Since September 9th of 1986, the Barking Spider Tavern of Cleveland, Ohio has been presenting the best of local and national jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, rock, and well, you name it. The presentation has been eclectic to say the least.
Set off the the street in an old carriage house and surrounded by trees on the campus of Case in University Circle, the “Spider” was started by Martin Juredine and Bruce Medorsky as a small beer and wine bar where local folk acts could share their talents. After an expansion in the early 90’s the stage was able to accommodate much larger acts, while maintaining a cozy and intimate enviroment that the singer songwriters could thrive on.
For over 25 years the Barking Spider has been able to offer music 7 days a week without charging a admission. The tip jar concept has succeeded due to the creative and active involvement of the bar staff in passing the tip jar. Often times, the bar tender will steal the show with an outragous appeal to the crowd in a weekly tradition that has become known as “MOney fOr the bAAAAnd!!!!!“.
In addition to the creativity displayed by musicians and bartenders, the Barking Spider’s patrons contribute their own beer fueled masterworks on the bathroom walls. Being on the Case campus, many of the contributing artists, thinkers and writers contibute some very intelligent graffiti. Some however fall short and leave theirs on the floor.
It is a very rare occasion that a spider has actually been heard barking, but the bar regularly hosts canines that know how to restrain the desire to bark during performances. This restraint is strongly encouraged amongst all in attendence.
In 2011, Martin passed away. A memorial for him was moved to the Beachland Ballroom to accommodate the large number of people wanting to say farewell to a man that drew the communitee together with his caring and creative spirit.
His daughter Jenna took over the day to day operations and has not missed a beat in maintaining her father’s vision.
Today the Barking Spider remains one of Cleveland’s jewels, adding personal charm to the city’s cultural center.