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The Barking Spider Tavern is a bar on Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University Campus, only ca. 10 minutes by foot away from most of the university's institutes.

It is surrounded by old trees, looks a bit ramshackle from the outside and is probably the nearest you can get to heaven on earth if you are into good live music and ecclectic beer (about 30 different bottled and 2 draft beers.. The inside is dark and comfy, and as the bar area is nothing else but a wooden shed, (obviously) panelled with wood. There's plenty of candles and the place is always busy, but never too packed. Outside the bar, sheltered from the wind and surrounded by trees, there are a couple of tables and benches so you can enjoy your Hoegaarden under the moonlight (or the afternoon sun, if you want to start earlier).

The music is ecclectic with different artists every night, but there's a strong emphasis on folk, but most artists are top notch and a delight to listen to. Some artists still come regularly once a month since I have started going there in 1994. One of them is Gary Hall, a folky solo artitst who normally just stands there all alone on the little stage with his guitar, sometimes accompanied by one of the audience. You always know it's going to be a good night when he starts singing "the masturbation song", which deals with separation issues in a rather unusual way.

If you ever make it to Cleveland, don't forget to drop by. The evening will be a good one.


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