The flats had its heyday back in the late 80's and early 90's when a younger Kdoc could still pick up women. It is not quite the meat market it once was, but still has a lot of bars and places to eat to make it a great nightspot.
The Improv is a great Comedy Club, I should know, I used to work there! But the area is just crawling with places to go, including micro-brewaries, restaurants, bars and other fun stuff... And yes, there is adult entertainment in the area if you enjoy the female of the species sans clothing. Actually there are three places in the area, all are of pretty good quality. (I had to go, what kind of review would this be if I didn't provide useful info!)
Dress Code: Depends on where you are going. Check out the link below for more information.
The Flats used to be the place to go club hopping on the weekends, but things have changed a bit in the last 2 years or so. The Crowds that used to dominate the Flats and its clubs have moved on to the "Warehouse District", which is just about 3 blocks or so up the hill from the flats. The best way to describe the East Bank of the Flats now is that the typical sights there are cars/SUV's with at least 20" rims. If you are going to the East bank of the flats, carry a 40oz beer bottle and wear a huge gold chain, and you will fit right in.
I don't know how to classify this tip with a theme because it's a very unique place and hugely popular! It's a dark, dirty, smoky and crowded place with a lot of wood everywhere, like a huge cabana or someplace similar. There's two pianists and a drummer up front who are quite the quick witted, smart assed and often drunk performers; they do cover songs, help humiliate people on stage, sing drinking songs with the crowd riled up and much more... There was a $5 cover charge and you WILL be checked for proper ID; things can get somewhat lewd in there while the beer and liquor flows abundantly. It's definatly one of the wildest (and fun, if that's your idea of fun) places to hang out to really be a part of a spectacle and just be somewhere drinking. Highly popular place!
Dress Code: Whatever. Well, within the bounds of decency.
Two Words: The Flats. Its an area along the river which is home to a majority of Cleveland's bar/club/nightlife scene. It's a ton of fun. Just wander up and down the street club hopping, I'm sure you'll run into something which is good for you. Just a note, there are places on both sides of the river.
Dress Code: What do you want to wear....
The flats are definately a worthy experience. There is the east bank and the west bank. The East bank has more bars and resturants. The West bank tends to have an older crowd. Mostly the flats are 21 and over but there are a few exceptions on the East bank.
Long Live the Flats! Although many of the hot spots are no more, (think bulldozed), Shooters is one of the staples that has survived. I was happy to find the place still packed with a variety of ages dancing the night away on the huge deck round the back. The atmosphere is awesome as it is right on the cuyahoga river. All the bridges are lit up and there is one old one that is sort of built over the bar in back. I like the way this place is set up because you can either sit indoors or outside. There is enough dancing room so you dont feel like a sardine. Plus you get to drink outside! They are also open during the day for good lunch and dinner.
Dress Code: I have found that more people dress up at this bar than others in the area, but you can still wear shorts and a t-shirt and not feel out of place. A lot of people come from the Warehouse District, while others come after sporting events, so you get a large mix of people.