As a college student, one of the biggest parts of my life is my social life. And that means I’m here for a fun night out! Indianapolis is a city with plenty of places to go out and have a good time with your friends, so I had to check them out for myself! I brought along one of my best friends, Danielle, and we hit Mass Ave and Broad Ripple on our tour of Indy’s nightlife! 


The Ball & Biscuit

race, shoes, starting line

During my summer in Indy, I’ve heard time and time again about the delicious drinks at The Ball & Biscuit—Indy’s original craft cocktail bar! So, of course, it was the first place I decided to visit! As we walked through the doors, I felt like I was entering an old-fashioned speakeasy! From the dim lighting to the trendy R&B music, I immediately fell in love with the vibe of this place—and that was before I even sat down!

Once Danielle and I found where we wanted to sit, I soaked in every aspect of the decor. Their sparkling chandeliers and exposed brick walls made for an extremely elegant environment—perfect for an early evening cocktail! After marveling at the scenery, it was time to choose what to order. I decided to ask the waiter for a recommendation, and he suggested I get the “One Time I Wrestled a Giraffe with My Bare Hands,” because it would match my peach-colored blazer. 

After taking a sip, I was far more than satisfied! The cocktail was a mix of pineapple and lime, with hints of orange, and our waiter was right… It totally matched my blazer! Once our drinks were finished, Danielle and I simply sat and enjoyed our time together. The Ball & Biscuit absolutely lived up to everyone’s recommendations. I just wish I’d taken their advice sooner! 

As we left The Ball & Biscuit, we decided to ask our waiter for one more recommendation: where should we go next? And he suggested the Burnside Inn!


Burnside Inn

run, fist pump, stairs

We decided to take his advice and check out the Burnside Inn, right across the street from The Ball & Biscuit. Burnside Inn is a bar turned historic hotel, and it’s decked out with unique decor from the inn it used to be! There was a rustic piano seated right next to the door, where their pianist played for guests. (Later on, I had the chance to talk with him and found out that he’s been playing at Burnside since it opened!)  

The Burnside Inn has three stories to explore, so we honestly didn’t know where to start!  But eventually, we decided to check out the second floor first and discovered another live music performance! After getting our drinks and heading over to the outdoor balcony, we sat down and enjoyed the show. The musical duo featured a man on the piano and a woman on the mic. Together, the pair played everything from “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Rae to “Rolling In the Deep” by Adele! The energy they brought was impeccable and made everyone want to dance along—especially us! 

After we danced for a while, we wandered around and explored all of the other interesting aspects of Burnside. The third floor housed a pool table and a lounge, while the main bar was on the first floor. And the walls were decorated with gold-rimmed picture frames, posters of classic rockers, and even hooks with old-fashioned hotel keys! I really didn’t want to leave, but I also wanted to get to our next destination before it got too late!


16-Bit Bar and Arcade

Another place I’d heard a lot about was the 16-Bit Bar and Arcade. So, I was very excited to see it for myself! From the moment I walked in, I saw people playing games galore! Well, I guess the very first thing I saw was a hopscotch court—and, of course, I had to run through it real quick! After I was done, we walked up to the bar to order our drinks. With so many great options, it was very hard to choose, but I couldn’t pass up a drink with a bomb pop! The drink was called the “Hulk Hogan,” and I think it’s one of the tastiest cocktails I’ve had in a while. (Maybe because of the popsicle?) 

Then, we walked around and tried some of the games available to play. I’d never played skee ball before, so naturally I had to give it a whirl! As I’ve said, I’m not the greatest athlete, but skee ball must be my calling because I did pretty well! (Okay, maybe it’s not my calling, but I did win the game!) After skee ball, Danielle and I hung out for a bit longer before we made our way across town to Broad Ripple.


Brick House Dueling Piano Bar

When we got to Broad Ripple, the streets were popping, and we had no idea where to start! Luckily, a few of our friends told us that they were at Brick House Dueling Piano Bar, so we went there to meet them! I’d heard that this place was always packed, and it was definitely true that Friday night! However, the bartenders were quick, so we hardly had to wait for our drinks! 

There was live music playing both inside and outdoors, with plenty of people dancing around the performers! It was a very nice Indy night, so we made our way outside. And the pianist even let me play the tambourine he had sitting next to him! We stayed there for a long time, mingling and enjoying the lively environment down in  Broad Ripple! 



I’m so glad I finally got to check out these four places last Friday night, but Indy’s nightlife scene offers even more unique spots that I haven’t been to yet! . I can’t wait to go out and explore more of the city during the rest of my time here!

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