Historical Bars of Cleveland

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Historical Bars of Cleveland
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Guarino's in Cleveland. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/midwestgrrl.)

Cleveland has a rich history, well-preserved by the local establishments that have stayed true to their roots. The following five Cleveland-area bars are long-time landmarks that have stood the test of time.

Guarino's Restaurant

12309 Mayfield Road, Cleveland

216-231-3100

Guarino's opened in 1918 and is a unique step back in time. The website claims that Guarino's is Cleveland's oldest restaurant. During Prohibition, it's said that Vincenzo Guarino, the founder, served liquor in coffee cups to Cleveland's VIPs. Today, the restaurant and bar has a quaint feeling with a Victorian atmosphere and variety of dining areas. You can enjoy the garden patio or roof on a warm summer evening or move into the upstairs dining rooms that used to be part of the private residence.

Merry Arts Pub & Grille

15607 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

216-226-4080

Merry Arts is Lakewood's oldest bar. It is also one of the busier bars in the area. Established in the early 1930s, this pub is well-known for its tacos featured on Monday and Thursday nights, as well as its weekend brunches. Enjoy live acoustic music on Friday and Saturday nights and share a pitcher of beer for only $4 during Browns, Cavs, Indians, and Ohio State games.

Great Lakes Brewing Company

2516 Market Ave., Cleveland

216-771-4404

The Great Lakes Brewing Company is included in the list of historical bars not because of how long the company has been around, but because of its location. The Brewpub is located across the street from the historical West Side Market and is housed in three Victorian-era buildings that were previously used as a hotel, saloon, and burlesque house. The Beer Garden was the livery stable, and the old Market Tavern still shows bullet holes rumored to be from Eliot Ness himself.

In keeping with the preservation of the area, the growing popularity of this Cleveland brand meant that the brewery had to expand, as well. It is now located in the six buildings that were the original horse stables and keg facilities for the 1879 Schlather Brewing Company.

Otto Moser's

1425 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

216-771-3831

Otto Moser's is Cleveland's oldest theater restaurant still in existence. Originally opened in 1892 on East Fourth Street, Otto Moser's featured a tunnel from the vaudeville theater and the opera house directly to the downstairs entrance of the tavern. Otto Moser's is now located on Euclid in the heart of the Theater District. The bar includes a great deli and loads of Cleveland nostalgia.

The Grog Shop

2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights

216-321-5588

While The Grog Shop is not nearly as old as some these establishments, it's nonetheless already a part of Cleveland's history. Those who have grown up in the Cleveland area will probably remember at least one show here and can proudly take out-of-town guests to visit the essence of this gritty rock-and-roll town.

Sylvie Branch is a Clevelander through and through. She loves the art and music scene, the history, and yes, even the sports teams. Go Browns!
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