Major Hoopples History
A Few Facts:
Glenn Schwartz played Hoopples for twenty years every Thursday night. Joe Walsh, Jimmy Fox and Dale Peters (The James Gang) came in after a Rock Hall appearance and jammed with Glenn.
David Byrne of the Talking Heads after hearing Glenn Schwartz at Hoopples: “He may have lost his mind, but his fingers are firing on all cylinders…only in Cleveland.”
When Marty Wombacher came to Cleveland on his mission to go to 365 bars in one year, the first bar he came to was Hoopples.
When Joe Boyd, Pat Cornely, Chris Garland and Todd Sheppard set out in the summer of 2014 to drink at every joint, pub, dive and club in the city, which was around 400 bars, they started at Hoopples. A coincidence? I think not.
Bests over the years: Burger, juke box, tacos, view, dive bar, etc. Hoopples is Cleveland. We survived the Flats coming and going and now coming again. “Bring it on. We are Cleveland strong.
Bar guys drink MH 1st (I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HE MEANS)
One of Cleveland’s best burgers thrillist (THRILLIST?)
Best pregame bar-Scene Magazine
Best bars in Cleveland-The Drinking Map
Top 10 Cleveland Experiences-City Search
Best of Cleveland Patios-Mimosa Saturday
10 best Cleveland live music spots-Yelp
Best dive bars-Yelp
Ohio City hot spots-Four Square
Best pregame bar-Scene Magazine
Best bar view-Scene Magazine
Best view of the city-City Search
9 best dive bars in cleveland-Thrills
Cleveland’s getaway gems-Cleveland Magazine / The city list “Hangouts”-Cleveland Magazine
35 favorite hot spots after dark-Cleveland Magazine
7 best sports bars in Cleveland-Foursquare
Best bar with a view-AXS
Top 10 Cleveland experiences-City Search
Let’s start off with a little history about where Hoopples is located. In the mid-1800s, Irish settlers moved onto Franklin and Riverbed Streets, creating an Irish shantytown. The bend in the river you see out the window thus became Irishtown Bend, as it is still called today.
The Columbus Road Bridge that you can see out the window has some history of its own. In 1830, Cleveland and Ohio City (then a city) had a floating bridge connecting the two across the Cuyahoga River around where the Detroit-Superior Bridge is now. In 1834, Cleveland decided to build a bridge on Columbus Street to cross the river. Cleveland demolished their half of the floating bridge. The people of Ohio City were outraged. The new bridge would bypass Ohio City’s main commercial district. On October 31, 1836, an angry mob of Ohio City residents marched to the Columbus Bridge, intending to destroy it. Three men were seriously injured before the county sheriff put a stop to the fighting. This is known as the War of the Bridges. The court eventually settled the dispute allowing both bridges to be open.
The old Columbus Street Bridge was replaced by an iron bridge in 1870. After that, a double swing bridge - then the world's first - took that bridge's place. Finally, in 1940, WPA workers installed a steel lift bridge on Columbus Road, which still stands. The building where Hoopples resides was built in 1898. It was general store, first floor boarding house, and the second floor and third floor “house of ill repute.” In the 1950s, a bar called The Hilltop moved into the space and lasted about twenty years. The Hilltop is the type of bar you would expect down by a river with nothing around. It was a thoroughly scary place where you didn’t go if you knew better: Drugs, guns, gambling, nine ball for $5/ball in the 50s. After The Hilltop, the bar was called The Riverside and a few other short-lived establishments. When Norm Plonski bought the bar, it was called The Dodge City Saloon, a scary place with no windows. The bar was quickly renamed Major Hoopples Riverbed Cafe and a window was added. (A quick attaboy to Bob LaRocca for coming up with the name.)
It’s now 1981. The Flats are scary and deserted at night. In the mid-1980s, the Flats resurgence began. By the early 1990s, the Flats had peaked, having the highest concentration of bars in the Midwest. By 2000, the party was over, and Hoopples was one of the few that survived. While all this was happening, we moved the bar to where it is today so you can look out at the city with the newly-installed windows.
MONDAY--THURSDAY 2:00 PM -- 2:30AM
FRIDAY -- SATURDAY 11:00 AM -- 2:30 AM
MONDAY --THURSDAY 3:00 PM -- 11:00 PM
FRIDAY -- SATURDAY 11:00 AM -- 11:00 PM
1930 Columbus Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113