Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.


A bar we love

What shall we say about McNamara's, the gilded Irish dive bar on Lake Road and West 86th Street, on the raspy fringes of both the Cudell and Edgewater neighborhoods? Shall we call it the city's Best Blue-Collar Bar, as Scene did a few year's back in our annual Best Of Cleveland issue? Shall we admire its verdant, lovely patio, one that certainly didn't appear on Scene's "16 Patios You Have to Visit this Summer" but which is basically heaven, if you ask one of McNamara's three ecstatic Yelp reviewers. Shall we say that the dartboards are remarkably stable? Shall we say that the exterior is awfully pretty, given the condition of its residential neighbors? Shall we say that the beer is cheap? It really is. We could say any of those things, surely. McNamara's is one of those "beyond-the-fray" joints that make you feel cozy and welcome like the best dives should. It's not too dirty, not too clean. Ever since former firefighter Gary McNamara bought the spot in 1998 from the former Gleason's pub, it's been a secret headquarters for low-cost brews and westside castoffs with long, private nights before them. Perhaps what we'll mention about McNamara's is the unlikelihood — the miraculousness — that it's remained this under the radar.

8611 Lake Ave.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation