The Feed: Indy’s Bar Boom

Indy bars, taprooms, and clubs are taking over this week’s freshest dining news.
Metro nightclub in 2010
The interior of the Metro (seen here in 2010) hasn’t changed too much since it opened in the 1990s. Credit: Indianapolis Monthly

Metro Nightclub (707 Massachusetts Ave., 317-639-6022) has apparently changed hands. The long-standing gay club opened in 1990 and has been a mainstay of local LGBTQIA+ culture since. Via Instagram, it announced last week that Bill Pritt, the man behind nearby sushi (among other offerings) spot FortyFive Degrees, is the bar’s new owner. If Pritt’s name sounds familiar, that’s because we just talked about him last week—the entrepreneur also bought the long-vacant bank at 555 N. Delaware St. (at East North Street) for (per the IBJ) $1.25 million. After an extensive renovation, he’ll open a restaurant called Harrison’s in that nearby space.

Do you want a side of education with your cocktail? That’s the question posed by the Barrel Room, a shadowy “micro-speakeasy” that provides “a 2 hour multi-sensory and educational cocktail journey” with light apps and a strict no-tardiness policy. Booze school is in on May 30, with reservations available now via OpenTable

Louisiana-based chain Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux appeared to have a false start last year, opening at 247 S. Meridian St. in May as part of “a significant expansion into multiple Midwest states” (as the Star put it) then shuttering just a few months later. The sports bar’s franchisee told the IBJ that the flow of customers was inconsistent, so he moved the business to Fishers—11655 Fishers Corner Blvd., to be exact—saying “We found that we’re better when we’re a big fish in a small pond.” It opened on Monday, so news on whether Fishers is a small enough pond for the 80-location company will likely arrive soon.

A brow-raising police raid on several Broad Ripple bars was part of an investigation into allegedly unpaid taxes, Fox 59 reports. Agents of multiple law enforcement agencies descended on Rock Lobster, Average Joe’s, Connor’s Pub, and Mineshaft on April 24, as well as two residences later revealed as the homes of the bar owners. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office confirms that the action was taken as part of an Indiana Department of Revenue investigation into taxable sale reporting. It’s unclear if official charges have been filed in the case.


Chapter 1 📚 We’re bringing a boozy bookstore to Noblesville, IN. 🥂 Follow along as we plan, build out, and open our space in historic downtown Noblesville. Our space is called, “Chapter” and we’re designing it with book clubs in mind. It’ll be comfy and cozy- with caffine, cocktails, and a curated collection of books you’ll want to discuss. ✨More to come… ✨ #books #booklover #noblesvilleindiana #newbusiness #fypage #booktok

♬ A Bar Song (Tipsy) – Shaboozey

“Boozy bookstore” Chapter Lounge is making a splash on TikTok. The Noblesville business has yet to make its address public but says it will open some time in the summer of 2024. Amateur sleuths can probably figure out its location by pausing and evaluating footage from the company’s notably popular social media posts, which follow its owners’ efforts to renovate its space. 

Then again, you might not have to go to a bookstore to get tipsy in Noblesville. The IBJ reports that officials in the Hamilton County seat have proposed a plan to allow on-street and in-shop drinking for a 92-acre stretch that includes areas near the White River including its courthouse square and Federal Hill Commons. If the plan to Bourbon Street-ize the district is approved, from noon to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday to Sunday, adults could wander the streets with cocktails, beer, and wine in plastic cups emblazoned with indicators that they’re participating in a designated outdoor refreshment area sip and stroll. Other Indiana cities that already allow the Vegas-y activity are Batesville, Fort Wayne, Greensburg, Huntingburg, Jasper, Kirklin, Lawrenceburg, Shelbyville, Winona Lake, and Yorktown.

Speedway’s Daredevil Brewing Co. (1151 N. Main St., 317-210-0176) is gearing up for Lagerfest on Friday, its globe-spanning celebration of the cold-brewed beer. Expect live music, a slew of food trucks, and lagers from over 20 breweries, as well as ciders and wines. Tickets start at $30 for the event, which runs 5:30–10 p.m. on Friday, May 10.

I’m a little late to this one, but I wanted to direct you to the reporting of Meghan Holt, a Ball State student reporter who penned this great piece on the murky fate of the oldest gay bar in Indiana. The Mark III Tap Room opened in Muncie in 1968, and has endured moves, ownership changes, and temporary closures in the years since. In January, a pipe burst in its current location at 306 S. Walnut St., and it’s been closed ever since. The bar is compensating by planning events elsewhere, but its owners say “[T]here are a lot of things that go into play with the timeframe that are beyond anyone’s control.”