Whatever It Takes
Playoffs In The Land
By Adam Sockel, Image by Cody York
#WhateverItTakes — That's the rally cry for this year's Cleveland Cavaliers playoff run. Fans have gotten behind this slogan by filling Quicken Loans Arena and other local establishments with the express purpose of getting a little rowdy to cheer on the Wine and Gold.
Didn't score tickets to the game? It's cool. More than 45 different bars and restaurants throughout Greater Cleveland are serving as Wine & Gold Nation Official Playoff locations for both home and away games. This means that no matter where you're staying during your visit, there is a place nearby to high five strangers-turned-friends, shout at the refs, enjoy beer specials, walkaway with some giveaways and, of course, celebrate an imminent championship [hey...we're optimistic over here].
You can view the full list of all 45+ locations here.
Staying Downtown? Check these out:
Walk to the Warehouse District
Crashing at the spacious Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center or the upscale Hilton Cleveland Downtown? These biggies are only a seven-minute walk to the always-thumping Warehouse District. Grab a cold one at these official watch parties:
- Barley House: Few bars in Cleveland can throw a party like Barley House. Voted a "Nightclub and Bar" Top 100 winner, the atmosphere will be rocking with every single possession.
- The Nauti Mermaid: It may still be freezing outside, but this Caribbean-themed seafood shack will warm your spirit while you cheer on LeBron and Co.
Get to the Gateway District
Getting some shuteye at the Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Downtown, Radisson Hotel Cleveland-Gateway, Metropolitan Hotel at The 9 or The Kimpton Schofield Hotel? Those aren't just great locations within easy walking distance to the arena, but a hop-skip-and-a-jump from a number of Gateway District watch parties including:
- Wild Eagle Saloon: To say the experience you get at The Wild Eagle Saloon is unique, is an understatement. This place features two floors and 6,400 square feet of space to celebrate a win (or cry in your beer). It's western-themed, but without the cheesiness. Best part? They have a wall full of self-serve beer taps. [You're welcome.]
- City Tap: First of all, they have more than 40 beers on tap. If that's not impressive enough for you, you should also know they offer a burger menu and wall-to-wall flatscreen TVs. Boom.
Fete Along East Fourth
If ever there were a perfect place to party for a win, it would be inside the bars and restaurants lining the East 4th Street Entertainment District. And — good news — nearly every Downtown hotel is within walking distance to the action. But, if you're staying at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade, Residence Inn Downtown or the Holiday Inn Express Downtown, you're just a few stumbles away from these official watch parties:
- Flannery's Pub: Downtown Cleveland's premier Irish pub in the shadow of Quicken Loans Arena offers big, delicious pints of Guinness, as well as a nosh-worthy menu perfect for stress eating. You'll also be closest to The Q when the Cavs win a second championship [again with the optimism].
- The Corner Alley: Watching Cavs games make you a little tense? Same. The Corner Alley is the solution. Televisions and a wraparound bar surround state-of-the-art bowling alleys that will allow you to watch the game while releasing your nervous energy onto a huge 16-pound bowling ball.
Head Down to The Flats
The Aloft Cleveland Downtown isn't just a cool, contemporary place to catch some zzzzz, it's also an ideal location to experience the burgeoning Flats District. (Tip: Their W XYZ Bar is open late, so celebrating until Last Call is a cinch). While you're in the Flats, scope these Wine & Gold watch parties:
- Backyard Bocce Cleveland & Dante's Inferno: Speaking of moving around during the game, some casual indoor and outdoor bocce ball combined with the totally unique pizzas served up at Dante's Inferno make for a great combination when paired with a Cavaliers victory.
Over to Ohio City
Staying at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel or The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland? These stunningly beautiful hotels are both attached to Tower City Center, enabling easy travel to Ohio City from the RTA's red line. While in Ohio City, check out these official watch parties:
- Townhall: Townhall is practically an Ohio City institution. This place, which always seems to cater to the "it" crowd, serves up 35 beers on tap, recipes for the healthy (and not-so-healthy) and walls practically dripping with big screen TVs. Bonus: they even have a coffee bar should the energy level require some fuel.
- The Plum Cafe and Kitchen: To true fans, NBA playoff games can be stressful affairs. So, it probably goes without saying, but you're going to need some sustenance to maintain your ability to shout at the TV. Why not fill up on some incredible eats from the cute Plum Cafe? Be sure to try the whole fried chicken or the Lobster Rangoon.
Party at The Q
During away games, fans are invited to come to The Q to watch the game on the big screen (the really, really big screen; it's called the HUMONGOTRON). While there, fans can experience half-time entertainment, performances and giveaways (small donation requested for entry).
Check out the Cleveland Cavlier's Official 2018 Playoff Fan Guide here.