The Euclid Tavern, now the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern, has had almost as many lives as a cat. Over a century old, it’s served many different clienteles as the neighborhood has evolved. It was a grubby blues bar in the ’70s and ’80s where Mr. Stress, the Armstrong-Bearcat Band and Oroboros packed in fans on weekends. In the ’90s under artist/booker Derek Hess, on Mondays it became the coolest underground club in Cleveland, booking bands like the Jesus Lizard, Soul Coughing and Craw. And it was still grubby.
After that period, the club closed and reopened and then closed again in early 2013. For a while it looked like the historic venue might be sacrificed to the rapid development in the University Circle area — until that is, Happy Dog owners Sean Kilbane, Sean Watterson and Eric Williams bought it in late 2013 with the intention of giving it a major facelift. The opening was set back following Kilbane’s unexpected death in an accident in early 2014 but the doors reopened the following fall, with the venue re-christened the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern.
The grubby is gone but the ambience isn’t. The room’s been reconfigured and cleaned up, they’ve put in pinball machines and they’re serving the same menu of hot dogs and tater tots the Happy Dog became famous for and are open for lunch every day. In the evenings, they’re serving up the same roster of adventurous and/or noisy indie bands, both locals and lesser-known touring acts.
11625 Euclid Avenue