There are plenty of bars throughout Cleveland and its suburbs to grab a drink, but many are filled with young people having just reached drinking age and trying their best to prove just how much they can. How do you find those that cater to the older crowd? Now that you’ve reached that level of maturity and wisdom that comes with wanting to hear your companions and truly enjoying your time together, see the places below for some of the best bars in Cleveland.

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The Velvet Tango Room
2095 Columbus Road
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 241-8869

There is a small spot on the edge of Tremont that may make you think you stepped into a time machine. The neon sign tucked into the shuttered windows on the side of the road could easily be missed, but the environment within is unforgettable. Dedicated to the true art of mixing cocktails, The Velvet Tango Room speaks to a tradition long since abandoned in most American bars. The environment speaks of the building’s historic story, including its time as a speakeasy in the 20s, and it holds onto the classic spirit with live jazz on the piano in the back. The slower pace and attention to detail given to the cocktails here ensures you won’t find any beer guzzling youngsters. But your time in this amazing establishment may make you forget you are in Cleveland at the beginning of the 21st Century.

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Photo Credit: Bodega Coventry via Facebook

1854 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
(216) 932-3060

Amidst the historic Coventry strip with its various shops, restaurants and bars sits Bodega—a classy bar and restaurant providing an alternative to the young crowds roaming the streets. The short staircase from the door leads down into an environment characterized by low lighting, a beautiful lighted wine rack and a classy environment. The smaller venue still provides seated tables, a lounge area and a bar. But you won’t find big screen TVs plastered on the walls—in fact, there are only two smaller TVs on either end of the bar. The music won’t leave you straining to hear your companions or leaving you hoarse the following day, but the extensive martini and drink list will create a new arena for discussion.

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The Treehouse
820 College Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 696-2505

No matter what age you are, sometimes you just want to go out for a beer or two (or 10!) with your friends. A great option on the near west side is The Treehouse, located amidst the art galleries, restaurants and bars of the Tremont neighborhood. The Treehouse offers the friendly neighborhood bar atmosphere, but with an older crowd. On warm evenings the patio is filled with revelry and on Sunday evenings, a few musicians may be found adding their perspective on the night—don’t be surprised if they pull out a couple Irish drinking songs and ask you to join. After all, there is a huge classic Guinness advertisement painted on the wall of the building by the patio.

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Chocolate Bar
347 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 622-2626

Located in the heart of Cleveland, just a few blocks east of Public Square, sits a unique bar that will provide an evening of great flavors and perhaps some new experiences. As their motto states, Chocolate Bar is “where everything tastes better with chocolate.” With a full menu and delicious alcoholic concoctions, your every craving can be met. The wonderful patio and laid-back environment offers a nice alternative to the loud, noisy bars of the Warehouse District packed with 20-somethings partying the night away.

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Brother’s Lounge
11609 Detroit Ave
Cleveland, OH 44102
(216) 226-2767

Heading west on Detroit Avenue, just before reaching the Lakewood border at W. 117th, you will find a bar, restaurant and music venue that is sure to fill your evening with the ambiance fitting to your mature taste. With three separate areas in one establishment, Brother’s Lounge creates an environment to bring your date, hang out with your buds, or boogie down to some great tunes. The food menu boasts wonderfully satisfying and tasty options, the wine selection is diverse, and you can find tasty brews from your traditional domestics to scarce microbrews. On Friday and Saturday nights, the front bar gives you a place to sit and chill or hang at, the Wine Bar offers an intimate environment accompanied by solo musicians or small bands, and the Music Hall hosts great bands of every genre with tables and a dance floor for however you choose to enjoy the tunes.

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Danielle Andes has spent the past two decades documenting the world around her through photography and writing, paying particular attention to the world of music. She was born and raised in Cleveland, and still resides there today. Her work can be found at