Cleveland is known for its lack of sunshine, which comes with a fair share of rainy days. Since being outside is unpleasant when it’s raining cats and dogs, what better way to occupy your time than to retreat inside with a tasty cocktail or brew? From dive bars to games, there’s a little something for everyone in bars and lounges all over Cleveland.
11434 Uptown Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Known as one of Cleveland’s best dive bars, ABC Tavern draws rather large crowds on the weekends and has a happy following of fans in the Ohio City and Uptown area. Both locations house bar bowling and pool tables for those that enjoy a little friendly competition. But sometimes the true value in a dive bar can be found during slower times, bellied up to the bar. ABC is a great place to take shelter from storms, especially in Uptown, where large windows will give you a good view of the storm passing by while you enjoy a beer at the bar. If you’re on West 25th and run into ABC during a rain storm, you’ll find a dark and welcoming interior, where you can really hide and ignore what’s happening outside.
La CaveDu Vin
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
If you don’t know where La Cave is, you may encounter some trouble trying to locate this bar. Housed in a basement space below the Inn on Coventry, this bar is quite the cozy retreat. Once you make your way down the steps, you’ll find that this bar is true to its name and feels much like a wine cave where you can drink among walls lined with unique brews and decor. Who cares if it’s raining outside when you’re cuddled up with a bottle of wine in this dark and intimate “cave”? Wait out the storm and emerge as the birds are chirping; you’ll get the benefit of the puddle jumping without being caught in a downpour.
16-Bit Bar + Arcade
15012 Detroit Ave.
Lakewood, OH 44107
If your couch is beginning to host a personalized imprint and your modern gaming system is getting tiresome, don’t just stare out the window as the rain discourages any excursions. Head to 16-Bit for a plethora of old school games (for free) and a–put simply–really cool bar. 16-Bit isn’t just an arcade, it’s a bar serving up old school and modern cocktails, beer, and tons of fun. Hosting “High Score Sunday”, “Mortal Monday”, Two Player Tuesday” and “Way Back Wednesday”, this bar is a great distraction from the weather. You won’t get a chance to chat about the Cleveland weather when you’re trying to achieve a high score.
1307 Auburn Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
When it’s chilly and rainy, there’s one thought that takes over everyone’s mind: warmth. Lava Lounge exudes a warm atmosphere–the name is even connotative toward a warm feeling–with its loungey vibe, warm lighting, local art and delicious cocktails. The menu itself is full of impressive and comforting dishes, which would pair well with a relaxing night in with a loved one or some friends. This is a bar for someone looking to embrace the weather and the opportunity it gives for a night (or day) of cozy and relaxing indulgence.
Clifton Martini and Wine Bar
10427 Clifton Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44102
While Clifton Martini and Wine Bar has a great patio right out Clifton Boulevard, that doesn’t mean that this bar misses out on the rainy day crowd. For the chillier times, there’s a fireplace worth thawing out by, but if that isn’t what you’re looking for, the intimate seating area and relaxed bar are also great options. An extensive wine list makes for great reading material while you wait out a storm, and if you’re in it for the long run, the menu doesn’t disappoint.
Kaitlin Dershaw Durbin has spent the past 7 years living in and loving Cleveland. She enjoys making new discoveries, especially when it comes to the local food and arts community, and sharing them with others, hoping to spark similar love for the city in others. Find her other local profiles at http://www.axs.com/contributor/kaitlin-dershaw-durbin-axs-contributor-631