On Instagram this week, someone told me I’m the “speakeasy girl,” and I can’t say that I mind the moniker. I love taking you inside Deco-inspired bars that transport you to last century, at least for a few hours.
Tonight, we’re trekking to Indianapolis’s Fountain Square neighborhood to spend some time at The Brass Ring Lounge.
While this spot also pays homage to Old Hollywood — photos of Marilyn Monroe and other Golden Age icons line the walls — and gives an industrial vibe, it is, at heart, a speakeasy-style space serving up Sazeracs, Gin Rickeys, and other cocktails that would do F. Scott proud.
The Ring opened in 2008, long before the speakeasy trend took central Indiana by storm, in an unassuming space that features metal ceilings and concrete floors. It also has a full wall of garage doors that are open all summer long, inviting Fountain Square locals and visitors to step inside and imbibe.
The crowd is eclectic, a mash-up of hipsters, academics, and the rockabilly scene, making it one of the most interesting bars in town from a conversation standpoint. You never know who you might strike up a discussion with here.
In addition to classic Prohibition Era cocktails, the bartenders here have plenty of beer on tap. You’ll find the usual suspects like Budweiser and Corona alongside craft beer options like the Terrapin White Chocolate Milk Stout (my favorite drink of the night).
Open until 3 a.m., The Brass Ring also offers a full food menu all night long.
I didn’t order from the kitchen during my recent visit but the flat bread pizzas are calling my name next time I stop by.
Perhaps the feature The Ring is best known for among regulars is its bar itself. The Art Deco piece is reminiscent of the lobby bar where Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) famously fell off the wagon in Stephen King’s The Shining.
The columns on the bar feel imposing, in the best possible way, in this otherwise low-key space. Every time I walked by, I was momentarily mesmerized.
A decade-old blurb about The Brass Ring notes that few, if any, of Indy’s newer speakeasies “have been able to attract the stylishly disheveled crowds of the original,” and I will 100% vouch that this is true.
If you’re looking for a night out you won’t soon forget, darken the door of The Ring next time you find yourself in my neck of the woods.
Just look for the neon sign.
Have you been to this Fountain Square spot?
The Brass Ring is located at 1245 Shelby St, Indianapolis, IN 46203.
P.S. As always, I love to hear from you on Instagram, @_rebekahbarton