Nighttown serves entertainment and the community

Derdriu and Brendan Ring With Nighttown's Prize Yamaha Piano

Cleveland Heights residents know they have a treasure in Nightttown, Brendan Ring’s nationally renowned jazz club named for the Dublin red-light district in James Joyce's Ulysses. Nighttown dishes up fine food and cool jazz. What folks may not know is that Nighttown is dedicated to serving the neighborhood as well.

It’s no secret that Cleveland Heights has been affected by the economy, as has Nighttown. "Foot traffic is off by 10 percent," says Ring. "However, the economy has an upside as there are more fundraisers and benefits held at Nighttown and that business is up by 30 percent. We’ve had benefits for organizations such as El Barrio, the American Cancer Society, and United Cerebral Palsy—just to name a few."

Ring is a great believer in giving back to the community and is a big supporter of the Cleveland Food Bank. Instead of the usual two-for-one dinner specials designed to lure customers in during a slow economy, Ring donates $5 to the Food Bank for every dinner purchased on Hungry First Monday. The program has proved so popular that Ring has managed to raise $9,000 for the Food Bank since March of this year. "If they come in on the first Monday," Ring notes, "they are coming in to support the Food Bank program."

Ring constantly looks for ways to combine music and community, and after learning that Yamaha was donating concert grand pianos to select jazz clubs across the nation, Ring lobbied Yamaha Piano to consider Nighttown.

Yamaha was so impressed with the Cleveland Heights jazz club that Nighttown received a free concert grand piano worth $75,000. This is an honor typically bestowed on big city jazz clubs in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles. "This adds a huge legitimacy to a suburban area jazz club," says Ring. "Not only will we utilize it with our concert series, but we also plan to provide workshops for children in the community."

Giving back to the community is a family affair. Derdriu Ring, local actress and sister of Brendan Ring, is producing (along with Regina Brett), Wise Up!!, a literary feast and fundraiser to benefit the Friends of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library [see related story by Bruce Hennes at].

For more information, to make a donation, or to volunteer, contact Derdriu Ring at 216-795-0550 or e-mail

Kathleen Fairweather is a Hollywood refugee, documentary filmmaker, journalist, turned Cleveland Heights resident. She has never lived in snow, but has seen it on TV.

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Volume 2, Issue 9, Posted 3:07 PM, 08.17.2009