Best Place for New Music

Happy Dog Saloon

Last year, the Happy Dog in Gordon Square changed hands. That's when it ushered in its appropriate hot dog menu, featuring more than 50 topping options. But that's also when it added a three-nights-a-week (or more!) schedule of top local, original bands. With many area venues falling back on the reliable draw of tribute acts, it's a relief to have another venue in town dedicated to fresh sounds like the Jack Fords, the Ohio City Opry, Terminal Lovers, HotChaCha, Whiskey Daredevils, and Brent Kirby's New Soft Shoe (which, OK, is a tribute band of sorts, but with a hip honoree: Gram Parsons). On Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m., join DJ Kishka for polka music. The Happy Dog even serves up occasional touring bands. So grab a bar stool or a booth, order a dog (they serve until 2 a.m.) and one of the 75 available beers, and revel in yet another wonder of Cleveland.

5801 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-651-9474,