48 Hours in CLE: Indie Music
48-Hr Cleveland Itinerary for Indie Music Fans
By Lexi Hotchkiss
Top 40 hits are the opposite of everything you stand for. It’s all about the underground sound that’s churned out in indie music clubs and vinyl record shops across the country. You have a knack for finding the next big sound.
Are you picking up what we’re putting down? Then this is probably the Cleveland itinerary for you.
Day 1: The Indie Music Fan
BREAKFAST: At Lucky’s Café in Tremont, try the cheddar scallion biscuits topped with scrambled eggs and sausage gravy, a mouthwatering favorite of national chefs and locals alike.
MORNING: Examine contemporary art from around the world that now finds a home in the Transformer Station, an historic substation that is an anchor destination in the rapidly evolving Hingetown neighborhood.
LUNCH: Enter the West Side Market, a food lover's paradise, with its maze of vendors and family-owned stalls selling everything from fresh meat and vegetables to baked goods and fresh flowers. If you want the true local experience—this is it.
AFTERNOON: Head to the ultimate homage to rock music: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This multi-level, interactive museum will take you through the history and evolution of rock music. Make sure to block off a few hours to get the full experience.
DINNER: If you’re looking for a bar that’s got a bank of big-screen TVs, shot girls and a massive collection of corporate-approved artwork, then you’d best avoid Prosperity Social Club in Tremont. This cool, little hangout offers an extensive beer list and amazing menu, as well as occasional live music.
PRE-SHOW: Head to Platform Beer Company in Ohio City for an awesome selection of craft beers ranging from barrel-aged beers to sour brews. And, while you’re at it, grab some pre-show bites from the rotating list of guest eateries.
THE SHOW: Mahall's 20 Lanes maintains an old-school working-man's bar physique, but churns out indie rock and pop most nights of the week. It's also a bowling alley with several operating vintage lanes.
LATE NIGHT: At Jukebox in Hingetown, the rotating playlist is curated just as carefully as its list of craft beers and bar bites. (Where else could you find dishes like “Sweet Potato O’ Mine” and “Beast of Burger?”)
Day 2: The Indie Music Fan
BRUNCH: Beer + Donuts = Perfect. Get yourself to Brewnuts in Gordon Square where they make that oh-so-perfect pairing possible by making decadent donuts from a variety of tasty beers.
AFTERNOON: Grab yourself some underground sounds on a vinyl record shop hop around Cleveland. Definitely stop at Gotta Groove Records where, if you schedule in advance, you can take a tour of their vinyl pressing plant.
LATE AFTERNOON: Want to see a series of short films premiering at Sundance? Looking for a never-been-seen before art film? Go to the Cinematheque at the Cleveland Institute of Art in University Circle, an alternative film theater that shows art, independent and foreign films.
DINNER: A hot dog piled high with fifty gourmet toppings of your choosing, a delicious beer and tons of live music—that's Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern.
PRE-SHOW: If edgy is your thing, make your way to Collinwood and the Waterloo Arts District to check out vinyl record store Blue Arrow Records. The shop’s floor—which is shellacked with old-school record covers—is worth the visit in and of itself.
THE SHOW: From pop rock to rock-a-billy and everything in between, The Beachland Ballroom, located in the Waterloo Arts District, is a mainstay of indie music in Cleveland.
LATE NIGHT: With its intimate stage experience combined with a killer craft beer selection, The Grog Shop in Coventry will have you rocking all night to international, national and local bands. Did we mention the amazing beer selection?
More Music, Please
These aren’t the only hotspots for indie music. Check out these music venues for even more sounds of CLE.