The RNC is just a few weeks away from taking place in downtown Cleveland. If you’re like me and you didn’t rent your place out you’re probably wondering if there’s anywhere you can go for dinner/drinks that isn’t booked for private events.
If you’re coming in from out of town and don’t have any set plans, you may also be wondering where you should go.
Lucky for all of us, I called every bar in the downtown area to find out where we can all go to eat, drink, and watch even more awkward Tinder dates!
*Bar/restaurant hours are subject to change.
W. 25th (OHIO CITY)
Market Garden Brewery– Open to the public and operating until 4am.
Bier Markt– Open to the public and operating until 4am.
Bar Cento– Open to the public and operating until 4am. Make sure you get a sunnyside pizza and french fries with ALL the sauces.
Nano Brew– May be booked one of the days, other than that they’re open to the public and operating until 4am. Order a PB & J burger and relax on the patio, don’t forget to say hi to Angie the bartender, she’s the best!
Townhall– Open to the public, not taking reservations to accommodate walk-ins, most likely open til 4am. Get the veggie burger, I think it’s the best one in the city and I’m not even a vegetarian.
Soho Kitchen and Bar– Booked solid. No chicken pickin’ for us. 🙁
Porco Lounge & Tiki Room– Open to the public, not accepting reservations. Operating under normal business hours, which is probably a good thing since they have the strongest drinks in town. I recommend the Level II Painkiller- sip slowly.
Crop Bistro– Booked for private events.
Flying Fig– Open to the public and “solely focused on neighborhood business.” Operating under normal business hours.
Great Lakes Brewing Company– Not taking reservations to accommodate walk-ins, operating hours are undecided.
ABC the Tavern– Open to public, not sure yet if they’ll be open until 4am. Grab an Atomic Dog, seriously it’s delicious.
The Old Angle Tavern– Open to the public and will operate under normal business hours.
The Plum Cafe & Kitchen– Open to the public and operating under regular business hours.
The Flying Monkey– Open to the public and operating until 4am. I think Sunday night karaoke is about to get a whole lot crazier.
The Treehouse– Open to the public and operating until 4am.
Parallax– Open to the public, unsure if they’ll stay open until 4am. Half-price sushi Monday here we come!
Dante– Open to the public and operating under normal business hours.
Ginko– Open to the public and operating under normal business hours. This spot has the best sushi in town! It’s small and fills up fast, get there early!
Dante Next Door– Open to the public and operating under normal business hours.
Press Wine Bar– Open to the public except for Thursday the 21st, they’ll be closed for a private event. Based on business, they’ll stay open until 4am.
Barrio– Our favorite taco spot is open to the public and operating under normal business hours!
Fahrenheit– Open to the public and operating until 4am.
The South Side– Open to the public and operating until 4am. I’m a big fan of the calamari and they have some fancy Bloody Mary’s. I don’t like Bloodys but you should get the one that comes with the little grilled cheese, because grilled cheese is awesome.
Lincoln Park Pub– Open to the public and operating under normal business hours. Please call the bar to give them a heads up if you’re bringing a large party. This will give them time to plan since they only have servers on Taco Tuesdays. Hang out on the huge patio and don’t forget to bring your furry friends, it’s dog friendly!
W. 6th/St. Clair (WAREHOUSE DISTRICT)
Hope you brought your dancing shoes, the first 7 in the list are nightclubs!
Barley House– Closed Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday for private events. Open to the public Monday, Thursday and Friday and operating until 4am. Check out Crabby Mondays for all you can eat crab legs and then stay and dance off all the calories!
Liquid– They are booked for parties on some days but couldn’t confirm which, will operate until 4am.
Dive bar– No response. It’s next to Liquid and if it does happen to be open, order a mind eraser. I wouldn’t recommend sending any texts or tweets after that, you’ve been warned.
Spirits– Open to public and operating until 4am.
Rumor– No response.
Velvet Dog– No response. If they’re open, which I’m assuming they will be, head to the rooftop!
Drop Bar– Drop will be hosting a private red carpet party, as well as a party for the general public. There are two venues, one on the main floor and an upstairs VIP room. Contact Drop if you’d like to reserve a table or VIP room.
Bar Louie– Open to the public and operating until 4am. Dollar beers on Wednesdays, hollaaaa!
XO Prime Steaks- Open to the public and accepting reservations. May extend their hours due to increased business, not sure if they’ll operate until 4am.
Blue Point Grille– Booked for the week.
The Nauti Mermaid– Open to the public and operating until 4am. Here’s hoping they make extra gummy bear shots!
Johnny’s Downtown– The lady I spoke with may not have won the award for best phone manners, but she did say the restaurant is open to the public and they’ll take a reservation with a credit card and phone number. She had no idea about the hours.
Johnny’s Little Bar– Again, not winning any awards with the phone manners, but at least they’re consistent! “I have no idea what they’re doing with the RNC.” Great! Since that was of no help, I think it’s safe to assume this place will be open and operating under normal business hours. This is one of my favorite dive bars, with that being said, say hi to Billy the bartender and order a cheeseburger and some poppers and onion rings. Yes, all of it. Oh, don’t forget to download the TouchTunes app so you can dominate the machine, play the right song and you’ll get the whole bar to sing along!
Cleveland Chop– Open to the public and operating until 4am.
General Downtown Area
Cleveland Pickle– Open to the public and operating under normal business hours. Grab a sandwich and a homemade pickle!
Take 5 Rhythm & Jazz– Open to the public. Tapas and Jazz music, what’s not to like?! Visit their site for a complete list of the events taking place the week of the RNC- or any time!
East 4th (GATEWAY DISTRICT)
Since this neighborhood is closest to where the RNC is being held, it’s going to be PACKED. I called a few places to give you a general idea, but I think we can all agree it’s not only going to be tough to get in this area (I heard a rumor that access is going to be restricted), but most of it is booked for private events.
Barrio– Open to the public, although it was mentioned they may be booked one day. Operating under normal business hours.
The Corner Alley– Closed the week before and the week of.
Greenhouse Tavern– Closed.
Lola Bistro– Closed.
Flannery’s– Still waiting on the final word on whether or not they’ll be booked. As for right now they’ll be open to the public, and they know they’ll be very, very busy.
Harry Buffalo– “I have no idea, we don’t know much about that yet.” Heard a rumor they were booked by CNN but will have limited space open to the public.
Stonetown Southern Fusion– Reopening this Friday under new management. Hours are as follows, Friday 11am-1am, Saturday 10am-1am, Sunday 10am-11pm. Week of the RNC- 11am-4am.
Phoenix Coffee– Open to the public Monday- Friday 6am-6pm and Saturday-Sunday 7am-5pm.
Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar (the new restaurant behind the Rock Hall!)- They’ll be open the 17th for a private event for the RNC but won’t officially open until the week of the 25th. We’ll have to wait patiently- word on the street is that they have some killer martinis! But with 80 different tequilas and fresh, house made extracts and ingredients, you can bet the margaritas are great too! Cheers to that!
Parnell’s Irish Pub– Open to the public and operating from 2pm until 4am during the convention. Buzzfeed voted Parnell’s the best Irish pub in the state and they’re the winner of the best pint of Guinness in Cleveland 2016! Slainte!
East Bank of the Flats (ADULT PLAYGROUND DISTRICT)
Coastal Taco– Open to the public, not taking reservations to accommodate walk-ins, not sure if they’ll stay open until 4am. This is THE best patio on the East Bank.
Bold Food & Drink– Open to public and operating until 4am. My favorite menu. My favorite place to eat. Order the shrimp and grits.
Punch Bowl Social– Open to the public and operating under normal business hours. It’s like after prom with alcohol! You can eat, bowl, play darts, sing karaoke, play shuffleboard, play video games or hang out and drink.
Alley Cat Oyster Bar– They’re booked on Monday and on hold for other days, which is not surprising. Visit their website for up-to-date information. If you’re able to make it there, get the lobster roll!
Crop Rocks– Open to the public, not sure if they’ll stay open until 4am.
Crop Sticks– Open to the public, not sure if they’ll stay open until 4am.
On Air Studio– Booked for private events.
FWD Day + Nightclub– No response. I’m assuming they’ll be open. This is an open-air club, definitely check it out.
Portside Distillery– Open to the public, not sure if they’ll stay open until 4am.
Lago– Open to the public everyday from 11am-4am with the exception of Tuesday, they’ll open at 7pm. Get the lobster gnocchi!
The Willeyville– Open to the public, hours are as follows: 7:30-10:30am breakfast, 11:30-2:30 lunch, 2:30-11pm dinner, 11pm-2am late night menu- ramen and hot dogs. Ramen and hot dogs? HELL YEAH!
The Big Bang– Open to public and operating until 4am. I’m anticipating a lot of great videos of people singing their little hearts out at the dueling piano bar!
West Bank of the Flats (SUPER CHILL DISTRICT)
Luca Italian Cuisine– Open to the public, will open for lunch for the week of the RNC. Call to make dinner reservations or grab a seat at the bar. This is one of my favorite spots in Cleveland, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!
Music Box Supper Club– Open to the public, not sure if they’ll stay open until 4am. Make sure you check their site to get tickets for a concert!
Shooters– Booked for private events.
McCarthy’s– Open to public and operating until 4am.
The Flat Iron– Open to the public, may stay open until 4am depending on business. Get the pierogies.
Carney’s– Open to the public and operating until 4am. This little Irish pub is a neighborhood favorite, come in and say hello. There’s a good chance you’ll be greeted by the owner’s dogs, they’re adorable!
Harbor Inn– Open to public and operating until 4am. If you’re from out of town you have to make a stop at Harbor Inn, it’s the oldest bar in Cleveland!
Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club– Open to the public and operating until 4am.
- Take the water taxi to get between the East and West Banks, it’s $2.00 for an all-day pass. *Hours are subject to change.
- If you really want to get a great tour of Cleveland, you have to call my friend Cameron Orr at Be Adventurous! Cameron knows every single thing about Cleveland and will drive you around the city in his convertible military truck to give you the official Cleveland experience. Contact him to book private outings for a group or to buy individual tickets (the truck seats 15 people).
Well, there you have it! Looks like us locals will be able to avoid the grocery store for another week! It goes without saying, plan on extra wait times and exhibit a bit more patience with the staff.
RNC guests, welcome to Cleveland! THE CHAMPIONSHIP CITY!!!!
*If you’re a local business and want to get added to the list or have your information updated, please email Queenie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Photo credit: Micho Aboukhaled insta: micho_show