Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

See Cutting-Edge Contemporary Art in Cleveland


5. Oddball Day

Mahall’s is among the city's many concert halls.  

Pay tribute to rock in the city that gave birth to a slew of great bands and musicians—Devo, the Raspberries, Nine Inch Nails—without even stepping foot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Get a late start so you can rock out into the evening, waking up with house-roasted coffee ($2) and the latest vinyl selections at Loop, a record store and café. Hop in the car and tune your radio to WNCX 98.5 for the sounds of classic rock while you head three miles to Gotta Groove Records for a free tour of one of the last vinyl-record-pressing plants in the nation (arrange in advance). Next, head east on Euclid towards Cleveland Heights and stop for a late lunch at grilled-cheese palace Melt, which is owned by former punk drummer Matt Fish, who currently plays with the band Ohio Civil War. Then head to a stretch of Waterloo Road that has become a bastion for Cleveland’s music lovers. First, pop into Blue Arrow Records and look down—the floor is made of LP covers. Catch the opening act at Beachland Ballroom and Tavern, a converted Polish meeting hall where the Black Keys played their first show. Afterward, pull onto the Shoreway and head out to Happy Dog, which showcases local bands. Order a $5 hot dog topped with your choice of 50 toppings, including housemade peanut butter and their “alien” pickle relish. From there, it’s west on Detroit Avenue to Mahall’s, a twenties bowling alley that’s been repurposed into a live-music venue that serves craft cocktails and fried chicken ($3 per piece). After the show, you can bowl till the place closes at 2:30 a.m. and then go east to Steve’s Lunch, a 24-hour greasy spoon opened in 1953, where you might bump into former Guided by Voices guitarist John Petkovic, who's now a writer for the Plain Dealer. Order like a local and get the Cleveland specialty known as the Polish Boy ($4), a kielbasa topped with fries, cole slaw, and barbecue sauce.

Published on Jul 26, 2013 as a web exclusive.

Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift