Ever since the Velvet Tango Room opened up in Duck Island when basically nothing else was there, it's always been about the drinks. The live jazz too, but mostly the drinks, which are never just thrown together haphazardly. Here, there's a history and a story, not to mention handmade ingredients and the kind of expertise that translates to a few-minute wait for your (costly but worth every penny) drink. For all the imitators and craft cocktail spots around Northeast Ohio, the VTR is a classic that never goes out of style.
2095 Columbus Rd., 216-241-8869, velvettangoroom.com.