Cleveland is a treat for music lovers. Any night of the week there’s a place to head to hear some live music. These four are some of the best in the city. – Kurt D. Moore

The Winchester Tavern and Music Hall

12112 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, OH 44107
(216) 226-5681

The Winchester gets rave reviews as one of the best live music venues in Cleveland. The establishment, which opened on Cleveland’s west side in 2002, has it all with an intimate concert hall, a friendly staff and a steady stream of talented entertainers. Metromix Cleveland calls it “… one of the hippest, and definitely most comfortable, old school music halls” in the city. The Winchester offers beer, mixed drinks, and coffee and tea, but no wine. Hours depend on show schedule. The Winchester is closed on Sundays and most Mondays. Local performers can stop by and strut their talent during open mic nights held Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Grog Shop

2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard
Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
(216) 321-5588

Numerous local, national and international touring bands stop by the Grog Shop, which has graced such acts as Supergrass, Dinosaur Jr. and Oasis. Ticket prices are cheap. The small size makes for an intimate experience, though cuts down on available seating. The alcohol selection includes micro-brews. Check the schedule on the website for show times.


12387 Cedar Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
(216) 795-0550

Nighttown touts itself as having the “ambiance of Irish pubs and turn of the century New York bars.” What it has is live music — some of the best jazz in Cleveland. Its reputation doesn’t stop there, as Nighttown is the only club in Ohio to be featured on Down Beat’s list of the best jazz clubs in the world. Live music ranging from local acts to national ones is available at least four nights of the week, and a variety of settings are available inside. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to midnight Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday.

Happy Dog

5801 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44102
(216) 651-9474

Happy Dog is known for its quarter-pound hot dogs and a never-ending list of toppings, but this venue also offers up a taste of local and regional music. It has live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and occasionally other days as well. For a unique Cleveland experience, check out the place during a Friday night featuring the Polka Happy Hour with DJ Kishka. Hours are 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and 1 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Check out the website for scheduled acts.