From Party Girl to Lightweight – Cleveland’s Nightclub Scene
By most standards, I’ve always considered myself to be the kind of girl who didn’t pass up a good soiree. From spending my vacations exploring the Las Vegas club scene to attending just about ever bar promotion put on by my radio-station-sales-guy husband, I’ve built a reputation as someone who loves her nightlife.
But as I usher in my thirties and watch as all my girlfriends become mothers, I’ve noticed that my version of partying has changed a bit. At this point in my life, I’d much prefer a quiet evening at a local wine bar or sipping martinis on a patio during happy hour. Add to that that my best friend recently declared me to be – gasp – a lightweight, I think it’s time to leave behind a legacy to my party girl predecessors.
That said, I’ve employed the help of a cooler-than-me trio including Positively Cleveland’s marketing intern and twenty-something, Brittany; local DJ, Adam; and all-around fun gal pal, Kate to help me build some comprehensive listings on some of my favorite nighttime hotspots. Enjoy!
Anatomy Nightclub and Ultralounge
1299 West 9th Street
Anatomy Nightclub + Ultralounge is a stylish spot to hear a new DJ, grab a drink with your girlfriends or participate in any of their singles nights. Anatomy offers a great place for private parties or large groups, as they have an assortment of VIP tables and a private patio. As for the music, expect hip hop nights and a few local DJs spinning progressive and electro house EDM.
Liquid/Suite Sixx/Ultra Night Club
1212 West 6th Street
This venue is literally comprised of three different experiences all in one. You’ve got the down-to-earth, good-for-beer-drinkin’ Liquid located upstairs, the sophisticated Suite Sixx that offers Vegas-style lounges next door and Ultra Night Club in the lower level that’s got a great DJ, huge bar and plenty of room to dance. One could literally spend an entire evening at this trio of fun – so plan accordingly.
1229 West 6th Street
When I think Tequila Ranch, I am instantly taken back to an oh-so-special moment in my life when I danced on top their bar. That said, Tequila Ranch = PARTY. With 40 different types of tequila and a ridiculously hilarious mechanical bull, this place gets hopping on weekend nights. The bar gets pretty packed, so show up early to avoid the long line outside. Expect top 40 and hip hop.
Downstairs at 1214 West 6th Street
Dive Bar is the college bar for grownups! As the resident Ohio State University pub in the Warehouse District, you’re sure to hear the school’s fight song at least four times during your visit. But that okay, because this bar is playing classic bar tunes and has more than 42 beers on tap in a more laid-back environment. It makes for a great place to stop for happy hour, grab a beer or just to catch a game.
Blind Pig (downstairs)
Downstairs at 1228 West 6th Street
The Blind Pig can literally be split into two between the upstairs and the downstairs. But, if you’re looking for a nightclub environment, you’ll want to head downstairs where a DJ is spinning top 40 and 90s dance music on the weekends. Depending on the night, lounge seating is usually available downstairs – giving your sore, strappy-heeled soles a break.
The Mercury Lounge
1392 West 6th Street
The fresh, clean environment at The Mercury Lounge offers an alternative to the typical club setting with a more sophisticated vibe. If you’re looking to escape the “Sex on the Beach” and “Miller Lite” crowd, head here for an award-winning cocktail. The music varies with local promoters and DJs throwing weekly parties featuring a good mix of EDM styles like Bmore club, indie dance and hipster house. Sunday nights are “Club Roma” where you’ll hear euro dance.
Barley House (weekends)
1265 W 6th Street
During the day (and weekday), the Barley House is a down-to-earth Irish pub serving up some of the best beer selections in town. But on weekend nights, the environment is transformed into a hopping nightclub that hosts celebs like Lebron James, Shaquille O’Neal and Kim Kardashian.
1266 West 6th Street
Plain and simple, Barfly is a place to dance. Expect to see some very cool décor, while checking out a variety of drink specials and a secluded lounge area for table service and private parties. In terms of music, clubgoers to Barflyy hear well-mixed top 40 and euro dance styles.
1280 West 6th Street
Velvet Dog is the kind of nightclub that’s designed for all kinds of people with varying music tastes. The posh atmosphere has three levels, each unique in its own way. But the crème de la crème is the roof-top party lounge that provides an uncanny view of the Cleveland skyline during warmer weather months. Whether you’re there for happy hour or a night out on the town, Velvet Dog is sure to please patrons of all sorts.
200 Euclid Avenue
Situated between Public Square and the East Fourth Street Entertainment District, no one can argue that Cadillac Ranch offers a stellar and spacious location. During the day, this venue serves authentic all-American cuisine for lunch and dinner. On weekend nights, however, Cadillac Ranch turns up the volume with classic and modern rock to those looking to party throughout their large floor plan. And, of course, a night out wouldn’t be complete with a mechanical bull! This one’s a favorite with young locals, so get their early on weekend nights.
200 Euclid Avenue
BarRoom, which is connected with Cadillac Ranch, offers a nightclub experience that, in my opinion, most resembles a Vegas-style experience. The high-energy club is both stylish and spacious – and by “spacious” we mean “HUGE.” Partiers love the state-of-the art sound and light systems, weekend DJs with varying styles, outdoor patio and VIP balcony. Basketball star, Lebron James, made BarRoom the venue for his most recent birthday party extravaganza with invitees like Jay-Z and Beyonce.
View Ultralounge & Nightclub
618 Prospect Avenue East
View Ultra-Lounge and Nightclub offers a club experience modeled after clubs in New York, Vegas and South Beach. During the summer, club goers flock to the spacious rooftop patio that overlooks the city. Inside, the décor is posh with lounge-style seating and a separate dance floor area. View is known for its hip hop nights, salsa nights (complete with salsa dance lessons) and the occasional local underground electronic DJ. View is also great for wine lovers with its innovative Vinebar.
1865 West 25th Street
Quickly becoming a favorite with locals, Dragon Fly is new to the nightclub scene. Recently opened, the bar features classically mixed cocktails (don’t pass up their Moscow Mule) in a lounge-style environment. The décor is chic, yet approachable. DragonFly’s music scene is still establishing its true identity, but gives and receives lots of love from the local EDM DJs.
Touch Supper Club
2710 Lorain Avenue
Touch Supper Club is a unique venue that combines Chef Jeff Fisher mouth-watering cuisine and world-class entertainment. Get there for regular monthly DJs and themes like salsa, hip hop, dubstep and deep house. Weekly DJs are spinning French house, indie dance and rock. Our DJ friend proclaimed that Touch is “the Cleveland dance underground’s living room.” A unique, eclectic and fun experience all around!
2814 Detroit Avenue
Head to Bounce on a Friday night and check out one of the best drag queen shows in the town. Regardless of whether you’re gay or straight, Bounce offers a fun environment with energetic EDM DJs going all night. It was recently rated as the “#1 Best Gay and Lesbian Bar in Cleveland and Akron-Canton.” For those looking to dance in a fun, carefree setting, this is the place to be.