Dunlap's Corner Bar in Clark-Fulton Reopens With New Ownership and Fresh Programming

The goal is to host nightly live entertainment by March

click to enlarge Dunlap's Corner Bar in Clark-Fulton - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
Dunlap's Corner Bar in Clark-Fulton
The modest structure at 3258 West 32nd Street in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood has been a bar for as long as it has been legal to operate one. Pacino’s Wonder Bar opened up immediately after Prohibition, making it one of the first places around to enjoy a lawful beer. More recently, the 100-year-old building was home to Dunlap's Country Corner, a community mainstay for about 20 years. Dunlap’s was very briefly owned by Platform Beer owner Justin Carson, who unloaded it after just a couple years. Nick White, who also runs the Tremont Athletic Club, purchased the bar last spring.

“I run a gym and now I own a dive bar,” White says. “Chalk it up to the duality of man or some horseshit like that.”

Before opening Dunlap's Corner Bar this past Thanksgiving, White and partner Jason Mattern made some repairs and improvements, being careful to preserve and respect the classic tavern vibe. They refinished the handsome mahogany bar, added a brass foot rail that was purchased from an old theater in Youngstown, built a new back bar, added a draft beer system and serviced the pool table.

“It needed some fundamental improvements like a new roof, but everything else we did was to fix something that was broken or to bring it back to how it was,” White explains. “I love dive bars – bars that don’t have a concept. Once neighborhoods get gentrified, being a regular bar becomes a concept itself. We have no desire to gentrify this bar or the neighborhood. I want Dunlap’s to be what any dive wants, and that’s to be a community anchor.”

As someone who did not grow up in Cleveland, White credits bars as the places where he met most of his new friends, conducted much of his business and, well, got loaded.

“For some reason, younger generations think they need to be doing something else while they’re drinking,” White says. “It’s the weirdest fucking trend. Drinking is enough. Who wants to play shuffleboard 80 feet away from the people you came to the bar with. What are you supposed to do, scream at them?”

During happy hour at Dunlap’s, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, guests can enjoy $2 Miller High Lifes, $4 Jamisons, $6 pitchers of beer and free pool. Here, a “happy meal” consists of a Miller High Life, a shot of whiskey and a smokie. The cost is $10.

The next step for Dunlap’s is to activate the bar’s original stage every night of the week. This tavern's tradition of live entertainment stretches back to the 1930s, when it was famous for its drag shows and spaghetti dinners. White installed a top-notch AV system so musicians and comics can simply plug in and leave their amps at home.

Mike Polk and the Stepdads of Galway perform their "live weekly rehearsals" every Tuesday. Acoustic open mic nights will be held on Wednesdays starting in March. DJs will take over on Thursdays. And Ramon Rivas II and Tania Timmons host their comedy show every Friday.

Down the road, Dunlap’s will likely add some simple food items like hot dogs.
click to enlarge Dunlap's Corner Bar in Clark-Fulton Reopens With New Ownership and Fresh Programming
Courtesy Dunlap's Corner Bar

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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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