If you enjoy amateur comedy, poetry or music, then you have many choices in which to see others perform in the Cleveland area.  Unsigned artists often sound better than the national acts heard on the radio, and even a less-than-talented amateur affords applause from the audience. Some bars also have a house band to accompany the entertainer, and these open mic venues are great for a first date. These bars are the perfect places for performers to demonstrate their talents, and on the flip side, provide affordable entertainment for patrons.

Photo Credit: bsideliquorlounge.com

B-Side Liquor Lounge
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 932-1966

Price: $5
Hours: Tuesday from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

“Lyrical Rhythms” is the long-running open mic night on Tuesdays at the B-Side Liquor Lounge, a dance club with the versatility to appeal to all tastes. On open mic night, the house band usually includes a guitarist, drummer and keyboardist, so performers without any backup musicians can perform with them. The atmosphere is very sexy, making this an intimate spot for a first date, and the performers are almost exclusively poets and soul singers bringing the romance factor up a notch. Please note, rappers are not allowed at the open mic.

Photo Credit: barkingspidertavern.com

Barking Spider Tavern
11310 Juniper Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 421-2863

Price: Free
See calendar for scheduled Open Mic nights

No matter what night of the week you’re looking to perform or watch some live entertainment, Barking Spider is your spot, as it hosts live music at the Spider every night of the week. The acts are diverse and range from folk to rock to bluegrass to jazz. Check the event calendar to find the next open mic night if you’re looking to showcase your talents in front of Barking Spider’s welcoming crowd. Fair warning: this venue does not serve hard liquor, so you’ll have to stick to soft drinks and beer.

Photo Credit: thewinchester.net

The Winchester Music Hall
12112 Madison Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44107
(216) 226-5681

Price: Free
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 9 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.

Rock, blues, jazz and bluegrass are just a few of the genres welcome at Winchester Music Hall’s acoustic open mic night. Every Tuesday and Thursday, each performer gets their chance in the spotlight for the length of three songs, and no prior audition is required so come as you are and get up there. Patrons will mostly hear covers of their favorite hits, but the occasional free spirit will grace you with an amazing original rendition from time to time. Metal, punk, and hip hop are not welcome, so you might want to check out another venue if you’re looking for the head-banging stuff; or, check out Kings and Queens for hip hop.

Related: Best Live Music Venues In Cleveland

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Kings and Queens Lounge
20840 Southgate Park Blvd.
Maple Heights, OH 44137
(216) 663-5630

Price: Free
Hours: Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

The house band at Kings and Queens Lounge often includes a saxophonist, drummer, guitarist and keyboardist, providing a nice mix of melodies for the patrons. The open mic hosts are the very talented “rapmedian” Cool TLC and Mr. Deeds, so bar goers can expect to share a few laughs in between performances. Rappers, singers, comedians and other performers are all invited to hit the stage without discrimination. Coco Z the Mix Mistress works the turntables as up and coming artists entertain on stage.

Photo Credit: The Taverne of Richfield via Facebook

The Taverne of Richfield
3960 Broadview Road, State Route 176
Richfield, OH, 44286
(330) 659-0610

If you’re looking for a more ritzy open mic session, head south for about 20 minutes to the town of Richfield, where you’ll find the enchanting Taverne of Richfield. The name of the game here is fresh seafood and juicy steaks, but the meals are highlighted by some great live entertainment on Jazz Night Saturdays, Tango Wednesdays with free dance lessons and on open mic Thursdays. Artists, musicians and poets are all welcome to take the stage to entertain the Taverne’s guests as they enjoy the “made from scratch” cuisine from Chef Daniel Vernyi and sip on perfectly paired wines.

Related: Best Spoken Word And Poetry Venues In Cleveland

Brownie Marie is a freelance writer covering all things Cleveland. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.