A Rebranded Crobar Is Bringing Shows and More to the Croatian Tavern Spot on St. Clair

Gerad Guhde, a longtime bar vet whose most recent stop was at Porco Lounge & Tiki Room, quietly took over as manager of the former Croatian Tavern (3244 St. Clair) space earlier this year, rechristened it Crobar, and began booking local and regional shows. (Omar S, a celebrated Detroit-based DJ, plays Saturday night.)

From the start, he wanted to upgrade the experience without taking away what makes the space great.

“It's is a really cool place,” says Guhde. “It’s been around since 1921. That was just the second year of Prohibition. They moved to the current location in 1946. It’s uniquely Cleveland. It’s not something someone can see in a different market. It has that old dive bar patina that you can’t recreate even if you wanted to.”

The club came with an old dining room that featured a stage, and Guhde says the room has been transformed to accommodate some of the large bands he plans to book.

“I’ve really just kept it true to itself,” he says. “It’s still very much Crobar. For two months, we have accomplished quite a bit. They had a jukebox. That was the only previous sound, if you will. We’re dropping in a new system this week. We don’t need a ton of sound to make it sound amazing.”

Guhde says he hopes to host "cheeky" theme nights as well as various pop-up events featuring guest bartenders from the Cleveland area. (Schedules for shows and events at Crobar, which Gudhe calls a "five star dive bar and music" hall, can be found on their Instagram.)

“I’ve been in the industry for 20 years now,” he says, “and I’ve opened about 12 bars for other people. It’s nice to finally have my own project.”
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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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