The Winchester Voted Best Northeast Ohio Music Venue

The Winchester has a comfortable and large space for enjoying some of the best musicians and bands.

The Winchester Tavern & Music Hall in Lakewood has been voted the Number One and BEST Live Music Venue in the Cleveland area by the 67,440 voters in the FOX 8 Television Hot List.  The results of the 2009 voting were released a few weeks ago and The Winchester came out on top over the 2008 winner, The House of Blues finishing second! There were thirty seven venues to vote for in the Live Music Venue category.  

The Winchester celebrated its 7th anniversary last Wednesday night with a special FREE "Holiday Mystery Show" to show thanks to all the music fans that voted it number one. I didn’t miss this chance to see and learn for myself just how incredible this music venue is. And despite the blistering cold wind how could I not make it when it’s just down the road from me in the Lakewood’s Birdtown area.

From the outside of the 1920s building, The Winchester, looks like it would be just a small tavern adjacent to the street.  And there is the tavern room up front, but as I walk further to check out where the band would be playing I discover an amazing music hall space.  Originally built as a bowling facility, all of that space now serves nicely for the large raised stage and tons of space for tables and chairs.

The Winchester is owned and operated by Jim and Rebecca Mileti. While Jim oversees all the magic of running a good music venue keeping the artists and customers happy, Rebecca tends the tavern with good hometown-feel hospitality and a smile.

Jim opened the business in 2002 and has committed to bringing quality music to an established music fan base. How lucky Lakewood is that he decided to do that here in his hometown.

The special mystery show that night turned out to be Neil Zaza who was in town to play at the Playhouse Square on Friday night with tickets starting at $35. He was playing a holiday show with all the favorite classic holiday songs with a rock twist seaming them effortlessly in with some of the greatest classic rock songs ever.  It was incredible and the comfort of the hall tops it off as now my favorite place to see a show in Northeast Ohio.

Whereas, this special showing was free, shows at the Winchester are always a bang for the buck. He has local artists, such as Robert Lockwood Jr., but also his line-up of regional and national musicians is expansive. Tickets typically range from $5 to $35. You can find most all types of music here except “the screaming in the mic” type as Jim states.

To give you a taste of the diversity of music some shows coming up are:

Friday, December 18 – Ugly Radio Rebellion & Ike Willis – Frank Zappa Tribute with longtime Zappa band member;

Saturday, Dec. 19 – Joshua Jesty & Band – Alternative, Indie-Folk. Voted Scene Best Solo Music Artist;

Saturday, Dec 26 – Hal Walker – Multi-instrumentalist, one-man-band;

New Year’s Eve, Thursday, Dec 31 - Into The Blue (Play Greatful Dead) & Carl Carlton (Soul, Funk Vocalist);

Saturday, Jan. 2 – Monsters of Bass – Doug Johns Duo & Walter Barnes.

Saturday, Jan 9 – Uzizi – Five piece alternative rock band with 12-member choir influenced by 19th century music.

You can vist or call 216-226-5681 for more details and schedules. It is located at 12112 Madison Ave.

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 8:51 AM, 12.16.2009