Long a Broad Ripple mainstay at his retail store, Future Shock, David “Tufty” Clough is working to make his Fountain Square bar a destination for people in search of artful entertainment in a friendly and healthy environment.
Unique in so many ways, Radio Radio stands alone most for what it doesn’t allow. After suffering some serious health problems himself, Clough decided a little more than a year ago to make his bar non-smoking. He lost some business at first, but soon found ways to bring people back.
Radio Radio, through necessity and as a reflection of Clough’s interests, has steadily become the city’s arts bar. Right now, paintings don’t hang on the walls of the rectangular room decorated with a lit bar and leopard-print carpet picked up at the Planet Hollywood auction. You may not encounter a bunch of avant-garde types arguing about communism. What makes Radio Radio an arts bar are the risks Clough takes in booking musical acts that fall far from the mainstream. “We bring in these great acts who go back to San Francisco; Austin, Texas; or New York and spread the word that our place is an OK place to play. Then more want to come,” Clough says.
Clough also loves bringing video into the mix and even hosted the art film Nausea II in conjunction with iMOCA a few months ago. “That’s kind of where I want to go. When it’s non-smoking you can do more video stuff,”Clough says. “You don’t have to worry about it burning your eyes.”
After years of focusing on music, Clough enjoys making films himself these days in his home studio. â€œI got up at 3 a.m. and was down there messing with after effects,â€ he says.
Making music and video is where Clough’s passion lies. So, if he can’t yet get out of the business world and focus on being an artist, he’s going to bring the artists to him at his place of business. “I want to mingle with the people making films,” he says. “I’d like to hang out with them. So I’m trying to figure out how to get them here.” Ultimately, Clough would like to see Radio Radio as a place where most nights feature a mixture of film, music and good conversation.
Always full of ideas, Clough would like to organize a music video competition, linking local filmmakers to local bands. The videos would be screened at Radio Radio in sort of a Battle of the Bands setup. “It would be great for the bands to have a video for their promotions. And it would be great for the people making videos to have an audience.”
With all of this, Clough hopes to see Fountain Square continue to blossom as an arts and entertainment destination. He plans to add more of a hangout element to his club, with more food and comfortable furniture. He’d also like to draw in other businesses interested in offering the same sort of vibe that Radio Radio is creating. “It’s just going to take a few more places to make this area really cool,” he says.