2449 E. 56th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Tired of feeling like if you’re not sporting Dolce & Gabbana you’re not getting past the red rope? And if you do get past, you’ve paid a huge cover charge and somehow your Led Zeppelin T-Shirt doesn’t fit it?
Locals Only reminds me of a frat house, with its hodgepodge of 70s couches, a pool table, arcade, and of course, darts. This relaxed atmosphere brought me back to my college days when people went to bars to drink and listen to music, not to meet Pacers players or Kid Rock.
There’s a dining area that has private booths and tables that can fit any crowd. Every table is like the front row for the stage, which was picked by NUVO readers for “Best Open Stage” in 2005. And there’s usually room at the bar where you can to talk with owners Michele Kofski and David Queisser.
Since I couldn’t have my preferred White Russian — they serve only beer and wine — Queisser recommended a Pumpkin Ale that was a nice replacement.
The first time I visited was on an Open Mic night. Usually these nights scare me off because any Joe off the street can think their “shower voice” must be heard in public. Fortunately, Locals Only attracts original and fresh talent that you could hear on the radio tomorrow.
The bands hang out after their sets, so you can meet the artists and share a drink. I went the first time alone, but by the end of the night, I had every band in the pub at my table introducing me to locals and legends.
• Place gets busy late after 10
• Has lots of stage equipment already there
• Great food, try the specialty pizzas
• Nice bathrooms
• Play a variety of music from Hip Hop to Country, just check their calendar
• Sponsor a new artist every month and display their work
• The mascot is a penguin because the owner had one