The Best Cleveland Bars And Clubs Of 2021, 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.

It's a chance to celebrate the certified best the city has to offer, the plum perfect shops, restaurants, people, businesses and more that define this great city.

After tens of thousans of votes, the winners have been decided.

These are the best bars and clubs of Cleveland for 2021.

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 Best Concert Venue: 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.
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Concert Venue: 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.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best Jazz Club: House of Swing
4490 Mayfield Rd.,  University Heights  
A small bar with a big blues sound, the House of Swing will transport you back to an old-style juke joint from the 1920s. It may be called the House of Swing, but if you want to hear some of the best blues music Cleveland has to offer, this is the place to be. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Jazz Club: House of Swing

4490 Mayfield Rd., University Heights

A small bar with a big blues sound, the House of Swing will transport you back to an old-style juke joint from the 1920s. It may be called the House of Swing, but if you want to hear some of the best blues music Cleveland has to offer, this is the place to be.

Photo via 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. 
Photo via 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.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best Bar or Club for Local Music: Mahall’s
13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood  
Coming up on their 100th anniversary in a few years, this bowling alley, music venue, bar and restaurant was established by the Mahall family in 1924. It’s still one of the more happening spots in town. A mecca of awesomeness, with food, cocktails, music, bowling and beer. The doors opened in 1924. In 2012, new owners re-vamped the menu and space while holding onto the business’s historical integrity and glory. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Bar or Club for Local Music: Mahall’s

13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood

Coming up on their 100th anniversary in a few years, this bowling alley, music venue, bar and restaurant was established by the Mahall family in 1924. It’s still one of the more happening spots in town. A mecca of awesomeness, with food, cocktails, music, bowling and beer. The doors opened in 1924. In 2012, new owners re-vamped the menu and space while holding onto the business’s historical integrity and glory.

Photo via 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.
Photo via 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.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best Blues Club: The Bop Stop
2920 Detroit Ave., Cleveland 
With sweeping views of Lake Erie, the Bop Stop is an awesome venue for smaller shows. As part of the Cleveland Music Settlement, this non-profit organization hosts performances most nights of the week in non-COVID times.
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Blues Club: The Bop Stop

2920 Detroit Ave., Cleveland

With sweeping views of Lake Erie, the Bop Stop is an awesome venue for smaller shows. As part of the Cleveland Music Settlement, this non-profit organization hosts performances most nights of the week in non-COVID times.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best LGBTQ Bar, Best Hip-Hop Club and Best Club or Bar to Dance: 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.
Photo via Scene Archives

Best LGBTQ Bar, Best Hip-Hop Club and Best Club or Bar to Dance: 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.

Photo via Scene Archives
 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. 
Photo via Scene Archives

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.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best Dive Bar: Hooples
1930 Columbus Rd., Cleveland  
We give a lot of credit to Hoopples for having one of the best views in the city with its industrial panoramic of the river and Cleveland skyline backdrop. An even more glorious scene: a basket full of filled-to-the-brim tacos. Sure, Tower City looks nice all lit up, but it’s twice as nice when you’re throwing back a pint at this spot in the Flats, where you’re sure to find folks from all walks of life.
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Dive Bar: Hooples

1930 Columbus Rd., Cleveland

We give a lot of credit to Hoopples for having one of the best views in the city with its industrial panoramic of the river and Cleveland skyline backdrop. An even more glorious scene: a basket full of filled-to-the-brim tacos. Sure, Tower City looks nice all lit up, but it’s twice as nice when you’re throwing back a pint at this spot in the Flats, where you’re sure to find folks from all walks of life.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best Neighborhood Bar: Treehouse
820 College Ave., Cleveland 
There's really nothing fancy about the Treehouse, save, of course, the fake tree that sprouts from the middle of the bar and extends its branches outward. Otherwise, you'll find a nicely stocked batch of taps, a healthy dose of (not always healthy) bar food, and one of the most glorious patios in Cleveland. Really, the patio is huge, and it's filled afternoon or evening. It is one of the best spots to enjoy a brew under the open sky in one of Cleveland's favorite neighborhoods. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Neighborhood Bar: Treehouse

820 College Ave., Cleveland

There's really nothing fancy about the Treehouse, save, of course, the fake tree that sprouts from the middle of the bar and extends its branches outward. Otherwise, you'll find a nicely stocked batch of taps, a healthy dose of (not always healthy) bar food, and one of the most glorious patios in Cleveland. Really, the patio is huge, and it's filled afternoon or evening. It is one of the best spots to enjoy a brew under the open sky in one of Cleveland's favorite neighborhoods.

Photo via Scene Archives