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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Old Point Tavern: The Old Point Tavern
Has the bar you were in just had last call and then aburptly kicked you out? Not ready to go home? Then head over to the Old Point Tavern, they always seem to be open (until 3am on Friday & Saturday) later than everyone else.
This is where I typically end up at the end of a long night of drinking in Indianapolis. My friends and I used to start out at the Kellerbar in the Rathskeller, then move to the Chatterbox and finish things off at the Old Point, all of which are basically on the same block...too convenient. Add in the fact that we all lived downtown, so, cab rides were cheap and stumbling home always an option.
Anyway, the Old Point Tavern is an Indianapolis landmark. Situated in an old triangular shaped downtown store front, the Old Point has a great selection of pub grub and an even better selection of beers and booze.
In the winter, the glow of red neon lights in the window give the place an all inviting warm feeling. In the summer, the same red is there, but the patio tables and awnings are the attraction to seating outside watching passersby and the sun set over the Delware and Pennsylvania Streets while sipping your favorite brew. So, whatever the season, definitely make a stop at the Old Point
Radio Radio: Hip Naptown Spot
I absolutely loved this place, so if you go don't lame it up. Small time touring bands and a few "on the cusp of fame" come through here. "Mod nights" are a blast, the guy who runs the place is from Manchester (the English one) and has great taste in tunes. Fantastic Planet (the anti-Yellow Submarine don't watch it if you're on something) was on the TV, the music had beat and the beer selection was great.
Dress Code: Whatever, there was a nice, mixed crowd here.
Average Joe's Sports Pub: Average Joe's Sports Pub
This place is not incredibly crowded on a Friday night... I was able to move around and actually find a table! I am not used to this, so this was a good thing! :) Anyway, this is definitely a sports bar with TV's placed strategically throughout the place. There's a bar in front, and in the ajoining room there are a couple tables and a few pool tables (which we somehow got ahold of both!). Anyway, they also serve up some food here, which was decent (they have 2 for 1 deals on fridays).
Old Pro's Table: Old Pro's Table
Another sports bar that I enjoyed in Broad Ripple. It wasn't too crowded.. again, I was able to move about. There was a fire going in the middle, which was really unique. The bar area had wood paneling and such. The back had some video games and a few pool tables... although we watched other people play until we could wait no longer and left to find one someplace else! Anyway, this place was nice at any rate!
Net Heads internet cafe: Net Heads internet cafe
The first internet cafe I ever knew of in Indy, it opened a couple years ago. It's two floors and has a BUNCH of computers set up for surfing the net and hardcore gaming. They have tournaments galore, as well as some good munchies and good coffee as well. The balcony on the second level offers a great view of Broadripple. I watched one of the Pacers' NBA Finals games last year on the balcony with the owners of the place. You could hear the roar of the town whenever the Pacers hit a big three.
Dress Code: None
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