There's something comforting about drinking in a bar that has stood the test of time. A sort of wonderment comes over you as you think, if this bar could talk. If the bar does talk, that's a sure sign that you've probably exceeded your limit. The Golden Ace Inn — subject of our most recent Food and Drink feature — is just one of many local establishments with a long and intriguing history in the Circle City.
Dorman Street Saloon
Nestled just off Dorman Street in Cottage Home, this spot has been a bar since time immemorial. It has gone by a number of monikers since becoming a tavern in the 1910s: Anacker's Tavern, May's Lounge, and The Mahogany Bar (The Hog). Today it is primarily a hipster hangout and it has great cocktails and interesting beers.
Slippery Noodle Inn
Well known as Indiana's oldest bar, this blues and jazz joint has hosted an array of famous clientele including the infamous gangster, John Dillinger (reportedly he left bullet holes in the basement). It's the perfect place to see some live blues almost any night of the week.
372 S. Meridian St., 317-631-6974, slipperynoodle.com
Sam's Silver Circle
Hidden in plain sight near the Fletcher Place neighborhood, Sam's has been serving up cold beers and hot pizza since the '60s. Stop in to catch a Notre Dame game and meet some interesting locals over a friendly match of darts.
1102 Fletcher Ave., 317-636-6288
Red Key Tavern
Made popular by its unchanging décor, including model airplanes, and its long-time owner, Russ Settle's, stringent rules. Don't cuss at the bar. This SoBro landmark has been serving Manhattans (the signature drink) and delicious burgers to Indianapolis since 1933, when it was still called the Old English Tavern.
5170 N. College Ave., 317-283-4601, redkeytavern.com
Starting in 1918, this Westside spot has been serving up smashed burgers and liquor to the hard workers of this city for nearly a century. Back then it was bootlegged whiskey — you know, Prohibition or whatever. But, now you can get a very legal beer to go along with your burger.
234 N Belmont Ave, 317-636-2067