You walk into the lobby of the Metropolitan at the 9, and take a short elevator ride downstairs. And then begin the velvet ropes. There is a dress code -- dress cute, and fancy. You will see a lot of strutting, and you definitely don't want to be left out in the cold. Based in an old bank building, Vault definitely does not shy away from its roots. Past the ropes, you walk in a hallway, and then past the vault (yes, its a real vault) to the bar. You will see signs of the property's former life everywhere-- from the old school till to the private rooms, which are all vaults. Its no wonder that Vault is so popular with celebrities-- lots of places for privacy.
If you're not looking for a private room, or bottle service, the common area is not very large. There's the main bar, and a smallish area by the DJ booth, the area by the vault then the wide hallway where you enter. Certainly not tiny, but not cavernous either.
I'm not sure if the hallway area is always red, but I definitely felt like I was an extra in Blade. The drink prices are shockingly reasonable. 7 drinks (all liquor) ran us under $70 (excluding tip)-- almost unheard of in downtown Cleveland! Overall, we had a fun time, and I will definitely go back!
Coming soon to Metropolitan to the 9 (May 2015): Azure Sun Lounge-- Cleveland's hottest new rooftop bar!!! Hey hey heyyyyyy!