4 Best Bar Patios To Get Lit Before The Fireworks Do

Come for the brews—and views.
If you’d rather not spend upwards of 100 bucks to put together your own light show, downtown’s annual fireworks extravaganza is probably the hottest spot to be at on the Fourth. Problem: Come 6:30 p.m., when the Downtown Freedom Fest gets underway, the heart of Indy will be jam-packed with every human around central Indiana who had the same idea as you.

So if spending hours staking out a spot among sticky partiers who you know will slosh their beer across your sandal-clad toes before the night is through, we have a better proposal.

Here are the four best patio bars to be at while the pops and crackles light up the night sky. Let a nice server bring you cold beers or cocktails (tip just as nicely!) and secure a great seat to the show.

The Tap
306 N. Delaware St.
Open: 11 a.m.–midnight

Right on the corner of Mass Ave and Delaware lies a 21-and-up bar with a great view to the fireworks show. The patio seats 75, but like the rest of downtown, the place should fill up fast, so grab your spot early. The Hoosier Mule is a fan favorite, or get in the spirit of things and try the Red, White and Blue margarita—a mix of grenadine, blue Curacao, Exotico tequila, margarita mix, and triple sec. Last call’s at 11:30 p.m.


Bru Burger Bar
410 Massachusetts Ave.
Open: 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

This 100 percent family-friendly patio only accommodates around 50 people, and is usually full by 9:30 p.m., so get there early for the fireworks at 10 p.m. Bru’s most popular drink is its peach margarita, a blend of Dobel tequila, raspberry-peach marnier, and splashes of fresh lemon and lime juice. Only caveat: The place stays full typically all day, so expect a wait if you’re coming before the fireworks.


The Rathskeller
401 E. Michigan St.
Open: 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

The Biergarten at the Rathskeller can hold almost 500 party people, and the popular party band The Doo! will be playing from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4, making it an especially hot destination that night. Grab a famous German beer like Hefe Weiss Weihenstephan, get caught up dancing to the live music … and, oh yeah, watch the fireworks. There’s a $7 cover charge—but given the place’s huge capacity, your odds of nabbing a spot in here shoot up as high as a Roman candle.


Scotty’s Brewhouse
1 Virginia Ave.
Open: 11 a.m.–midnight

Scotty’s has a completely kid-friendly atmosphere, making this a great patio to take your family to. It’s a bit bigger than the others, too, with room for 60 people at tables and 80 people on sprawling, comfy couches. Plus, there’s extra room for inside diners to step outside and watch the show, too. Scotty’s offers all-day, every day happy-hour specials of $5 signature cocktails, $5 crusher cocktails (flavored fruit vodka or bourbon drinks, a fan favorite right now), and $4 pints. But be warned, this patio is usually the first to fill up, so the earlier you get there, the better spot you’ll have.