Nestled in the Coventry district within Cleveland Heights's historic Centrum Theater, Fracas flanks fine gastropub fare with inspired homemade sauces. Sea smitten can munch on the calamari to start, browned in lemon oil and chili olive pesto ($9), while green gurus can lead forkscapades onto plates of fried green tomatoes bathed in chive oil and vinaigrette ($9). Entrees include a beef short rib braised in Dogfish Head IPA ($26), as well as the Ohio City black-pepper gnocchi backed by wild mushrooms, english peas, leeks, and grape tomatoes, and smothered with smoked gouda alfredo ($18). The bar stocks a staunch selection of local and Midwestern brews, 16 on tap and 30 by bottle, and counts the Rate Beer–approved Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold ($4; RB: 95/100) and the Buckeye Brewing Hippie IPA ($12 for 22 oz; RB: 95/100) among their regular liquid relievers. Should carnivores crave sustenance not found on the menu, Fracas's scratch kitchen can create the meal of one's dreams should they have the ingredients, yielding such customer-conceived classics as the melancholy jam sandwich and apple pie a la go carte.
Cleats possesses the official chicken wing of the Cleveland Indians, which is dipped in an extra-hot bronze sauce and guarded by multi-headed beasts. Despite the selection of more than 50 domestic and imported beers and more than enough sports fans to match each one, the establishment is family friendly and happy to serve patrons with progeny in tow. Cleats' menu is a cornucopia of casual American fare, with starters such as spinach artichoke dip ($6.99) and beer-batter-fried pickles ($4.99) at hand to combat raging appetites. Keep it light with a Greek salad ($9.99 large, $7.99 small), or tuck in for the night with a Texas hold 'em burger ($8.99), a beef slab fitted with a cowboy hat of bacon, cheddar, onion rings, and house-made barbecue sauce. If you prefer to keep your meat bites separate from your carb bites, choose from 22 signature wing sauces and order up a combo plate of eight wings and six soft pretzel sticks ($9.99).
Inside The Wild Goose, which won the people’s choice award from the Taste of Willoughby, a stone oven bakes pizzas laden with eclectic ingredients, including elbow noodles, celery, and potatoes. Chefs top the Galway Bay pie with alfredo sauce, rock shrimp, crabmeat, cheese, and a sprinkle of parsley, and they slather the That’s A Buff Chick pizza with chicken, cheese, celery, crumbled blue cheese, and a drizzle of buffalo sauce. When not customizing crusts, they ladle up bowls of irish potato soup and fill hoagies with saucy meatballs as pro football games and amateur potato-peeling competitions play on televisions propped behind a granite-topped bar.
Any Irish pub worth its weight in Guinness can make a mean corned beef. It takes a special kind of visionary, however, to stack that corned beef on top of a towering American hamburger. Like most of its regular patrons, Croagh Patrick's Pub has a thick streak of green in its lineage. Willoughby's premier neighborhood hangout finds common ground between its Irish ancestry and its American present, creating such crossover dishes as Celtic egg rolls and the aforementioned Irish-American burger.
Rather than limit themselves to serving creative, Cleveland-inspired cuisine or to hosting late-night bowlers sipping from frothy pint glasses, the founders of 4th Street Bar & Grill – The Corner Alley decided to do both. Inside spacious, sleek environs, servers at the bowling alley’s 4th Street Bar & Grill dole out pierogis—dumplings stuffed with potato and smoked cheddar cheese—and oven-baked pizzas, such as the Alley Pie, topped with cheese and fresh basil. Local draft brews from Buckeye Brewing, Brew Kettle, and Hoppin’ Frog or one of more than 20 locally-inspired cocktails and martinis accompany meals and pin-pulverizing sessions at one of 16 lanes. Satellite-selected sounds pump through speakers, and patrons can control tunes from a special app on their phone or speak directly to Meatloaf through the jukebox.
Whether they’re there to bowl, eat, drink, or finally understand gravity, up to 600 people can gather inside the ample quarters. Groups of 4–45 revelers can populate the Mezzanine, a private party room hoisted atop an elevated platform and replete with several flat-screen TVs. Millionaire’s Row plays host to 100 guests, who can bowl on four private lanes, sip martinis at the Back Alley bar, or lay quietly atop the billiards table. And inside the 2,000-square-foot Spare Room, up to 90 friends can dine on a customizable menu as well as play billiards, air hockey, foosball, darts, and skeeball.
Over the years, Reddstone’s outdoor patio has earned it plenty of love. In 2011, CBS Cleveland named Reddstone among the best outdoor bars in the city, and Cleveland Scene magazine deemed it the top spot for patio drinking. Though the patio garners a lot of attention, especially during its weekly pig roasts over the summer, Reddstone slyly offers the Detroit Shoreway and Battery Park community a dining experience to match its patio’s growing legend. The chef keeps the kitchen open until midnight every night, whipping up signature burgers and small plates to accompany 20 craft beers on tap. Rather than playing the "Star Spangled Banner" on a squeaky chair, Reddstone’s management team keeps visitors thoroughly entertained by booking weekly live performances from acts that range from standup comedians to jazz musicians.