This area by the clocktower is a pretty happening beer scene. I found free street parking a block off 25th, but there are lots around as well. Great Lakes is the classic Cleveland beer destination. They have a nice set up on Market Street with a decent sized outdoor patio, a fairly small bar area and a larger restaurant area. I did not go down the basement; so no comment there. I have been here (and eaten here) before, but never rated for some reason. This time I did not eat, but the food coming out looked good enough. Service was pretty good overall
The one knock is perhaps beer rotation. As others have pointed out, Great Lakes beer is quite good and their standards are generally excellent in style. If you are the type of beer guy that just wants a pint of their favorite IPA, or Dortmunder, or whatever, this is a great place. Tickers will get bored quick though as there are only about three taps devoted to seasonals or taproom exclusives. I found one new one for me - a BA smoked imperial porter, that was good, not great, but at least different. This is a tough one to rate; its a great beer spot, but for the ticker its a once and done kind of place.
Re-Visited on 10-25-16
I cant believe that I have never rated this place before...my bad. The good things about GL is that they have several different areas for grabbing a table which is the bar area, outdoor patio or in the basement which is cool, almost cryptic. They only have 8 beers on tap, all their own but the past several times I have been there, there was nothing special on tap...typically 5 of their common flagship beers then 3 varaiants that lack any originality. Food is decent, prices are about a 1-2 dollars higher than should be but not horribly priced. A good place to stop in visit if in the area and a fan of GL beers.
RateBeer says this is my 250th place rating, so yay. Beautiful outdoor seating in the summer, but it was filled there and inside, so I went down a level and sat in the damp and musty basement with plenty of exposed stone and brick, history; cool vibe and got great service. Beers are always solid, of course, but it’s usually the normal selection (plus maybe one special or one on nitro). Did not tour. Seems like a place that will always be busy (and I picked an off-peak time).
Visited on 3-01-2013. A big establishment, loud on an early Friday evening. There is bar seating and table and chair seating available. They have a good variety of food. I had a good chicken sandwich that I would order again. The service was good and they also have a souvenir area. Good selection of beers.
We happened in on a beautiful evening when they had a good musician playing- we got to sit in the lovely breeze and listen and eat- so extra ambiance points. Service was decent- it was busy. Decent selection of their own stuff. Food was not as good as I hoped, but not bad.
Very conflicted on this. It soooo long to get our food, but they did give us free desert. A Saturday afternoon and our party of 5 was sat right away. We got our drinks pretty fast. Then he would not take our food order for awhile. People who were seated 15 minutes after us got their food before we did(several different groups) They then gave us free desert. Only Great lakes beers on table and had already had most of them. Over 2 hours to have a drink and lunch.
Pretty large place. They actually have the huge production brewery down across the street from the pub. The store is separated from the pub (but next door) & the pub with the store spans almost an entire block. The pub is two stories tall as well. Very nice food menu with great food. Had the pretzel crusted chicken & it was great. So was the crème brulee for dessert. Beer list is kind of small, but it definitely has at least a few solid choices. About 6-7 normally bottled brews with 4-5 pub exclusives. Seems more like a restaurant than a pub, but nothing wrong with that. Waitress was extremely nice & very knowledgeable about the beers (even where the names originated from). She gave me a free small cup of the ice cream, too, since I was torn between that & the crème brulee. Seems like it would be a great place to just chill & have dinner with some good beer if you lived nearby. Recommended.