The Best Bars and Clubs in Cleveland in 2022, According to Scene Readers

Once a year, we turn over the entire issue to you, the readers, to tell us what the very best things in Cleveland are.

We asked you to give their picks for the best bars and clubs in dozens of categories for Best of Cleveland 2022, and you didn't let us down. Here are your choices for the best Cleveland-area bars to visit for everything from a first date to a club show and in between. Use this to plan your next binge or night out.


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 Best Jazz Club and Best Blues Club: Brothers Lounge
11609 Detroit Ave., Cleveland 
With three separate areas to enjoy music, a great drinks and food menu and live music, Brothers’ is one of our favorite spots in town for a night out. There’s the wine bar for a relaxing atmosphere, the bar area and the music venue and always awesome live music playing.
Scene Archives

Best Jazz Club and Best Blues Club: Brothers Lounge

11609 Detroit Ave., Cleveland

With three separate areas to enjoy music, a great drinks and food menu and live music, Brothers’ is one of our favorite spots in town for a night out. There’s the wine bar for a relaxing atmosphere, the bar area and the music venue and always awesome live music playing.
 Best Rock Club: The Agora
5000 Euclid Ave., Cleveland  
The Agora is a Cleveland rock landmark that has been around since 1966 and in its current location since 1986. Divided into a spacious theater and a more comfortable ballroom, the club has three bars, and it's as big as the names who play there.
Scene Archives

Best Rock Club: The Agora

5000 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

The Agora is a Cleveland rock landmark that has been around since 1966 and in its current location since 1986. Divided into a spacious theater and a more comfortable ballroom, the club has three bars, and it's as big as the names who play there.
 Best Bar or Club for Local Music: Beachland Ballroom and Tavern
15711 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland  
Before they opened the Beachland Ballroom & Tavern in Collinwood over a decade ago, co-owner Mark Leddy booked garage and punk bands at Pat's in the Flats while co-owner Cindy Barber worked as a journalist. Diehard music fans, they turned their dream of running a club into a reality when they purchased this old Croatian dance hall and turned it into a music hotspot that features both an intimate tavern and a spacious ballroom; the club will often host two shows a night. Bands like the White Stripes played the Tavern before graduating to bigger venues, and the Nashville-via-Akron garage-blues duo the Black Keys played their first-ever show in the Tavern. You'll still find a diverse lineup of bands about to break through and indie favorites who make it a point to include the Beachland on their tour schedules. Oh, and the club also hosts one of the most popular Sunday brunches in town.
Scene Archives

Best Bar or Club for Local Music: Beachland Ballroom and Tavern

15711 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland

Before they opened the Beachland Ballroom & Tavern in Collinwood over a decade ago, co-owner Mark Leddy booked garage and punk bands at Pat's in the Flats while co-owner Cindy Barber worked as a journalist. Diehard music fans, they turned their dream of running a club into a reality when they purchased this old Croatian dance hall and turned it into a music hotspot that features both an intimate tavern and a spacious ballroom; the club will often host two shows a night. Bands like the White Stripes played the Tavern before graduating to bigger venues, and the Nashville-via-Akron garage-blues duo the Black Keys played their first-ever show in the Tavern. You'll still find a diverse lineup of bands about to break through and indie favorites who make it a point to include the Beachland on their tour schedules. Oh, and the club also hosts one of the most popular Sunday brunches in town.
 Best Bar or Club for Underground Music and Best Hip-Hop Club: Grog Shop
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights  
This Coventry Road concert venue opened in 1992 when owner Kathy Blackman and two business partners took over a Cleveland Heights bar on the corner of Coventry and Mayfield roads. Since that time, the club has moved to a bigger space at the corner of Coventry and Euclid Heights Boulevard but has maintained its roots and ethos. It regularly hosts a dynamic mix of bands that includes everything from punk and reggae to hip-hop and indie rock.
Scene Archives

Best Bar or Club for Underground Music and Best Hip-Hop Club: Grog Shop

2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights

This Coventry Road concert venue opened in 1992 when owner Kathy Blackman and two business partners took over a Cleveland Heights bar on the corner of Coventry and Mayfield roads. Since that time, the club has moved to a bigger space at the corner of Coventry and Euclid Heights Boulevard but has maintained its roots and ethos. It regularly hosts a dynamic mix of bands that includes everything from punk and reggae to hip-hop and indie rock.
 Best LGBTQ Bar: Twist Social Club
11633 Clifton Ave., Cleveland  
With a pretty thorough renovation in 2014, Twist returned with a fabulous vengeance and is now the premier LGBTQ club and bar in town. And even though summer is finally winding down, 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.
Scene Archives

Best LGBTQ Bar: Twist Social Club

11633 Clifton Ave., Cleveland

With a pretty thorough renovation in 2014, Twist returned with a fabulous vengeance and is now the premier LGBTQ club and bar in town. And even though summer is finally winding down, 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.
 Best Bar/Club for EDM: FWD Day + Night Club
1176 Front Ave., Cleveland 
If you’re looking to dance your ass off while overlooking the Cuyahoga River, FWD is definitely the spot you’re looking for. During the warmer months, the day and night club hosts electronic acts and DJs from far and wide and makes this a party like no other in town.
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Best Bar/Club for EDM: FWD Day + Night Club

1176 Front Ave., Cleveland

If you’re looking to dance your ass off while overlooking the Cuyahoga River, FWD is definitely the spot you’re looking for. During the warmer months, the day and night club hosts electronic acts and DJs from far and wide and makes this a party like no other in town.
Best Dive Bar: Harbor Inn
1219 Main Ave., Cleveland 
As the oldest continuously operating bar in Cleveland — open since 1895, thank you very much — the Harbor Inn has many stories to tell. Thankfully, the West Bank of the Flats spot keeps its secrets, and night after night allows patrons young and old to imbibe in witty conversation and general tomfoolery virtually undisturbed while swallowed up in dim yellow light.
Scene Archives

Best Dive Bar: Harbor Inn

1219 Main Ave., Cleveland

As the oldest continuously operating bar in Cleveland — open since 1895, thank you very much — the Harbor Inn has many stories to tell. Thankfully, the West Bank of the Flats spot keeps its secrets, and night after night allows patrons young and old to imbibe in witty conversation and general tomfoolery virtually undisturbed while swallowed up in dim yellow light.
Best Place for Arcade Games: Pins Mechanical Co. and 16-Bit Bar + Arcade
1880 West 25th St., Cleveland
A project that was first announced in 2019 finally reached the finish line in March. Pins Mechanical Co. and 16-Bit Bar + Arcade, which opened in Ohio City, was previously home to Daniels Furniture. The sprawling entertainment complex spans 27,000 square feet spread across two floors. While the all-ages social destination is one cohesive attraction, it is comprised of two separate venues. Cleveland gamers likely will be familiar with 16-Bit, the classic arcade game emporium that for six years lured gaming fans to Lakewood. Joining that concept is Pins Mechanical, Rise’s duckpin bowling brand.
Scene Archives

Best Place for Arcade Games: Pins Mechanical Co. and 16-Bit Bar + Arcade

1880 West 25th St., Cleveland

A project that was first announced in 2019 finally reached the finish line in March. Pins Mechanical Co. and 16-Bit Bar + Arcade, which opened in Ohio City, was previously home to Daniels Furniture. The sprawling entertainment complex spans 27,000 square feet spread across two floors. While the all-ages social destination is one cohesive attraction, it is comprised of two separate venues. Cleveland gamers likely will be familiar with 16-Bit, the classic arcade game emporium that for six years lured gaming fans to Lakewood. Joining that concept is Pins Mechanical, Rise’s duckpin bowling brand.
 Best Neighborhood Bar: Merry Arts Pub and Grill and Best Bartender: Amanda Popikl
15607 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
Since 1932, Merry Arts has served up food and drinks to the Lakewood community. It opened during the Great Depression, and if it could make it through that, well, we have a feeling it won’t be going anywhere any time soon, especially with how beloved Taco Tuesday’s are.
Scene Archives

Best Neighborhood Bar: Merry Arts Pub and Grill and Best Bartender: Amanda Popikl

15607 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

Since 1932, Merry Arts has served up food and drinks to the Lakewood community. It opened during the Great Depression, and if it could make it through that, well, we have a feeling it won’t be going anywhere any time soon, especially with how beloved Taco Tuesday’s are.
Best Spot For Day Drinking: Lakewood Truck Park
16900 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
Five years in the making, Lakewood Truck Park finally opened in the summer of 2020, just in time to take advantage of alfresco social-distance partying. The 12,000-square-foot property features two bars, a rotating selection of food trucks and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Fun events like yoga, cornhole tourneys and Tiki Tuesday with live steel-drum music keep the vibe lively and beverages flowing.
Scene Archives

Best Spot For Day Drinking: Lakewood Truck Park

16900 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

Five years in the making, Lakewood Truck Park finally opened in the summer of 2020, just in time to take advantage of alfresco social-distance partying. The 12,000-square-foot property features two bars, a rotating selection of food trucks and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Fun events like yoga, cornhole tourneys and Tiki Tuesday with live steel-drum music keep the vibe lively and beverages flowing.