Cinder blocks never provided so much ambiance.
Tina’s Nite Club feels like a city zoning mistake, a fenced-in, lonely building in a neighborhood dominated by condos and apartments from all layers of socioeconomic status. That the building that houses Tina’s shares space with a bail bondsman only adds to the mystery, one that has no doubt confounded Uber rider after Uber rider wondering where exactly they’re being taken.
But this is a Cleveland dive bar in every sense of the term, a short, squat brick building outside, a cinder block-dominated rectangle inside. There is no mystery to the layout, with the bar, bathrooms, pool table and karaoke corner all visible immediately upon entering. The front door sits below a marvelously simple sign with the name of the bar and dueling American & Italian flags in each corner.
The surfaces here are hard. Cinder block walls, red & grey tiled floor, metal doors throughout. The wood bar and similarly wooden paneling directly above it give way quickly to more cinder blocks and a few more harsh angles leading to a metal doored gateway to a cement patio out back. This is the kind of dive bar that should fade into the back of simple places to grab a beer, but Tina’s defies the box it sits in with one simple word: karaoke.
Just as with dive bars, karaoke spots can vary wildly, shifting wildly from drunken clubs for those under 30 to the last stop on the line for aging crooners seeing the same song every week. Tina’s really should be the latter, but attracts the kind of diverse crowd that makes karaoke worth watching. The karaoke corner of the bar has been declared as such for as long as this reviewer has visited, with nearly nightly sessions dominating the night life at this Nite Club.
A single pool table and dart boards provide complementary diversions, but karaoke is the unquestioned star. And should that be the case, the drink prices probably come in second, with extremely reasonable rates on a decent selection of beers and mixers, just enough to keep the wheels of drunken karaoke chugging forward.
Tina’s Night Club is no mystery. This isn’t a dive bar onion with multiple layers. Tina’s is a small building in a slightly dodgy part of town (less so as times goes on) that serves cheap beer and raucous karaoke. And if that doesn’t say Cleveland dive bar to you, I’m not sure what will, so stifle the urge to turn the Uber around and pick a song to start your night.