At 5 p.m. tonight, Jukebox will officially open its doors in Ohio City, providing a low-key watering hole for those living, working and playing in the freshly coined Hingetown neighborhood. Those in attendance at a soft opening event over the weekend were pleased to have another entertainment option in addition to those along the increasingly busy W. 25th Street corridor.
Jukebox is located in the Striebinger Block building, a stone’s throw from Rising Star Coffee and the Transformer Station art gallery. It counts Cleveland Tea Revival, Beet Jar and Harness Cycle as its immediate neighbors, all new startup ventures that opened in recent months. The 1,350-square-foot double storefront was formerly the Ohio City Café and a portion of the Tool Shed.
Cleveland native and boomerang Alex Budin describes his music-focused bar as "a place where people can expect to hear and learn about music of multiple genres, all of which is concentrated in a constantly evolving jukebox." Tokens to plug the jukebox are handed out with drink purchases.
The warm, brick-lined space features industrial lighting fixtures, rock and roll themed art and decorations, and the namesake jukebox, a 100-CD version stuffed with various Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted musicians, beginning in the '50s and running clear through modern indie rock and hip-hop.
This is a full-service establishment, meaning that guests seated at tables will be waited on. There are a dozen draft beers ($6 ea), another 50 in bottles ($3-$8), 10 wines by the glass or bottle ($8/$30) and a few house cocktails. A limited food menu offers soup, popcorn and pierogies topped with add-ons like sauerkraut or dipping sauces.
Still to come are front and back patios and the “Jukebook,” a music menu that guests can read to learn more about the featured groups and albums, complete with recommended tracks.
"I look at Jukebox as two distinct models," Budin says. "In one sense, it's a music-themed bar. In another, it's a neighborhood tavern. The venues on W. 25th Street are a destination for the whole city. I'm hoping that this becomes a destination for Ohio City residents."