Best of Cleveland 2012

Arts & Entertainment

Page 5 of 7

Best Artist or Craftsman

Bob Peck

Graffiti-inspired artist Bob Peck has been showing off his colorful pieces in local galleries for a decade. His loopy lines and rainbow-bright artwork can be found everywhere from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Melt Bar & Grilled. Peck makes street art that would look great on your living-room wall.

Staff Pick: Judith Brandon

Best Bar or Club

The Beachland

Between the bigger, roomier Ballroom and the more intimate Tavern, the Beachland is Cleveland's best venue for all sorts of music that's played on guitars — from indie rock to Americana to garage bands to singer-songwriter stuff. It's a great place to catch artists on the rise too. Best of all, there isn't a bad seat in the house.

15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124,

Staff Pick: B Side Liquor Lounge

Best Dance Club

Velvet Dog

Three massive floors of dance-music action means you'll be busting a move all night long, whether it's to a Katy Perry remix or that new Flo Rida jam. And because it's right in the heart of the bustling Warehouse District, there's no reason for you to be dancing by yourself ... unless that's your thing, of course.

1280 West Sixth St., 216-664-1116,

Staff Pick: >Bounce

Best Bar for Hooking Up

Barley House

All the local celebs and sports giants know where the action is: at this popular hotspot, where the servers' skirts are as short as the beer list is long. Even with many of the famous people shuffling off to the back room, there's still plenty of pretty people out front waiting to catch your eye ... maybe even your number.

1265 West Sixth St., 216-623-1700,

Staff Pick: Barley House

Best Rock Club

Grog Shop

Indie rock and all of its various shades get major respect at the Grog. And it doesn't matter what size band you are: Buzzing music-blog faves get as much love as a local band showcasing songs from their new album. It can get a little packed in there at popular shows, but bumping elbows and spilling beers is what being an indie-rock fan is all about.

2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588,

Staff Pick: The Beachland

Best Jazz Club


Besides boasting the best-sounding live music room in all of Cleveland, Nighttown is also one of the few places in the entire nation that still treats aging jazz legends like the icons they are. But it's not just about the old-school here; plenty of young jazz stars stop in on their way up the ladder.

12387 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Heights,


Staff Pick: Nighttown

Best Blues Club

Brothers Lounge

Although it recently altered its music menu, Brothers — which has been on the scene for some 53 years — still serves up the blues on a weekly basis. You'll hear local and national guys playing all variations, from Chicago to Delta to that type of blues you hear weekend warriors play in working-class bars. Only problem: It's hard to actually get the blues when you're hanging out at Brothers.

11609 Detroit Ave., 216-226-2767,

Staff Pick: House of Swing

Best Hip-Hop Club


Like any hip-hop club worth its ass-rattling sound system, Fortress is open only on Friday and Saturday nights. The DJs — K NYCE on Fridays, Kosher Kuts on Saturdays ­— spin all the latest rap hits, as well as your favorite club jams and some old-school R&B. Everyone from Ne-Yo to Josh Cribbs to Keyshia Cole has dropped by for star-studded parties straight out of a Diddy video.

1360 West Ninth St., 216-298-4448,

Staff Pick: Fortress