Indianapolis Nightlife • A Complete Guide

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Indianapolis Nightlife


Welcome to Indianapolis’s #1 nightlife guide.

On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Indianapolis. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.

Enjoy!

There is nothing like Indianapolis that lights up at night. Its thrumming energy and lively aura charge the atmosphere with glee.

Well, Indianapolis is the capital city of the state of Indiana in the United States of America. The city has established a mark in housing a notable market for auto racing, headquarters of three Fortune 500 companies, historic sites, major sports clubs, and the world’s largest children’s museum. The Indianapolis 500, the world’s biggest single-day sporting event, is hosted by this city. Notable performing arts venues, giant museums, literature centers, and plenty of nightlife options, the city has everything. Whether you are a history buff or a nightlife crawler, the city has you covered. Since the name of the city is very long, people have given it a casual moniker called “Indy.”

The three famous districts that are best for exploring the nightlife include Lockerbie Square, Wholesale District, and Fountain Square. Lockerbie Square and Fountain Square are lively nightlife terminuses with several bars and nightclubs and shopping places in the vicinity. You can enjoy shopping at some popular shopping malls, including Circle Centre, Lafayette Square, Castleton Square, etc. Wholesale District is home to some of the spectacular shopping centers, concert halls, theaters, and bars. 

The city does not lack any entertainment option to brighten up your night. You can catch a game at the sports bar, savor mouth-watering pub grubs, enjoy a crazy dance, and sip on fancy concoctions.

The Crazy Nightlife

Slippery Noodle Inn 

This 1850s establishment is one of the longest-running bars in the city. Famous for offering blues music and plenty of types of booze, this after-hour venue is sure to intrigue you with its stylish interiors. Once a roadhouse for railway travelers, it has a fair share of history in becoming a brothel, rumored to have linked with the Underground Railroad at that time, a popular hangout spot for a notorious criminal, John Dillinger to now as an iconic bar. The Bar offers live music every night across national blues, regional and local music. It takes pride in hosting some of the major musicians of the music history, including Buddy Miles, Edgar Winter, Clarence Brown, James Cotton, Rick Derringer, and more. It has a full-service bar menu and a food menu. 

Ball & Biscuit

Ball & Biscuit loves people’s hearts with its brick walls, dimmed lighting, cozy interiors, and easygoing vibes. The famous magazine Esquire listed this Bar as the number one bar in the “America’s Best Bars” list. So, where its unique name comes from? Well, nobody gives a damn! It was apparently named after a unique shaped microphone that came in the 1930s. Still, it does not make any sense. The Bar serves chilled beers, wines, and innovative drinks. Served on small plates are bone marrow and short ribs, marinated olives, and other fancy dishes. It does not have loud music or TV, so if you are in the impression of it being crazy and loud, then skip it. But for people looking for a good time with drinks and food in the company of their friends can visit this place.

Chatterbox Jazz Club

Jazz lovers found this place a heaven. This watering hole is located in the lively downtown of Mass Ave Arts District. Once visited by the members of the Rolling Stone band – Mick Jagger and Ron Wood, this place has a great reputation among locals and visitors. The dark interiors are decorated with checkered flags, old posters, photos, etc., giving it more of an old-world charm. The joint serves a range of wines, beers, and strong bourbons. The food menu goes from pizzas and pretzels to Jamaican patties. The fascinating point of this Bar is that you never know what band is going to show up, so live music here is another experience to enjoy. The seats get filled up time, so getting here early helps.

The Rathskeller

Guten Appetit! This German-themed beer hall with a Bavarian feel is the perfect place to enjoy plenty of German beers. The establishment is set in a 19th-century Athenaeum building flaunting a Bavarian-style atmosphere. Since the 1800s, the restaurant has been delighting its customers with mouth-watering and filling German delicacies such as sauerbraten, Jagerschnitzel, and bratwurst. Gulp owns this yummy food with tasty beers from the Kellerbar. Summer months turn this place into a biergarten with alfresco dining, and at nights, the place just charges up with live music and happy faces.

Howl at the Moon

If you prefer music plus drinks in the company of your friends, then this is the place to be. This eclectic Bar with a party ambiance offers the best of live music shows and dueling piano shows. The drinks are affordable, and music taste goes from rock to pop and hip hop. In addition, there are multiple seating options to enjoy a good night. So dance to your favorite tunes or enjoy your drink with music; it’s all up to you.

HI-FI Indy & HI-FI Annex

A popular music venue in the iconic 1880s G.C. Murphy Building in the lively Fountain Square district. This venue also hosts Indianapolis’ annual Tonic Ball that is held every November. The Ball incorporates high-level performances by some 80 different bands across its five stages. In addition, on a daily basis, it hosts dance parties and showcases budding bands.

16-Bit Bar + Arcade

If you are a fan of retro, then this might become your favorite place. Boasting a retro arcade vibe, this gaming bar has everything a fun-loving person wants. The Bar has a collection of around 50 arcade games like Ms. Pac Man, Space Invaders, Tron, Donkey Kong, Q-Bert, and more. Choose from a variety of beers like craft beers, draft beers, and canned beers. And do not miss to try fancy cocktails like stylish names like Kevin Bacon and Carrie Fisher.

High Velocity

A mix of sports bar and an American restaurant, this upscale venue is on the ground floor of JW Marriott. It has a full service bar and a dining room. The casual scene at this place is perfect for enjoying a sports game with a warm drink in hand.

Plat 99

This is an upscale and artisanal lounge bar flaunting the best of artsy interiors and casual atmosphere. This place is designed by the famous artist Jorge Pardo. It is a three-level bar with pendant lamps, high-top tables, an outdoor deck for seating, and comfy couches. You can try fancy, innovative cocktails with cheese platters, short ribs, or corned beef sliders. Do miss trying truffle oil popcorn here. The Bar offers views of the downtown from its outdoor deck.

Union 50

Spread across 7,000 sq. ft., this 200-seater Bar is a new kid in the town. It is named after the building from the 1950s, which once served as a union hall. The Bar flaunts its numerous shelves, housing a variety of spirits. The drinks served here range from cocktails, whiskeys, wines, beers, spirits, and seasonal drinks. In addition, this chef driven restaurant has a creative American food menu. The live music scene is very amusing and lovely. The music is not so high and not so low, and the hits played here are loved by everyone.

The Jazz Kitchen

A stylish venue started in 1994, and The Jazz Kitchen is a popular club-style place for enjoying Jazz music. Downtown Magazine listed this place in the “The World’s Top 100 Jazz Clubs”. It is known for playing local, regional, and international jazz music. Some of the notable jazz artists, including Ray Brown, James Moody, Dee Dee Bridgewater, JJ Johnson, and Diane Schuur, have played here. It also hosts a local-beloved Thursday night Latin Dance Party. In addition, the place served delicious Midwest cuisine like Cajun Chicken, Crescent City Crab Cakes, Paella, and more. However, the main attraction of this place is the music. So, if you are looking for a musical night rather than a thumping place, then this might be the perfect club for you.

Tastings – A Wine Experience

This modern and stylish wine bar is certainly a heaven for wine connoisseurs and people who want to know more about wines. It houses more than 200 varieties of wines and is more like a self-serve wine bar. Here the wine is sold at a retail rate and can be enjoyed by the bottle or by the glass. You also have the option to enjoy it here or take it home. It has a no fuss buying process starting from buying a card, taking a glass, and taking a two ounce sample or a full glass of wine from the pouring machine. One condition rules here that the age limit is 21 years or older. The wine bar also serves a food menu to enjoy along with wines like tapas, cheese platters, gourmet sandwiches, pizzas, desserts, and more. If you get the mood to drink something other than wine, you can try a beer or spirit that is also offered here. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Libertine

Fancy a cocktail? Head straight to this cocktail bar renowned for serving craft cocktails in a casual setting. It was listed in the list of “Best Bars in America, 2013” in the worldwide magazine Esquire. Opened in 2013, this Bar has till then made a mark in people’s hearts. It serves a range of drinks such as colorful cocktails, wines, and microbrews. Also, do not miss to check out its evolving food menu. The ambiance is a mix of chic, relaxed, cool, and speakeasy. A reservation to this is a must as the seats get full very easily. So, when in town, do not forget a visit to this chic cocktail bar.

Kilroy’s

Within walking distance from the renowned Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, Kilroy’s is a popular bar and grill in the neighborhood. It can be found on Georgia Street. The Bar has a classic interior and houses more than 40 flat-panel TVs to watch games and more. If you want to have drinks in a lively neighborhood while enjoying games, you can head to this place. There are plenty of games and shuffle boards to enjoy in the company of friends. The American pub grub served here includes famous barbeque dishes and pepperoni stuffed bread. The minimum age limit to enter this Bar is 21. However, if you are 21 or older, you can enter this place.

1933 Lounge

Infusing a casual ambiance, this modern lounge is a popular place in the neighborhood. This stylish lounge offers a range of bar menus, including innovative cocktails. It is located above the popular St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. So you won’t have to worry about finding this place.

Bluebeard

A 1924-warehouse turned gastropub, Bluebeard must have to be in your itineraries. It is located in the famous Fountain Square district. The Bar offers a wide variety of bar menus. It has a range of new and old wines, craft spirits, creative cocktails, and ten beer taps. It has indoor and outdoor seating arrangements and displays an easygoing vibe. The vibrant wall art is sure not to miss. You can also click on good photos at this venue. The in-house kitchen serves a delicious American food menu.

Taps and Dolls

Opened in 2009, this stylish Bar is one of the beloved bar spots of Indy. It is a spaciously narrow tavern with around 50 tap beers and a dance floor. It is a popular casual spot for enjoying a drink and pizza while talking to friends and dancing to the latest tunes. Video games are available here. It also hosts weekend parties with DJ music. 

Top Nightclubs for Party Fanatics

The Vogue

An ex-movie theater in the 1930s, this transformed award-winning nightclub gives away an eclectic vibe with its roomy spaces and the neon sign upfront. It is a popular venue for enjoying dance parties, burlesque shows, and concerts with drinks. Since 1977, it has hosted some popular names in the music industry with different music styles, such as John Mayer, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Blondie, etc. Mostly crowded with a capacity of 600, this place only serves drinks and not food. If you plan to go here, make sure you are an adult as the age limit is 21. Cover charges and entry timings vary. So, checking the timings and charges before planning for must is advised.

BLU

BLU is a Miami-style nightclub with modern interiors. This popular nightclub hosts internationally famed DJs. Come here to drink and dance to popular music played by the DJs. The place has a bar area, the main dance floor, VIP lounges, and outdoor space.

Metro

Welcoming Indy’s LGBTQ community, this multi-story nightclub is a famous place among locals as well as outsiders. This all-inclusive venue has a nightclub, a restaurant, a bar, a gaming zone, and a karaoke station. Come to this gay-friendly club with your friends, enjoy food at the dining area, drink at multiple bars, and play dart games. You can also enjoy Karaoke on Tuesday nights.

Gregs Indy

This is a decade-old gay-friendly bar and club and a great place to hang out with friends. Always energetic and crowded, this venue offers various options on what to do here. You can dance to the music of DJs, play games like darts and bingo or enjoy the country and line dancing. The neon lights in the dark atmosphere give this place a lively vibe.

The Red Room

This premium nightclub is best known for its lively DJ and an upscale bar in the Broad Ripple district. The club offers a lounge-like atmosphere in the early evening with premium wines and spirits and champagnes flowing from the Bar. Later at night, the venue transforms into a dance club with the city’s top DJs spinning the best dance charts. In addition, you can enjoy drinks at any of the two bars in a candlelit setting in the early evening.

8 Seconds Saloon

This is a popular nightclub in the city. The nightclub offers a perfect nightlife experience through its top country music hits. The whole aura of this place turns into something like Nashville. Come here to enjoy cool drinks, good food, and good music if you are a fan of country music. Enjoy line dancing, or if you don’t know dancing, then you can learn some steps here. If you or your friends are feeling adventurous, you can hop a ride on the mechanical bull and feel like a cowboy.

Landsharks

Landsharks is a popular and loud bar in the city of Indianapolis. This nightclub attracts night crawlers and part fanatics who love dancing to the tunes of DJs and karaoke. 

White Rabbit Cabaret

White Rabbit Cabaret is another nightclub in the city best known for its burlesque troupe and comedy acts. The interior of this place is lively. People coming here are thoroughly enjoyed the lively atmosphere and fancy drinks. It is located in the Fountain Square district, so it is not difficult to locate. Here, you can enjoy movie screenings, stand-up comedies, cabaret shows, and burlesque shows. Visitors aged 21 or above are allowed to enter. You are required to buy the tickets from its website. It is a phenomenal nightlife spot to visit with your friends. The drinks served here are also great and affordable. 

Other Entertainment Options

Helium Comedy Club

Helium Comedy Club is a popular comedy club in the city. This stand-up comedy club has hosted some of the popular TV comic artists. It is located on the renowned Georgia Street. You can also enjoy American bites and drinks while enjoying the comedy show.

Monument Circle

Monument Circle is a famous tourist site in the city of Indy. This place comes alive at night when the street lights and other lighting systems light up. While most people come to this place in the daytime, it can also be visited nighttime. The monument was built to honor American sailors and soldiers who fought for the country. It is built in the neoclassical style and is the epitome of the city. During the holidays, the monument twinkles up with beautiful lights and becomes a must-see spectacle.

White River State Park

Spread across 267 acres of greenery, this urban park is a must-visit relaxing place to visit at night. The park has walking trails and picnic spots to have a relaxing time. In addition, there is a waterfront named the Canal Walk, which offers a beautiful scenery to walk along and click photos in the backdrop. This venue sits in close proximity to many other tourist sites of Indy. The park closes at 11 pm.

Bad Axe Throwing

Probably not the best name, but this venue in Indianapolis is one of the popular places to go. If you want to let out your steam after a long day of work and just want to socially hang out with friends or colleagues, then this is where to be. There is a target pasted on the wall, and you have to throw the axe on the target. It does not matter if you are a pro in it or a beginner; you just go with the flow. A stress buster, this place calls to be in the itinerary of must-visit places. The venue operates till 10 and 11 pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Action Duckpin Bowl

This is a popular bowling alley in the whole of Indianapolis. It is a vintage alley located on the fourth floor. Apart from the bowling alley, it also has a full bar. Bowling is an easy and fun sport to enjoy. If you are looking to steam off and relax with a game and drink, then you can head to this place. The location is easy to reach, and the atmosphere is very friendly.

Conclusion

Indy is a lively city filled with a plethora of nightlife options. From rustic bars to eclectic nightclubs, this city has everything for everyone. So, when in the city, make sure you have a full-proof itinerary to enjoy the nightlife scene of this city.

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