Closing Time: Saying Goodbye to a Few Favorite Bars

Obituaries for some spots that have reached last call.

Hollywood Bar & Filmworks

This theater/bar on South Meridian Street passed away in 2006, and we’re still in denial. With huge vintage movie posters on the wall and high-top tables, the place had the grimy charm of a comedy club. Former owner Ted Bulthaup said the cause of death was the increased cost of parking in the area after Conseco Fieldhouse moved in.

Survived by: Keystone Art Cinema (8702 Keystone Crossing, 566-8185), which allows you to take drinks into the theater.

Pawn Shop Pub

This bar kicked the bucket in 2006 after 27 happy years at the corner of Kessler Boulevard and College Avenue. With its wall-to-wall woodwork and brass taps, it was the pater familias of pubs in the area. Sure, Binkley’s moved in and overhauled it, and new ownership assumed the Pawn Shop name in an old Long John Silver’s on 54th Street. But we grieve for the original.

Survived by: Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant (5212 College Ave., 283-7388), which matches its pubby warmth right down the street.

The Patio

A more intimate version of The Vogue, this Broad Ripple music venue met its maker in 2005. Loved ones recall it as eccentric: Steel columns blocked views of the stage from several angles. Spin nightclub replaced it, but it didn’t bring in the national acts that once shook the walls here.

Survived by: Radio Radio (1119 E. Prospect St., 955-0995), which offers the appeal of a small club and has hosted big names like Howie Day, Alabama Shakes, NOFX, and Dr. Dog.

Vollrath Tavern

At the tender age of 4, this southside hipster hangout went to its eternal rewards in 2011 despite a reputation for great live music. Maybe its allure had something to do with the building’s rich history. Founded in 1926 when Louis Vollrath supposedly built a brothel fronted by a cafe and barbershop, the Vollrath claimed to be a former John Dillinger hangout.

Survived by: Dorman Street Saloon (901 Dorman St., 237-9008), which Dillinger allegedly frequented, is every bit as dive-y.


Photo by Tony Valainis

This article is a web-exclusive companion to the Best Bars feature in the January 2013 issue.