Good bars have a story. Great bars write their own.
Cloak & Dagger’s starts in a candlelit room with velveteen curtains and packed bookshelves.
“I wanted this room to feel like a retired author’s study,” says creative and co-owner Casey Gerber.
Gerber’s latest work greets visitors. Each new menu of seasonal cocktails tells a tale. Most recently, book four followed Krampus, a beast determined to extend the holiday season (in this case to March). The You’re Punch Drunk, Love ($10), for example, is a rum-based hot tea that warms winter bones. Beloved beverages such as the Rabbit’s Foot ($12), an earthy and bright pink tequila drink decorated like latte art, are callbacks to previous installments in the Tremont bar’s epic.
“I’m like a professor,” says Gerber. “I give the bartenders the assignment, and we work on the menu collectively.”
You’d hardly tell from the drink list, which merely replaces egg washes and dairy products, but the food and cocktails are completely vegan. All of it — from the mixing syrups to the shiitake satay seitan skewers ($13), doused in a spicy chili sauce — is made in-house.
“It’s more fine dining than Cheers,” says Gerber. “If New York came to Cleveland and got humbled a bit.”
Opened in 2020, most visitors are still first-timers. But like a good novel, a diverse cast of recurring characters — like the nurse, the Cleveland Browns player and the neighbors who visit for dessert — keep things interesting. “People appreciate the artistry and the story,” she says. 2399 W. 11th St., Cleveland, 216-795-5657, cloakanddaggercle.com