Bars & Clubs

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Best Karaoke Bar

Tina's Nite Club

You would be forgiven, after a cursory drive-by, for dismissing Tina's as a terrifying den of low-rent squalor. While the blighted location, fizzling sign, prison-yard patio, and sleazy spelling might deter the nebbish and weak-willed, karaoke stalwarts know that within Tina's imposing brick facade, seedy spoils aplenty await. Helmed by one of two DJs—jolly Little Lou or tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold Billy Wayne—Tina's karaoke selections may not boast the latest chart-toppers, but hey, "How Bizarre" beats Pitbull any day (or nite). And with $1-for-3 Jell-O shots and $2 domestics, you'll be sloshed enough to tackle 4 Non Blondes in no time (seriously, that "heyayayay" is like the Bermuda Triangle of karaoke choruses). If you play your cards right (tip well and maybe cue some Hank Williams), Billy Wayne might just treat you to his own rendition of "Johnny B. Goode" at the end of the night. Insider tip: The bathrooms are for smoking, hooking up, and peeing, in that order. Relieve yourself accordingly. Also: "Bohemian Rhapsody" is for dicks.

5400 Herman Ave., 216-651-8057

Best New Bar/Club:


Sam McNulty's fifth and newest establishment on West 25th Street has much to recommend it. Not only does this glossy corner brewpub cater to the burgeoning cyclist community with a tune-up station inside the bar; it also boasts a charming patio and sensational in-house brews. The Nano Namber Ale is a highlight. The bar was conceived to feature the dynamite craft brewery scene in Northeast Ohio and Nano has 24 distinct beers on draft. The menu's outstanding as well, with decadently caloric appetizers and killer burgers at a surprisingly low cost. Incidentally, they've been playing some outstanding classic rock music as well. Last week when we stopped by, we heard Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Neil Young, and Van Halen within a 45-minute span. 1859 W. 25th St., 216-862-6631,  

Best martini bar

Velvet Tango Room

Bringing the concept of a cocktail into the echelons of art, Velvet Tango Room offers a beverage experience like no other. But first, you've got to find the place. Take a few guesses by randomly walking into Columbus Avenue homes, and then - yes! - you've got it. Subtly flaunt your impeccable taste in classy-yet-offbeat fashion and sidle up to the bar, where you'll find yourself up against a menu the likes of which you've only chanced upon in dreams.  Order yourself a perfect Manhattan. Tell 'em Scene sent you and look endearingly like such a thing demands a deal on your tab. (Won't happen.) 2095 Columbus Rd., 216-241-8869,

Best Dive Bar

Now That's Class

The closest you'll get to approximating a barf-stained, fist-flying GG Allin gig this side of 1993 is Cleveland's storied degenerate punk venue, where the brews come even cheaper than the thrills and going to the bathroom is an exercise in torqueing your body just so to hold the door shut while balancing a beer and wiping with salvaged toilet paper shreds. The bartenders are surprisingly competent and accommodating; the sound equipment isn't, but scrappy garage punk and high-octane hardcore don't exactly demand a state-of-the-art P.A. system. While you may have to eventually dodge an errant fist or dislodged tooth or three if you frequent the place, NTC's hoarse, Pall Mall-ravaged bark is usually fiercer than its (vegan slop) bite. 11213 Detroit Ave., 216-221-8576,

Best gentlemen's club


The Flats has certainly earned it's reputation for all things seedy, but Christie's Cabaret remains an important testament to how far a glob of glitter can go in this town. Far and away the classiest club in Cleveland, Christie's highlights a tidy swath of the area's beautiful ladies. And if the glitz and glamor ain't really your thang, stick around for the chicken fingers with a side o' ketchup. Tasty shit. Any and all (yes, any) of your adult entertainment needs are good to go at Christie's. 1180 Main Ave., 216-574-6222,

Best Industry Night


Monday nights are the time to go to Liquid, if you weren't already there all weekend. But the weekday post-sundown gathering spot is for people "in the biz" on Mondays, so they probably served your annoying drunk ass all weekend and now it's their turn to relax. Steep discounts and the usual Liquid festivities – music, conversation, booze, music and more music – will keep your weekend rolling right into the work week, no matter what your profession. 1212 W. 6th St, 216-479-7717,

Best Place to be Seen

on a Saturday Night

West 25th STREET

The best part about West 25th Street is that, because of its diverse bar and culinary offerings, it resists stereotypes. Even if you're at ABC, you're not necessarily a hipster. Even if you're at Market Garden, you're not a douchey 30-something. Even if you're at Bar Cento, you're not necessarily a snooty foodie. Maybe you're all three of those things but on West 25th it's impossible to tell! It's one of the hottest places to go for the concentration of local craft brews—Great Lakes Brewing Company, Nano Brew, Market Garden—and for the diverse food offerings. But you also can dance club-style in the Speakeasy below Bier Markt or Touch Supper club just around the corner on Lorain. It's ideal to be seen there because you'll instantly be thought of as a social omnivore, one who enjoys fine food and local craft beer, but who also (under the right circumstances and appropriate influences) knows exactly how to party.