Peabody’s Cafe

in Restaurants and Cafes

Peabody’s Cafe, an alternative music club, opened at 2140 South Taylor Road in 1977. Owners Dewey Forward and Tom Rutzen intended Peabody’s Cafe to operate as a “mini showcase club” in an “attempt to bring audiences to jazz, blues, and other adult music” in Cleveland. Peabody’s Cafe featured two floors of stages and seating for patrons to enjoy the club’s food, cheap drinks, and live entertainment. Peabody’s ground floor contained “clusters of tables along [a] railing overlooking [a] basement stage,” with additional seating available on elevated platforms and/or Peabody’s “spacious, beautiful wood bar.” Below the ground floor, “down a flight of stairs,” Peabody’s contained a stage for live performances “faced by a few more tables and another bar.” Over the years, Peabody’s Cafe featured hosted a diverse array of local and national performers whose works spanned an array of musical genres ( including, but not limited to, “blues…reggae…pop…country swing…traditional jazz…Latin jazz,” and women’s music artists). Peabody’s Cafe, which frequently hosted musical artists popular in the national women’s music movement, frequently collaborated with local women’s groups and organizations to organize benefits and events for Cleveland’s women’s and lesbian communities. Peabody’s Cafe closed in 1996.

Additional information coming soon.


  • “2 Bands to Aid the Free Clinic.” Plain Dealer. January 25, 1980.
  • Chernin, Donna. “Eat Hearty; It’s Cool Outside.” Plain Dealer. November 7, 1986.
  • Cleveland Live Music. “Peabody’s Cafe Cleveland Heights Ohio.” Playlist. YouTube.
  • “Clinic Benefit Set.” Plain Dealer. April 6, 1979.
  • Colombi Jr., Chris. “Peabody’s Doubles Pleasure.” Plain Dealer. December 5, 1986.
  • “Fifth Anniversary Celebration.” What She Wants. February 1979. Page 10.
  • Jenkins Jr., Willard. “Peabody’s Cafe Stresses Diversity in Music.” Plain Dealer. June 2, 1978.
  • “Loosen Up With Honky-Tonk Music.” Plain Dealer. December 26, 1980.
  • Maharidge, Dale. “Happy Hours.” Plain Dealer. May 30, 1980.
  • “Peabody’s Cafe Marks 10th.” Plain Dealer. October 2, 1987.
  • Strassmeyer, Mary. “More Eatin’ News.” Plain Dealer. October 26, 1977.
  • “WomenSpace Sounds.” What She Wants. November 1980. Page 2.
2140 S. Taylor Rd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 (Peabody’s Cafe).

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