Come Friday, the third new business in Phase II of the Flats East Bank development will come to life. The Big Bang dueling piano bar opens on the heels of Alley Cat Oyster Bar and FWD Day and Nightclub, both of which unlocked their doors over the weekend. Big Bang
(1163 Front Ave., 216-417-6222) officially opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 7th.
"We're thrilled to be bringing dueling pianos to Cleveland, along with some of the best talent in the country," says owner Meredyth Muller, who founded the company with Sam Leatherwood back in 2001.
Cleveland will be one of four currently operating locations, joining one in Columbus.
Those of us who recall Howl at the Moon, which closed about four years back, will be very familiar with the entertainment concept. Both feature live piano players fielding requests from tipsy audience members. The acts are peppered with comedy bits, and those attending for special occasions can look forward to being called up on stage for good-natured shaming.
What sets The Big Bang apart, says Jaime Schneider, Director of Operations, is the level of talent behind the keys and the playlist, which leans more contemporary than classic rock. Tables are stocked with request sheets that guests fill out and hand over to the performers.
“It’s all about audience participation,” notes Schneider.
Guests will enjoy a wide-open floorplan that gives everybody great sightlines to the stage. A large horseshoe bar is pushed to the perimeter of the room, while a second smaller bar has access to a patio via a garage door. There is seating for 150 at mostly high-tops but room for 350 throughout.
No reservations or cover charges (during the week) are needed to attend – guests are welcome to come and go as they please – but Big Bang does sell table reservations for groups of four and higher.
A small plates menu of “modern bar food” will feature hot and cold appetizers like bruschetta, flatbreads, and sliders. There will be a dozen draft beers, most of it local craft. A specialty cocktail menu will be built around quality, says Schneider, but not ego. “The cocktails are fun and playful, but we don’t take things too seriously.”
"The energy in the Flats is incredible,” adds owner Sam Leatherwood. “We're so excited to be a part of it, and can't wait to see where it goes from here.”