a VirtualTourist member from Manhattan Beach
Roaming in for Final Four, any recs on off-the-path bars, motels or restaurants during a jam-packed weekend? thx
If you are going to be downtown in Indianapolis for the Final Four, you will want to focus on the downtown area and the Broad Ripple neighborhood (less than 15 minute drive/cab ride northeast of downtown). Indianapolis certainly sprawls out and there are many concentrations of restaurants, bars, etc. But the downtown (and near downtown) and Broad Ripple commercial areas have the most character and would be the closest to the Final Four action.
As for finding a hotel: You are going to be in a somewhat tricky situation because most of the hotels downtown, near the airport, and along the interstates will be solidly booked because of the Final Four. You may want to try the downtown bed and breakfast inns, and a few of them are as follows: Stone Soup Inn (www.stonesoupinn.com), the Looking Glass Inn (stonesoupinn.com/LGIHouse.ht..., the Villa (http://www.thevillainn.com), the Nestle Inn (http://www.nestleindy.com), DeWolf-Allerdice House (http://www.dewolf-allerdicehouse.com), and the Old Northside Inn (http://www.oldnorthsideinn.com). You may also want to try the Marten House Hotel and Lilly Conference Center near St. Vincent's Hospital (http://www.martenhousehotel.com)--it is about 20 minutes away from downtown along West 86th Street, but it is usually not the first place people think to book although it is very nice.
You might try the following restaurants: (1) The elegant American cuisine of Elements at 415 N. Alabama St. off of the interesting and trendy Massachusetts Avenue corridor, (2) The stylish Agio with its classy Italian and Mediterranean cuision 635 Massachusetts Ave., (3)The superb Mediterranean and traditional cuisine (steak, etc.) of the ultra-elegant Dunaways at 351 S. East Street, (4)the delicious and colorful Cuban-Carribean cuisine of the fun and funky Decadent by Design located just southeast of downtown in the Fountain Square neighborhood at 1043 Virgina Ave., (4) the very stylish 14 West serving delicious eclectic food at 14 W. Maryland., (5) the innovative small plate menu of the funky 6 Lounge served late into the night at 247 S. Meridian St.
B. Broad Ripple
You might try the following: (1) Ambrosia is an exceptional upscale Italian restaurant at 915 E. Westfield Blvd., (2) the Broad Ripple Seafood Shack serves good seafood with some nice outdoor dining options along the water at 832 E. Westfield Blvd., (3) The Midtown Grill serves very good contemporary American cuisine in an elegant but comfortably causal setting at 815 E. Westfield Blvd., (4) H20 Restaurant and Sushi is a very chic spot serving excellent sushi and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.
Downtown the bars and clubs are spread throughout, with a large concentration located along South Meridian street (just south of Monument Circle), and on or near Massachusetts Avenue. The Ice Lounge at 235 S. Meridian and the nearby 6 Lounge at 247 S. Meridian and Subterra Lounge at 250 S. Meridian all offer a chic, trendy and exotic nightclub experience with adjoining dining options. The Chatterbox at 435 Massachusetts Ave. offers one of the best venues for live jazz in the city. The venerable Slippery Noodle located at 372 S. Meridian St. is nationally known as a venue for live blues music and the oldest continually operated bar in the city (dating back to 1850). The Ugly Monkey is a raucous and crazy bar and dance club at 50 W. South St. next to Union Station (the imposing central train station downtown); the club is very popular with the wild and younger crowd looking to booze it up and dance all night. The Vault, now called Club Kameleon at 120 E Market Street (just off the Monument Circle) is a lively dance club, though probably not as edgy as it used to be. The gay nightlife tends to cluster slightly northeast of downtown proper at such spots as Talbott Street Club at 2145 N Talbott Street, The Metro at 707 Massachusetts Ave, and Gregg's at 231 East 16th Street.
B. Broad Ripple
In Broad Ripple there are at least 80 bars and clubs all located on or just off Broad Ripple Avenue (the main street through the area)--many of the clubs are geared more to the college crowd (Butler University is nearby) and they may be a bit crowded and obnoxious, expecially during the Final Four. Try the Red Room, a trendy but upscale lounge located on the second floor at 6335 Guilford Ave., or the classy Corner Wine Bar at 6331 Guilford Ave. (which also as a nice seafood, steak and pasta menu). Rouge nightclub at 6308 Guilford Ave. is a friendly and fun piano bar attracting a more mature crowd than nearby bars. The Alley Cat bar at 6267 Carrollton Ave, located off an alley is a bit more laid back and relaxed than many of the surrounding clubs. The Vogue at 6259 N. College Avenue is the biggest and flashiest dance club in Broad Ripple.