Grog Shop Review

Grog+Shop+Review

Joe Cudnik '23

In the past year I’ve been big into going to concerts and seeing artists I like live. I’ve been to multiple different venues in the Greater Cleveland area, some better than others. This had me thinking recently, what factors are needed for a concert venue to be good? 

My first review will be of the Grog Shop, located on Euclid Heights Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. I recently went to the Grog for the first time to see my friend and his band Amphibian play with two other local bands. It was an enjoyable experience, and I think the venue played a part in my enjoyment. To properly gauge both the good and the bad of this venue, I’ll list both pros and cons. 

Starting with the cons, I have to speak on something that precedes the show itself. The navigation and parking is kind of horrendous. Coming from the Edgewater neighborhood of Cleveland, it was not too hard to get to Cleveland Heights, I just hopped on the beloved Opportunity Corridor. However once I got off the Corridor, the windy roads and unconventional intersections of the neighborhood were a little confusing to follow. I also ended up being on the wrong side of a median, and my GPS suggested that I do a U-turn which I decided would not be a smart move. So I went looking for parking on Coventry Rd, which was a challenge in and of itself. There are a lot of popular stores and restaurants with not many parking lots. I thought I could get away with parking in the Marcs parking lot, but every spot had a meter that said “30 minute parking spots” and I didn’t want to risk getting a ticket. Eventually I was able to find a spot on the street, and luckily all the parking meters turned off after 6 pm or so so I didn’t have to worry about that. Lastly, kids under 18 had to pay 2 dollars extra at the door which I’ve never been a huge fan of, but I guess it makes up for the money lost in the alcohol sales and prevents kids from drinking and driving. Also, the bathroom was a little overly graffitied and stickered, to the point where I could barely see anything in the mirror, which I took as them trying to have a cool indie feeling which did not really seem that cool to me. 

For the pros, I really enjoyed the size of the venue and how close you can get to the stage. Also the stage is only about half a foot tall, so it doesn’t feel like the performers are way above you while they’re playing. Also, there is no real conventional “backstage,” there is just an area to the left of the stage where the artists keep their equipment. This made it so that me and my friends could go back and talk to our friend who was performing and all of the other artists too. This is likely because it was a very small scale show but it was a cool experience nonetheless. I think if I were ever to see a larger artist it would be a lot more fun because there would be a lot of people packed in this basement style place. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the venue as a whole, it was really just the navigation and parking that took away from it. I look forward to going back, and I would definitely recommend it to people who are interested in local acts and live music and even occasionally a more well known artist.