The Slippery Noodle in Indianapolis, is not only the state’s oldest bar, but it’s also a place for a great pork tenderloin and live blues.
Dating to 1850, the Slippery Noodle is still one of the best places to enjoy the company of good friends while meeting some new ones.
Located right smack in the middle of just a few blocks east of Lucas Oil Stadium, the Slippery Noodle first opened as a roadhouse for travelers arriving by train. The train station, which is now an Amtrak stop, is just a block away.
We arrived by automobile, but wouldn’t it be a fun trip to take Amtrak to Indianapolis and walk right on over to the Slippery Noodle?
The tin ceiling is original and so are some of the mirrors on the wall. They think the bar is also original, but it’s at least 100 years old. And take a look at the trough at the end of the bar. That was the original cash register, operated on the honor system.
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John Dillinger Shoots Up the Slippery Noodle
Things went along fairly well at the road house, switching owners and names over the years. In the 1930s, things got a little rowdy when John Dillinger, an Indianapolis native, would come home for a visit when things got too hot in Chicago.
He and other notable gangsters of the period would sit out back and use the back wall for target practice. That back wall is now one of the music rooms and you can still see bullet holes and bullets lodged in the wall.
All the while, a bordello is operating in the upstairs. The aspect of Indianapolis hospitality was available until 1953. Now, there’s just a recreated room to imagine the action there in the past.
What is a Slippery Noodle?
Hal Yeagy’s family bought The Slippery Noodle in 1963. At that time, the place was really run-down and oooh, this part of town was not the best place to be after dark. They wanted to infuse some new energy in the place, so a name change was in order. The family settled on The Slippery Noodle “because it just sounded fun,” says Hal.
Fun is what it’s all about now at the Slipper Noodle. In addition to great food — remember that pork tenderloin — the bar hosts live blues bands 7 nights a week. On Friday and Saturday, there are two different bands on two different stages.
And if you think it was rowdy back in the day with John Dillinger shooting up things just below the bordello, imagine how crazy things got with Dan Akroyd, in town to promote his Crystal Head Vodka, jumped up on both stages and did a couple of gigs from The Blues Brothers.
Lots of famous folks have taken the stage here: Pinetop Perkins, Country Joe McDonald, Edgar Winter, and so many more. Allison Kraus got her first recording contract after being discovered on stage at The Slippery Noodle.
But anybody who is anybody eventually stops by when they are in Indy for things like the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and that little car race each Memorial Day Weekend. Indianapolis is, after all, a great sports city with a pretty mean pork tenderloin served at The Slippery Noodle.
And after a great pork tenderloin sandwich, you really need a big slice of pie, right? The world’s best pies are just a few miles away.