Trust us, they’re open.
Though you don’t see them too often these days, my grandma’s bathroom featured glass blocks designed to let in light, but prevent anyone from seeing in. B And G Tavern’s single external wall features banks of these same glass blocks, providing a light dusting of sunlight during daytime hours and preventing all suggestion of the outside world during evening operating hours.
B And G is a yellow brick neighborhood haunt pressed against the street, an otherwise nondescript building on a standard Cleveland city block quickly distinguished by the glorious, vintage sign above the door. In addition to classic lettering proclaiming the name of the bar, life’s three pleasures are inscribed as well: “Food. Liquor. Cold Beer.”
The front door gives off the vibe that maybe this place has been closed for 50 years, but inside, B And G reveals itself as equal parts local dive and pool hall. Pool tables line the rear of the bar, with an array of black vinyl booths dividing the space between the billiard section and the long, dark bar that commands the room. Only the classic style pool lights that hang above each table add non-neon light into the mix.
Opened in 1980, B And G has a bar decoration setup that speaks to every one of those years, with classics like a light-up Spuds Mackenzie part of the menagerie. A glorious red & white (nay, grey) floor tile design stretches through the space, the perfect complement to the classic, deep wood and sheer darkness that envelops B And G.
Cleveland is an old city, and with that age comes classic Cleveland dive bars like B And G that feel like they’ve been part of the fabric city as long as it has existed. Though the city predates the founding of B And G by a handful of decades, you wouldn’t know it by spending some time inside, soaking in the vintage lights, the pool trash talk, the crowd of regulars at the bar.
And that’s exactly what makes B And G what it is, a neighborhood staple that’s as welcoming as it is vintage inside, provided a lack of sunlight is a positive or you as it is for me.