48 Hours for the Pop Fan

March 14, 2018

48-Hr Pop Star Itinerary


From JT to Jay-Z, national recording artists make Cleveland a stop on their tours each and every year—many of which happen inside the city’s large-scale music venues. But, regardless of whether you scored tickets to that big show or not, there are plenty of opportunities to party like a pop star in The Land. Here’s 48 hours worth:

Day 1: The Pop Star

BREAKFAST: Go big or go home at Jack Flaps off Lorain Avenue on Cleveland’s near west side. From sweet (try the peanut butter cup waffle) to savory (can’t miss the “Real F’ing Breakfast Burrito”), Jack Flaps—which is owned by a local James Beard-nominated chef—offers a solid base in preparation for a big day.

MORNING: Skip the gym and amp-up your Cleveland getaway with a little outdoor action. Book a spot on BrewBoat CLE, a 14-person pedal-powered cycle boat that sails Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. Purchase your BYOB from a Downtown grocery store like Heinen's or Constantino's Market beforehand.

LUNCH: Pair your strikes and spares with a few craft brews and a seriously delish menu at Corner Alley located in—your choice—Downtown or Uptown. It’ll provide the perfect rear-kicking to keep the day rolling.

AFTERNOON: Pregame begins after lunch with a little self love in Downtown Cleveland. Clean up with a beard trim or a manicure at Manifest—where the cocktails are as impressive as the talent. Get a fancy-fresh look with a blowout and makeover over at Style House Beauty Bar. Or, head to Marengo Luxury Spa for the full-on spa day experience.

DINNER: It doesn’t need to be Tuesday to get a face full of tacos. Coastal Taco Bar & Chill in the Flats East Bank not only offers some serious craft tacos, but tasty margaritas matched against a sprawling riverfront view of the Cuyahoga.

EVENING: The night begins and ends in the Flats East Bank, a massively revived area of town that’s oozing with chic cocktail bars, craft breweries, unique eateries, upscale clubs and a swath of outdoor patios energized with thumping music. Start at Punch Bowl Social where you’ll likely clean house playing billiards, bowling or darts—while tipping back a few cold ones and a bowl of (spiked) punch. Then, get to FWD Day + Nightclub, a completely outdoor nightclub with DJs, bands and even a swimming pool that feels a lot like Vegas. End the night at swanky Magnolia, a secret speakeasy that’s just about the hottest late-night spot in town. (TIP: go to their website to receive an entry password.)

Day 2: The Pop Star

BRUNCH: After a big night, the best course of action is brunch. And, there’s no better spot to start the day than with the right mix of big, healthy and boozy (yes, all at once) at TownHall in Ohio City. Drink the hand-pressed juices for a little health. Drink the spicy Bloody Mary’s for a little hair of the dog.

AFTERNOON: From pop forefathers like Michael Jackson and Madonna to current superstars like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, the range of musicians with artifacts within the Rock Hall & Roll Hall of Fame are wide ranging. Take the whole afternoon to check out the interactive history of a musical genre that changed the face the world forever.

DINNER: Rated as having one of the best pizzas in the country (The Sunnyside—try it) and a rather impressive craft beer and wine list, Bar Cento is the perfect aperitif to a great night out. (TIP: Stay a bit longer and walk downstairs. You might just come face-to-face with one helluva party happening at Speakeasy.)

EVENING: Shuffle. Cut shapes. Baila. Boogie. Whatever you want to call it, dancing is what’s up on the weekends along West Sixth Street in Cleveland’s Warehouse District. Check out local faves like Velvet Dog and Liquid that feature DJs on multiple floors. End the night at Dive Bar where—no doubt—the DJ will intermix the OSU fight song no less than 10 times into a pretty great Top 40 set (it’s the official bar of the Young Buckeyes of Cleveland).

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