Cleveland dining establishments are brewing up some fun in the next few weeks.
Cheer on your favorite bartender at Cleveland Independents’ second annual Bartenders Competition. The West Side semifinals take place at Jammy Buggars, 15625 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on May 7. The judges are John Farina, director of development for the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, Plain Dealer reporter Michael Heaton and Kim Schneider from Cleveland Magazine. Admission is free. A cash bar will be available. Semifinals will be held at three locations around town, with the finalists moving on to the downtown competition at Cowell & Hubbard on PlayhouseSquare.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. (GLBC), recently named one of the top 50 brewers in the country, is having an NFL Draft Party at its brewpub from 4 to 11 p.m. on April 25. Admission is free. There will be a $6 hot dog bar, but regular menu items will also be served. The brewery will offer a surprise football-themed beer and a special GLBC firkin. Phone 216-771-4404. The brewpub is at 2516 Market Ave. in Ohio City.
“Ales for the Arts” takes place in the GLBC Tasting Room, 2701 Carroll Ave., the evening of April 26. Art 2 You of Rocky River will present artwork for purchase, with 10 percent of sales benefiting the Cleveland Art Therapy Studio. This free event organized by local students will feature entertainment by pianist Alex Sykes and an appearance by artist Yarek Godfrey. Complimentary light appetizers will be served, and there will be a full cash bar.
A Spanish Wine Dinner is on tap at 87 West at Crocker Park at 6:30 p.m. on May 14. Dine on spring-inspired appetizers of mini baked Brie and steamed mussels, served with a glass of Martin Codax Albrino. Pickled fruit salad will be accompanied by Las Rocas Rose, and smoked brisket with roasted parsnips will be complemented by Ergo Rioja. Dessert is bittersweet chocolate mousse with balsamic raspberry whipped cream and Las Rocas Red Blend. The cost is $35 a person. Reservations are required. Phone 440-250-2334.
Thursday night is now Ladies Night at the Ironwood Cafe, with half-price appetizers, drink specials and some featured lower-calorie adult beverages. The fun begins at 8 p.m. with music by DJ Sean, karaoke and prizes. The Ironwood Cafe is at 688 Dover Center Road in Westlake. Call 440-835-9900.
The downtown establishments on West 6th Street have created a new holiday called “Halfoween” – because “Halloween once a year just isn’t good enough.” Get last fall’s costume out of storage and join in the festivities at Blind Pig, Bob Golic’s Sports Bar and Gillespie’s Map Room on April 27. Admission is free, and there will be drink specials and costume prizes.