Winking Lizard Tavern

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Winking Lizard TavernWinking Lizard Tavern
19 Ratings
Winking Lizard TavernWinking Lizard Tavern

Type: Bar, Eatery

1852 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 44118-1682
United States

(216) 397-8380 | map

None provided.

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Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of MikiMo
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

This place no longer exists - don't look for it.

It is a travesty that it was closed (and replaced by something in a comparatively soulless location.

The other Winking Lizards are OK, but this one was the best, in the best location.

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Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of SpartyJoe
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of JNewbs
4/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is the Winking Lizard where I cut my teeth on a little bit of craft beer and a lotta bit of BMC. Nestled into the heart of Coventry with a large window view of the passers by, this place is always full to bursting, seemingly every night of the week. They start carding at like 5pm or something, which was a pain in the butt when I was 20 and trying to go in with my buddies and get some wings, but I understand of course.

The atmosphere is very young and vital. With Case Western on one side and John Carroll on the other, college students and locals flood the joint 24/7. The bar area is pretty smallish, honestly, but the secondary bar in the next room is a little more open. Woe to the person seated in the back, because the TVs are small and the atmosphere is way different - more restaurant style.

Selection is par for the Winking Lizard course. 150 or so in house, and 15ish rotating taps with a decent choice. The bottle selection is pretty good, though by no means outstanding. And if you want a higher ABV or lesser known beer, be ready to pay 8-10 bucks for it.

All told, a pretty good spot, and probably my favorite bar in Coventry.

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Photo of MrDanno96
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Since moving to Cleveland I go here all the time since it is less than a mile away from my apartment.

Atmosphere: As is the case with all the Winking Lizards, it has a typical sports bar feel with lots of TVs and memorabilia on the walls with some beer themed stuff mixed in too. Typically a little too loud and filled with students from Case Western. Since I'm a law student at Case I can't really complain about this too much.

Food: WL serves a wide variety of typical bar food with some tasty barbecue selections mixed in as well. I really like the barbecue chicken melt sandwich and the St. Louis ribs. Wings are 40 cents on Monday and Tuesday nights, which saves money for more beer! The wings are pretty good to boot!

Selection: Always a decent tap selection that rotates monthly. They have dedicated lines for GL, SN, Stone, DFH, a "hoppy" beer and a Belgian beer. About 16 taps in all, with a few macro offerings for the non-craft crowd. Each month they also typically have a "limited-release" keg or two which typically goes quickly, so you have to take note of the tapping dates. Some more recent examples include Stone 10-10-10 and SN Hoptimum.

The bottle list features an impressive 100 craft beers, so there is always something new to try. Their World Tour of Beers is really fun too - if you drink 100 craft beers over the course of the year you get a jacket and an invite to an exclusive party in January.

Service: Service can be slow sometimes, but all of my servers have always been nice and at least decently attentive. Clearly the big-wigs running the business are really into craft, but most of the servers seem to have an average at best knowledge of good beer. I ordered a Rochefort 6 a few weeks ago and my waitress gave me a pint glass to drink it out of. To her credit, she did know what a tulip glass was when I asked for one.

Q: I really like the WL overall. I mean, it's not top tier as far as beer bars/pubs go, but it's a great sports bar with awesome beer selection. A great place to go with friends and have a pint or three. The prices are always reasonable too!

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Photo of hipsterasfolk
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

Atmosphere - Typical sports bar, heavily populated with Grad students from Case and locals.

Quality - The Tavern is nice and well kept for it's typical Sports Bar theme.

Service - Typical seating (similar to Apple Bees, etc.) Servers have to study the beers they offer (proper drink-ware and food pairing.) Hit or miss here though.

Selection - Beer selection is amazing! They offer everything from typical Bro Beers (Miller, Coors, & Bud) to world renown craft beers. Also they offer their own challenge of drinking 100 different beers in a year ($10 to join.)

Food - It's typical food that is available at most bars and grills. Nothing special here, food is very bland and average tasting.

Value - Reasonable pricing for a meal and couple of beers.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Not a bad place for a grad student who likes beer, that's for sure. I love that the Wink is in walking distance of Little Italy and some other areas around Case. Atmosphere is pretty typical of a sports bar of some sort, but the staff are pretty cool and definitely know more about beer than your run-of-the-mill sports bar staff. Tap selection is ok, rotating, but typically lighter beers. Oh well, the bottle selection is really good for this area of town, so I would say go for that. It's about the only place I go to regularly where I can find a geueze (3 Fonteinen). Food is ok, kind of sports bar-ish, but good for accompanying a pint and a game.

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Photo of Sammy
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Three interiorally hooked up storefronts, so lots of room but not to walk around in. You pass all sorts of people closely. They were relaxed mid-December when I was there, I don't know about a hot summer night. Music a bit loud, bar is decently big with a few TVs. The dozen taps were almost all the regular world macros, with a coupe of Great Lakes on; 175 bottles and a good variety. Prices were reasonable, service was good. Not the best neighbourhood walking around,and there were cars honking crossing pedestrians.

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Winking Lizard in Cleveland Heights is on Coventry Ave on a diagonal south west from the parking garage and Panninis.

Croud is generally younger due to Case Western University around the corner.

Food is typical sports bar fair. The quality of food is pretty good, my favs are the St. Louis Ribs or the BBQ Chicken Dinner.

Beer selection is pretty good as well. Many Bottles from Allagash to Westmalle. Tap selection includes Macros, but a "Hoppy" handle featuring some sort of IPA, "Belgian" Handle, "Great Lakes" Handle featuring a seasonal offering from GLBC. Each month feature glass of the month special, get Beer and Glass for 6-8 bucks depending on what it is. This year took advantage of Dogfish Head Pint Glass with Festina Peche and Paulaner Mug with Paulaner Oktoberfest.

As always you can complete the tour of Beers here for your jacket.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A: Typical sports/burger bar atmosphere. Had a big iguana in a glass case.

Q: It's a decent place, but certainly nothing fancy. Pretty casual most nights.

Service: A little lacking, honestly. Wait times were on the long side, and the bartender was slow even though it wasn't crowded.

Selection: A great selection of bottles, foreign and domestics of all styles. A decent tap selection, with some Great Lakes selections that are sure to please.

Food: Tasty burgers and great wings. They have nice specials most weeknights on food and beer. Definitely above average bar food.

Value: Reasonable prices, nice specials, and don't miss the beer of the month. For a few bucks, you get the special beer of the month in a unique glass that you can take home with you. Pretty cool.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My first visit to any Winking Lizard took place during the early afternoon of a Monday after a long walk at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. The atmosphere was cramped and run down but since we were pretty much the only people there it wasn't a big deal. Large flat panels pretty much covered the dark walls. Behind the bar stood a large cooler filled with about 85 bottles, some of them real gems. The place struck me as a sort of BBQ/Sports/College Kid bar but the selection blew me away with offerings like Achel Bruin, Rochefort 10, St. Bernie, Stone OAB, 1809 Beliner Weis, Aecht Schlenkeria Helles, Kulmbacher Eisbock, Hennepin, etc... Service and prices were good. I was also surprised by the food. It wasn't anything special - just simple pub food done well. I'd go back again if I were in the area during the day, but with Cav du Vin around the corner I probably would skip the lizard at night in favor of it's superior neighbor.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The only Winking Lizard tavern I have gone to so far since I started drinking craft and micro brews regularly is this location on Coventry RD. in Cleveland HTS. My friends and I hang out on Coventry quite a bit as it is also where La Cav Du Vin, the Grog Shop, and two independent record stores are also located, along with various eateries and restaurant. This Winking Lizard has an excellent selection of beers on tap and in bottles. Various offerings from Great Lakes, Anchor Steam, Bell's, Brooklyn Brewery, Dogfish Head, Chimay, Stone, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV, and Brewery Ommegang to name a handful. The food selection is pretty solid whether it is pub grub/appetizers you want or an actual full meal. The prices are quite reasonable. You can't beat paying $4 or $5 (I can't remember which it was) for a bomber of Arrogant Bastard at a bar! I wonder if that was some sort of special. The service is fairly fast and friendly as well. If you are on Coventry but aren't in the mood for the darker (literally) and more intimate atmosphere of La Cav Du Vin but still want to get some great beer and/or some good bar food the Winking Lizard is a very nice alternative.


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Photo of klewis
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The most recent of several Winking Lizard's that I've been to. The atmosphere at this location was similar with its ecclectic mix of memorabilia on the walls, ranging from beer to sports to who knows what. This location seemed grungier though, and it was lit dimmly and sort of cramped feeling. Besides that, everything else was at least on par with the other locations. The service was a bit better, with the server bringing out a bowl of popcorn to munch on without our asking her to do so. She also poured my beer at the table, which was a nice gesture, but she didn't really know how to pour. I'll give her points for trying though. Worth stopping in for a bite if you're in the area.

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Photo of Maestro
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Where should I get started? I want to like this bar because they seem to be very cool about serving good beer. However, there tap selection and system seem to be underpar. The two times I have been here they have been out of one of the featured draughts. Also, the prices are a bit steep. I like the fact that they have an amazing selection of beers in a bottle, but to be honest, I go to beers to drink draughts. I can get bottles at the store. They need to keep there taps clean and there featured beers in stock. Otherwise, it is a cool place.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

This Winking Lizard location is in Cleveland Heights which is a short drive east from downtown. Lots of parking options between street and pay parking but a hike may be in order.

The interior is pretty much the same theme as other locations but the layout seems more cramped. There are two small bars in separate rooms, with a restaurant area in an adjacent room. The two bar areas are pretty small and get overcrowded easily.

The beer selection is pretty much the standard Winking Lizard variety. Lots of taps with only a couple standouts like GLBC, but every bar in the area has that. It did seem like there were less micros on draught compared to other locations. Well over 100 beers in bottles from GLBC, Rogue, Bell's, Thirsty Dog etc which is in line with the rest of the chain. There is always something good to try.

The service here is OK. Pretty busy on a Friday night and it showed.

I didn't have the food on this visit but the menu is the same as other locations. Some stuff is really good, some not so much.

Overall I'd normally be pleased to have a Winking Lizard to visit but with La Cave du Vin right around the corner it would take a lot for me to visit this Lizard instead. La Cave just blows it away atmosphere and clientele-wise.

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Photo of JackStraw22
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

There are a ton of Winking Lizards around Northeast Ohio, and they are all pretty much the same. It's a fun sports bar, with good wings and decent beer. There wasn't a great selection of beer on tap. Some Great Lakes selections (Dortmunder at least). Mostly the big 3, plus things like Bass, Guinness etc. They had a ton of stuff in bottles, though. I never really like going out to a bar to get beer in bottles, but what they do have is pretty good. That's the only reason I gave them only a slightly above average for selection. I'd rather have it on tap, but it's better than a lot of bars, and they are trying to advocate better beer. The wings are great! Spicy Garlic are my favorite. The burgers are good too, but that's all I've had. They were also helpful in putting obscure sporting events on the tvs (college hockey). Be sure to visit the big lizard at each location!

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Photo of BeerFink
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I stopped in to the Coventry Winking Lizard a few days ago while we were out shopping. I had heard the name mentioned on BA and wanted to check out their drink selections for myself. I didn't think it was too bad at all. We were there from about 3-4pm or so, and it was decently busy, but no frat boys or anything. It was actually a lot of families with crying kids. There was no room at the bar, so we got a table. The server was friendly, and seemed to have a decent understanding of the beers she was serving. She poured our bottles into nonic tumblers in front of us, giving a pretty good pour. It took her forever to get to our second round though. Seemed like we got put on the back burner since we were at a table.

The draft selection was pretty bland, and the pint of the month was Bass. Although the bottle list seemed to offer a little of everything (even some Belgians), the stouts and porters category was a little lacking. We didn't try any of the food.

The atmosphere was your typical college town bar I guess, with TVs all around and beer signs covering the walls. The music was classic rock, it fit the theme well enough and was not too loud. The had a live lizard in a glass case as you walked in, kinda cool I guess.

This isn't a bad place to go if you want to order up a few micros to take a break from shopping the Coventry strip, but I wouldn't seek this place out, and wouldn't really want to eat here. I could see how it would be crowded at nighttime, so I'm glad I checked it out in the early evening.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Located in Coventry, just a short distance from CWRU and JCU the Lizard draws a college crowd. Despite a rather small selection of taps, it does its part to spread beer education by offering a world tour of beer highlighting the diverse inventory of bottles. The bottles that I've sampled were well treated, and served with glassware. Unfortunately, my opinion of their draft beers was forever tainted when I made the mistake of ordering Great Lakes Christmas Ale on a drink special. I was watered down (or more likely mixed with a far lesser beer) and unrecognizable. The food is standard bar fair, and unimpressive.

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Winking Lizard Tavern in Cleveland Heights, OH
Place rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 19 ratings