Best Old-Time Bar

Jerman's Café

Despite the bar's official name, everyone calls it Mitzi's, after owner Mitzi Jerman. The bar, an extension of her family home, is where she was born in 1914, and it's where she's lived and worked ever since. From the street, Mitzi's gives off a soft yellowish glow reminiscent of old-fashioned oil lamps. Inside, the atmosphere is cozy, with zinc tiles covering the ceiling and stretching halfway down the walls. If Mitzi takes a shine to you, she'll describe the neighborhood as she remembers it, when it was home to some of the largest factories in the world and to the old League Park, where the Indians used to play. During Prohibition, Mitzi's mother trained her to watch for federal agents - easy to spot, since they always wore white socks with black pants. Mitzi still keeps an eye out; she walks to the door to greet most visitors, followed by her dog, Roscoe. Mitzi doesn't drink anymore, but she readily suggests her favorite combination: a bottle of Rolling Rock and a shot of whiskey. Her bar is one of the last living connections to Cleveland's golden age.