights -- voted the city's best Karaoke Bar by Scene readers last year -- if you intend to stay indoors. This one's the perfect bar after you've had a few. Enjoy the company and the games as you nurse a tall one. (Sam Allard), (216) 861-6659

Lincoln Park Pub

393 Professor Ave.

By now, you're probably looking for some really cheap food. Like dirt cheap. And also dirt cheap beer. Lincoln Park Pub ­­— "LPP" or "The Pub" in neighborhood parlance — is chock full of more bar games and features the finest bang for your buck on the South Side. If it's Tuesday, help yourself to (for our money) the best Taco Tuesday in town. If it's Friday, get adequately tanked on the $1 Black Labels. If it's Wednesday, you're drinking nothing but Jame-O shots. (Allard), (216) 621-2240

Hotz Cafe

2529 West 10th St.

The old-school, blue-collar, neighborhood bar has been a family-owned mainstay in Cleveland for nearly a century and it hasn't changed much since the days that Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Ty Cobb used to stop in beers after playing the Indians. A significant portion of the small room is taken up by an addicting shuffleboard table; bring some quarters and a couple of friends (or meet people there) for the best bar game around. For a buck, ask for one of the smokies delivered from the West Side Market (Cajun flavor is the best). (Brown), (216) 771-7004

Prosperity Social Club

1109 Starkweather Ave.

Prosperity Social Club opened nine years ago, but it's housed across from Lincoln Park in an original 1938-built barroom that perfectly fits the working-class foundation of Tremont. "Art Deco influences, wormy chestnut walls and vintage beer memorabilia emanate a nostalgic time of a bygone era," they say, with "a casual, kitschy game room equipped with an old-fashioned bowling machine and vintage board games." (Brown), (216) 937-1938

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About The Authors

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...

Doug Brown

Doug Brown is a staff writer at Scene with a passion for public records laws and investigative reporting. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he has an M.A. in journalism from the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a B.A. in political science from Hiram College. Prior to joining Scene,...
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