Best Places To See Indie Rock In Cleveland

By Mario McKellop

Although it’s not something that the city is known for, Cleveland is a great place to catch some excellent indie rock. In addition to producing amazing acts like Cloud Nothings, the local scene has developed to the extent that talented bands from around the world have added ‘The CLE’ to their list of must-hit Midwestern cities. As such, residents have a few different taverns, bars and restaurants to choose from when seeking out a quality music venue. Here are five of the best.

Grog Shop 
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd.
Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
(216) 321-5588
www.grogshop.gs

A colorful and cozy Grog Shop is a great place to fall in love with an indie band. The bar stocks a variety of micro-brews that make it easy to get properly soused. It also has an intimate atmosphere that makes it ideal for a night out with friends or a memorable first date. The Grog Shop is regularly hosts high-profile indie bands like Los Campesinos!, Agent Orange and Dinosaur Jr.

Related: Best Live Music Venues in Cleveland

Wilbert’s Food & Music
Caxton Building
812 Huron Road E.
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 902-4663
www.wilbertsmusic.com

Wilbert’s is the kind of laid back hang out that exemplifies Cleveland proudly working-class nature. It’s warm, unpretentious and offers tasty food and ice cold brews at inexpensive prices. In addition to the good grub and affordable alcohol, the pub also features a fantastic sound system. On an average night, Wilbert’s hosts sublime indie groups like You’re Among Friends, Katy Guillen & The Girls and This Way to the Egress.

Related: Best Music Festivals Near Cleveland

Now That’s Class
11213 Detroit Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44102
(216) 221-8576
www.nowthatsclass.net

Now That’s Class is a quintessential punk rock joint. It serves $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon tall cans on Mondays, discounted vodka drinks on and a host of equally affordable and delightfully delicious Mexican food every day. Its rough-hewn ambiance is complimented with classic arcade games, 8 track player and skateboarding ramp. Best of all, the venue, regularly features excellent indie bands like Power Trip, Dead Fall and Bash & Bop.

Related: Best Places To Discover New Music In Cleveland

Happy Dog 
5801 Detroit Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44102
(216) 651-9474
www.happydogcleveland.com

Happy Dog bills itself as a “neighborhood corner bar in the best sense of the term,” and it definitely lives up to that description. The taproom has a relaxed tone that invites visitors to sit down, order some beers and food before having a potential a life-altering performance. True to its name, the Happy Dog’s specialty is hot dogs with a wide variety of unusual toppings like Froot Loops or Spaghetti-Os. It also hosts first-rate indie acts like Early Girl, Part Time Lover and Another Mother’s Milk in its convivial performance space.

Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
15711 Waterloo Road
Cleveland, OH 44110
(216) 383-1124
www.beachlandballroom.com

A venue that radiates old school cool, The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern has served as one of the city’s best showcases for eclectic indie music since 2000. As such, Clevelanders can catch see rising and established independent acts like Allah-las, Allison Crutchfield and New Found Glory make regular appearances at Beachland.  And its extensive list of import, domestic and craft beers, it’s is a great place for locals to expand their palates. Unlike many of the city’s bars and club, Beachland features live performances during brunch time as well as in the evening.

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