Local Beer in Indy
Indianapolis has quite a local beer scene, supplementing an already very active brewery scene in Indiana as a whole. These are a few places to visit if you're looking to sample some local beer.
- Tomlinson's Tap: Inside the City Market in Downtown Indy, they have the best tap selection in the city. It rotates constantly and it's exclusively Indianan. They close early though (before 10 on weekends) and can be crowded during the limited time they're open in the evenings. Very limited food is available after the market downstairs closes. But being upstairs, it's a very cool place to sit and have a couple of beers.
- Bazbeaux Pizza Mass Avenue: Roughly four taps, changing constantly, and usually with only Indianapolis beer. Good bottle list too and the prices are reasonable. They get very crowded at dinner time, particularly on the weekends. Selection changes constantly.
- MacNiven's: A Scottish/Irish pub on Mass Avenue that features an interesting mix of Scottish taps and Indiana taps. One hand pull cask that rotates daily through several Indiana breweries. Selection changes often.
- Beer Tasting
el Meson: Saturday Night Salsa
I actually like this place. It is a resturant by day and then on saturday nights they open up the place for dancing. They have a bar area, which is nice to start off the night of dancing. In my opinion, it become much to packed and like a sauna. So they opened the dining room up and they have a separate DJ, it is mainly salsa and bachata. I like this side better, because the better dancers hang out on this side. Since I have been attending this location on saturdays, they have had a live salsa group almost every other saturday. It is really nice, and they are actually pretty good!!! I would say the drinks are expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. They are very strong! In general, the crowd is good and i never see fighting or any sort of violence. This night is co-sponsered with yang & erin from into salsa. Local salsa dance teachers here in indianapolis.
2 quick things: $7.00 for everyone to enter & the food there isn't good!
Dress Code: Most people dress to impress, but i do see casuel dressers and it is pretty normal.
The Kellerbar...: The Kellerbar...inside the Rathskeller
The Kellerbar is one of my favorite bars in Indianapolis, even though it has gotten overly crowded and popular, in fact, I like it that way as it makes it even authentic to a Munich beer hall.
The Kellerbar is located inside the classic Barvarian style Rathskeller restaurant and all that is inside the even larger Athenaeum Building. For over a hundred years, the Athenaeum has been the focal point for all things German in Indianapolis and central Indiana, which has a great German heritage.
However, like many historic downtown buildings, the Athenaeum fell into a slight state of disrepair during the decades of urban flight in America.
But today, it is back and on top of its game. The Athenaeum now houses the Indiana Cabaret Theater, the Rathskeller Restaurant, the Kellerbar, an excellent Biergarten with a bandshell and the YMCA in the city's oldest restaurant (since 1894), gymnasium (1894), theater space (1898), and orchestra (1883). It may even be the Indianapolis' best example of historic preservation and revitalization.
Dress Code: I started going to the Kellerbar back in 1993 when there would be only about 12 people drinking there on the most crowded nights. In those days, you would want to wear something warm in the winter since the heating wasn't very good. But in the summer, you needed something cool because there was no airconditioning.
All that has changed with the new crowds that now flock to the Rathskeller & Kellerbar. Today, you can find people dressed in tuxedoes attending a wedding reception in the building or in suits enjoying a drink after the theater or people in casual clothes who just stopped by for a couple of rounds in the Kellerbar or Biergarten.
- Beer Tasting
Egyptian Room @ Murat: Concerts & other events
This ballroom is really beautiful inside. They have concerts, wedding, and other events here. I love to go to concerts here because it is general admission and since it is small you can really get up close to see your favorite artists. I was happily surprised to hear how great the sound is. The only bad thing is the bar area, well not so much the bar area, but the price of drinks!! Wow! At least you are on Mass. Ave, so then before and after you can hit one of the local pubs.
For concerts, check out: www.ticketmaster.com
Dress Code: I think this really depends on the kind of concert you are seeing, I dressed up for the recent concert I attended and when I got there everyone was really extra casual. I suppose go with what you are comfortable in!!!
- Theater Travel
Cracker Comedy Club: Laughin in Indy!
The Comedy here is pretty good. People from all around the country are making their appearences here. Besides that they have some weird rules, on ladies night (the night we went) you have to buy at least 2 things. Two drinks, popcorn and a soda, whatever, but at least 2. I understand why they do it, because these nights are not busy at all. The decor of the place is pretty weird, they have murals of people laughing on the walls in the lobby. It is a little creepy. Over all I thought the place was fine.
Another nice thing about this place is that it is for 18 +.
Dress Code: People wore whatever they wanted.
Big Car Gallery: Artsy fartsy
This is a really cool place to go. I just recently found it. The Big Car Gallery has an exhibition beginning each month on the first friday. The cool thing is that they are located in the Murphy building in fountain square, and inside this building on the second floor are hallways and hallways of artist studios. You can spend hours and hours just looking through all of the rooms. Much of the art is Adult content, so i guess you can take your kids but just realize I warned you. I actually saw an artist that does photo realism paintings of genitals, I was most shocked because there were kids there. Hey who am I to say, maybe it was like health class?
If you check the IDADA web site, it has all of the local listed art shows and events. And they have information about many of the local artists.
Dress Code: You can wear whatever you want, punk seemed to be the biggest fashion there.
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
The Red Room: Wednesday Salsa
The Red Room is a very nice place to go. If you are really interested in dancing and not a pick up joint this is the place to go. Most of the serious salseros hang out here each week. I would say the best dancing is done in this smallest of all clubs in Indy. The cover is $5 for everyone. DJ Shawn Juan plays mostly Salsa and just a song or two of merengue & bachata
Dress Code: Most dress nice, don't forget your dance shoes!
- Budget Travel
The Jazz Kitchen: Dance the Night Away
The Jazz Kitchen is a really cool place to go. Normally they are a Jazz Club/Restaurant. But Thursdays are the days that I go. I started going for the Salsa Dancing. At 9pm on Thursday, there is a free basic salsa (NYC style) class given. Each week they give the same lesson, but it is good to get you started. Ladies get in for free until 10pm. And Ladies arriving after 10pm and Men must pay $5. Sometimes it is $7, I dont know why someweeks they change. The music is a DJ, they play salsa, merengue, bachatta, & reggeton. The crowded is pretty good. I would say 1/3 latino, then a mixture of white, black, african, asian, and european. By 11.30pm it is usually so crowded it is almost difficult to dance. And alcohol is reasonable, about $5 a drink.
The Salsa crowd is a good place to meet people when you are new to town. I acctually met 3 of my best girlfriends at the Jazz Kitchen.
Dress Code: You can wear whatever you want. But most people dress up nice. It is becoming a trendy place for young professionals, but usually they just sit and drink.
Slippery Noodle Inn: Oldest Bar in Indiana
Slippery Noodle Inn is a blues club that claims to be the oldest bar in Indiana. It has a colorful history, being a part of the Underground Railroad and a hangout of John Dillinger. It is the oldest standing commercial building in Indianapolis, and the faded "Tremont House" sign painted on the building in the picture dates back to the 1850's. It was used as a bordello, and the basement as a slaughterhouse and a brewery during prohibition. It is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Slippery Noodle itself opened in 1850 and is annualy listed as one of the best blues bars in the country. It is open every day for lunch and dinner and has live blues every night of the week. You must be 21 to enter.
Live music starts every night at 9pm (8pm Sundays). There is a $5 cover on Thursday to Saturday nights (varies on other nights). Reservations are accepted. Check the website for a schedule of events.
Slippery Noodle Inn: Dinner, Music and Drinks
This place was awesome. It has a couple of different stages where you can listen to live blues being played while you eat, drink and be merry. The Slippery Noodle Inn is the oldest bar in Indianapolis and was previously used as a whore house, among other things (you'll have to read the history when you go, it's very interesting!!) We had dinner there and then stayed for drinks and music. Get there early if you want to have a table and see a stage! Otherwise, it's pretty packed and standing room only.
Dress Code: This place is a very casual and has a versatile crowd of varying ages. It won't be hard to fit in and feel comfortable here.
Chatterbox: The way jazz should be...
Be careful, you might miss this jewel of the city if you aren't careful. Many residents don't even know about it. But for people in the know, it is a regular stop. This is THE place in Indianapolis to hear jazz. It's small, maybe only about 20 or 30 feet wide. The band is squished onto a small stage in the window outlooking Massachusetts Avenue. The bartenders and owner have been there forever. No one quits this job. It's too fun. They have seen local musicians grow from kids to national personalities. You might even be able to read what was on their minds when they were young.
Let me explain. The bartop and walls are COVERED in graffiti. Not paint graffiti, but Sharpie graffiti. It is encouraged. You can read political rantings, Kafka quotes, the latest dirty joke, or even poems on the bartop, bathroom walls, and wallpaper. I guess the content is reflective of the clientele. The Chatterbox is located in the Arts District of Indianapolis (a very small district), on Massachusetts Ave or simply "Mass Av". Here you will find boutiques, independent video stores, local gallerys, etc. Among all the stores you can easily miss the Chatterbox, despite the year-round Christmas lights out front.
The Chatterbox is jazz at it's core. It all starts here for every jazz musician. Playing the quaint, dark, smoky jazz clubs in the corners of the city. This is the charm that the Chatterbox has. And don't think jazz celebrities don't know. It isn't rare for jazz "heavies" to drop in for an after-hours show after playing one of Indianapolis' concert venues. You want proof? Just look at the refrigerator in the back of the bar. Yes, the refrigerator.
Dress Code: Come as you are. Suit and tie, jeans and T-shirt, dockers and polo, leather and spiked dog-collar. You won't find yourself out-of-place in anything.
Slippery Noodle Inn: Blues in the city's oldest bar
The Slippery Noodle is the city's oldest bar. It has been in operation for over a century. There are even still bullet holes from the prohibition era in the back of the restaurant. It also used to be a stop on the Underground Railroad before being converted into a bar.
Here you can find the blues blazing seven nights a week. There are several different rooms to this bar from where you can watch the music, and on busy nights the bar accomodates two different blues bands. And when I say busy, I mean busy. From Thursday to Saturday this place is busy. Very busy. Unless you get there early, you won't be sitting.
The service is excellent, even through busy times. The cocktailers somehow navigate the tight spots through the restaurant to make sure that every patron gets his/her drink. I prefer to go on Sunday nights when the tone is a little more relaxed and the setting more intimate. Drinks have the standard Indy prices, nothing too cheap, nothing too expensive.
All in all, it is absolutely a must see for all visitors. Most visitors to the city end up finding out about the bar one way or the other. Everyone in Indianapolis has been there. It's a fun place with great blues. And occasionally famous blues musicians show up for a set or two.
Dress Code: Come as you are.
The Vogue: Indy's Favorite Club
MY favorite Club in Indy. The Vogue is located in the area known as Broad Ripple Village which is about 5 miles north of downtown at the corner of Broad Ripple Ave. and College Ave. The Vogue has both live acts and Dance nights. (check the web link below. The Vogue was built in 1938 as a theatre. In the early 70's The vogue had declined into a porn theatre but in 1977 it reopened as a niteclub and is still going strong today
Jillian's: Games and Drinks
Though I typically like video games and I like drinking, this particular Jillians did not impress me very much. In the heart of the nightclub district in downtown Indianapolis, Jillians offers a somewhat more sporty and active atmosphere than do the other bars in the area.
Surrounded by dance clubs, Irish pubs and live music halls, Jillians brings in the somewhat older and more sporty crowd. The people like the idea of not having to dress to impress I assume. Jillians offers bowling, video games and a dance club on the upper level. It also has numerous private party rooms with billiards.
However, either it was the night or the bar, I did not have to much fun here. Though I liken a low key bar opposed to a dance club, this just was dead and the games expensive and boring. Perhaps if I went with other people it could be more entertaining.
Dress Code: They do have a dress code but it is very lax. No torn cloathing obviously but you need not where suit and tie or your latest fashion trends, though they are more than welcome.
- Beer Tasting
Rathskeller: Great Music... enjoyed by those 25 - 85...
The Rathskeller is a special place. When I entered this bar in about 1973 it was a German club and we only drank beer. When I came back in the late 1990's WOW -- it has been transformed to a hopping club where many of all ages hear music four nights a week.
The German-Renaissance Revival Style building is a massive brick structure, designed by Vonnegut and Bohn. Of particular importance are the elaborate ornamentation in some of the brick facade and the gables that face to the south. It contains ballrooms, restaurants, gardens, a rathskeller with a large fireplace, dining halls, meeting rooms, gymnasium, biergarten, band shell and a scholossgarten complete with banners and animal heads providing an Olde World atmosphere. Stained glass windows show elements of music and recreation - horns, harps, cymbals and bowling pins were imported from Germany. It is the only 9th-century cultural center remaining in the city.
Dress Code: I don't show up ANYWHERE that has a dress coat. I don't wear jeans ever but I rarely wear a tie! From modern blues, to rock, to acoustic, to rock+polka you can dance your A$$ off here.
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