Judge Thuma’s Guide to Indianapolis: Bars, Pubs, and Taverns

Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma (D.N.M.) wrote the definitive visitor’s guide to his native city, Indianapolis. This installment of Judge Thuma’s Guide covers Indianapolis bars, pubs, and taverns.

By the way, what is the difference between a bar, pub, and tavern? Judge Thuma refers to the Alley Cat Lounge as a “dive bar.” What kind of bar is that? You have come to the right place. See the Blog post entitled A Bar by any other name is just as sweet: Bars. Pubs, Taverns and Much More.

9 Irish Brothers. 575 Massachusetts Ave. A traditional Irish pub, in case you develop a hankering for Bangers and Mash.

Alley Cat Lounge. 6267 Carrollton Ave. If you are in the mood for a dive bar, there is the Alley Cat, in Broad Ripple. I watched Bobby Knight’s Hurrying Hoosiers with the National Championship in 1981 at the Alley Cat. Broad Ripple is worth a look if you have a car.

Bonge’s Tavern. 9830 W. 280 N, Anderson, IN. OK, this place is a hike, it’s in the middle of nowhere. They don’t take reservations and people tailgate in the parking lot. American fare with a rural atmosphere. Everybody loves Bonge’s!

Red Key Tavern. 5170 N. College Ave. This old bar (established in 1933) has some history. Kurt Vonnegut is alleged to have frequented the joint, as is Dan Wakefield. The Red Key was voted one of the 150 best bars in America. It’s cash only.St. Josephs Brewery & Public House. 540 N. College Ave. They make their own beer; the food is good, and it is served in a former catholic church with a lot of local history.

Slippery Noodle Inn. 372 S. Meridian Street. The Noodle, 4-5 blocks from the hotel, is Indiana’s oldest bar (founded in 1850). The inn features live blues. The building is in the National Register of Historic Places. You can get a pork tenderloin sandwich with your beer.

St. Josephs Brewery & Public House. 540 N. College Ave. They make their own beer; the food is good, and it is served in a former catholic church with a lot of local history.

The Tap. 306 N. Delaware Street. The Tap is a large microbrewery and restaurant. It’s about 9 blocks from the hotel. I hear the beer is good.

The Workingman’s Friend. 234 Belmont Ave. An old school tavern with good burgers and pork tenderloin sandwiches. If you want haute cuisine and an artisanal cocktail, this ain’t the place.