The Downtown Cleveland entertainment scene is taking a giant step back in time with the recent addition of Wild Eagle Saloon
(921 Huron Rd., 216-465-3225), a Playhouse Square bar that puts a modern spin on a traditional saloon. The concept, the latest for Geis Hospitality Group, offers 6,400 square feet of food, drink and fun in the heart of downtown.
Set inside the restored Howell Building, a 1920s-era structure, the roomy two-level bar and restaurant is unlike anything else in town. The biggest differentiator comes in the form of "Inebriation Stations," self-serve beer stations designed to put the guest in charge of his or her own experience – or, if you’re a cynic, to cut back on the number of staffers needed to run the place. Scattered around the complex are 24 taps offering up a selection of craft beer from the likes of Dogfish, Great Lakes, Southern Tier, Fat Heads and Revolution.
That sense of control extends to the food and cocktails as well, with the guests placing their orders directly at the bar as opposed to through a server. The food selection is an over-the-top American menu with a Southern twist, boasting unapologetically non-healthy items like bacon-fried bacon, which is a slab of smoked pork breaded, fried and doused in country gravy. Also on the appetizer menu are chili cheese fries, fried pickles and fried-to-order pork rinds. All burgers are built with twin four-ounce patties, flame-grilled and topped with everything from onion rings and slaw to fried mac-and-cheese balls. Also on the bill are fried chicken and pork schnitzel sandwiches, Polish Boys and Southern fried chicken sold by the wing, thigh, leg, breast or "Whole Damn Bird."
In addition to the food and drink, Wild Eagle offers guests a plethora of entertainment options, like indoor bocce, pool tables, vintage arcade and pinball games, air hockey, darts, karaoke and Skee Ball. When things get a little rowdy, guests can hit the "Rumble Room," which is equipped with a punching bag, arm wrestling machine and an additional "Inebriation Station." There will be live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night.
"Clevelanders don't have to choose between a quality food and beverage experience, or a quality social experience anymore. By combining both of these experiences, we've created two floors of playful environments with ample nooks and crannies for mischief," explains Keith Halfmann, Principal & COO of Geis Hospitality Group. "We are really pushing the envelope with this concept. It won't be a place for our guests to take their grandmothers."
Wild Eagle Saloon opens to the public at 11 a.m. Wednesday March 30.