A Cleveland Landmark Turns 50. And All That Jazz

January 23, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Nighttown

Expertly played jazz from a piano wafts through intimate, eclectically decorated rooms mingling with the smell of fish and fowl.

The clink and clang of plates, glasses and silverware is the soundtrack to the hustle and flash of a ready wait staff.

A jovial, raucous cacophony of clapping, conversation and laughter accompanies it all.

Doctors, lawyers and blue-collar bar flies are regulars. The orchestra crowd is here. Sports, politics and religion make their fist-pounding points at all 3 bars. A Juilliard-trained trumpet player practices in the parking lot. Patrons of 30 years dine finely next to a shy, smartly dressed first date. Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Carhartt gather at a corner table. The band is about to play...

What an improvisation. Welcome to Nighttown.

For 50 years, it has been a warm, welcoming hangout for locals and the most discriminating jazz lovers. It's where a perfectly poured pint of Guinness goes down just right with the Count Basie Orchestra. Where you can have your manhattan with The Manhattan Transfer. Where Nat King Cole's brother Freddie croons while you tap your glass of cabernet.

It's no wonder that Nighttown was on DownBeat's list of The Best Jazz Clubs in the World. Yes, the world. It's also no surprise that Nighttown's owner, Brendan Ring, is the only restaurateur ever to be awarded the prestigious Cleveland Arts Prize.

Trendy. Traditional. Upscale. Down to earth. Irish. American. Cosmopolitan. Local. Stylish. Gritty. Hip. Smart.

And all that jazz.

Here's to another 50 years.

To ring in the 50th anniversary, a one-night jam band of Cleveland jazz all-stars will take the stage on February 5.  And on February 13, The Manhattan Transfer will be on Nighttown's small stage. Go to www.nighttowncleveland.com to find out more.

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