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Issue Date: February 2010

Best Bars: Bars With Game

Editied by Beth Stallings; Stories by Jennifer Bowen, Amber Matheson, Kim Schneider, Beth Stallings, Erick Trickey, Carly Toyzan & Jim Vickers
Hang up the pool cue, and retire the darts. We’ve got a few new in-bar, and a little less pointy, activities to try.


The indoor volleyball courts give it away. This isn’t just a bar. It’s a hub of recreational activity — like a YMCA with a liquor license. There are recreational kickball, dodgeball and volleyball games if you want to work up a sweat before heading upstairs to the bar. Or for the more stagnant drinker, join in a Euchre tournament or strike a few chords on Guitar Hero or other Wii games in its stockpile. 2316 Mulberry Ave., Cleveland, 216-443-4843,

Stone Mad
A red clay bocce court runs the length of the back room at Stone Mad. It’s a traditionally Italian game at an undeniably Irish-themed bar that has the Celtic stonework to prove it. The combo sounds crazy, but it works here. Stop in for a Guinness, and stay for a friendly game. 1306 W. 65th St., Cleveland, 216-281-6500

McCarthy’s Downtown
Cornhole is the fair-weather sport of choice for Clevelanders, pairing so well with backyard barbecues, tailgating and a cold beer. Until the weather breaks, scratch your itch to toss a beanbag at McCarthy’s Downtown, where it’s cornhole season all year-round with two sets of indoor boards ready to play. 1231 Main Ave., Cleveland, 216-344-9099,

Put-in-Bay Lakewood

Most bowling alleys have a bar attached. Put-in-Bay has switched up the norm. It’s a popular Lakewood nightspot on the Detroit bar drag with a big addition — a 10-lane bowling alley in back that’s a break from the mass of 20-somethings inching toward a bar or dancing to the live band. Bowl three games for $10, throw back a few Miller Lites, and build up your beer courage to head out into the partying crowd. 18206 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-228-1442,

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