Cleveland has a number of gay and lesbian bars, ranging from dance clubs to those with karaoke nights to leather bars. Each has its own specialty. Here's a look at some of the most popular. (in no particular order.)
TwistTwist, located on Clifton at W. 117th St., just steps away from the gay-friendly suburb of Lakewood, is a two-level social club. In the summer, the fun spills out onto the front patio, a great place to watch the parade of food traffic in the interesting neighborhood.
Regular promotions include Happy Hour Monday- Saturday from 9am to 8pm and the Sunday "Build your own Bloody Mary" bar.
Twist is also headquarters for the annual "Dancing in the Streets" gay party held each summer.
11633 Clifton Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44102
Bounce/Union Station ClevelandBounce and Union Station are located just west of downtown, across the Detroit-Superior Bridge. The huge complex includes a cafe, a cabaret stage, a dance club, even an Internet cafe. It's open evenings, seven days a week, from 5pm.
Regular promotions include karaoke on Monday nights, all-male reviews on Tuesday, and Drag Divas on Sunday.
Bounce/Union Station is one of the more popular bars in town, but in my opinion, they try to be too many things. The several times I have visited, I found the service preoccupied and the food barely edible.
Bounce/Union Station Cleveland
2814 Detroit Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
1437 St. Clair Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114
Hamilton'sLocated just two doors away from the theaters at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland, Hamilton's is a gay bar where you could take your mother before a show or where you can impress a date with your style. The two-level club has a martini bar downstairs and a dance club upstairs.
Promotions include a daily happy hour from 4pm to 7pm and a country music night on Wednesdays. Not inexpensive, but classy.
1415 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
ApexApex, located at Lorain Ave. and W. 117th St., is a quaint bar with a cozy patio located behind the building. Regular promotions include $2 domestic beers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and all request music nights on Friday and Saturday.
11633 Lorain Ave.
Leather Stallion SaloonLocated just east of downtown on St. Clair Ave., the "LSS" is a "boys-only" bar for those who prefer leather. More social than scary, the saloon is not nearly as rough as similar bars in other cities. The patio is a favorite meeting spot in the warmer months.
Leather Stallion Saloon
2205 St. Clair Ave.
CocktailsCocktails, formerly called Rockies, is a typical corner bar, only with a gay, primarily male clientele. Regular promotions include karaoke on Wednesday nights.
9208 Detroit Ave.
The Five Cent Decision (The Nickel)Cleveland's most popular lesbian bar has been going strong for over 15 years. Located on State Road in Cleveland's Old Brooklyn neighborhood, the "Nickel" offers pool, beer, music, and regular karaoke nights. The atmosphere is friendly, but definitely casual.
The Five Cent Decision
4365 State Rd.
A Man's World/The Shed/CrossoverThis three-bar complex is geared primarily towards men. Upstairs is a dance club; the main floor is a social bar; and the downstairs is a leather bar. Man's World hosts the "Rainbow Wranglers" country line dancing group each Sunday at 6pm (women welcome)>
A Man's World/The Shed/Crossover
2909 Detroit Ave.
The HawkThe Hawk
11217 Detroit Ave.
The Rec RoomThe Rec Room
15320 Brookpark Rd.
Editor's Note: If you're thinking what does a straight girl know about gay bars (a valid question), I've actually visited most of the above places and have solicited opinions from gay and lesbian Cleveland friends for the clubs that I've not seen. Does your opinion differ? Send me an email