“The Noodle,” located on the corner of South and Meridian streets is the oldest standing commercial building in the metropolitan area, and it claims to be the oldest tavern in Indiana. Indiana Landmarks cites it as the state’s oldest continuously operating bar in the original building on the original site. Its colorful history includes episodes as a way station for the Underground Railroad, a hangout for the John Dillinger gang, and as a bordello.

The Slippery Noodle Inn, 1940
Credit: Indiana Historical Society

The inn was built in 1850 as a roadhouse called the Tremont House. In the 1860s, it became the Concordia House, the first German American club in Indianapolis, and was later called the Germania House. During World War I, owner Louis Beck changed the name to Beck’s Saloon.

Walter Moore ran the saloon before Prohibition as Moore’s Beer Tavern and during Prohibition as Moore’s Restaurant, even though alcoholic beverages were made in the basement. The stills were in place when Harold (Hal) and Lorean Yeagy bought the inn in 1963 and gave it its current name.

Hal Yeagy Jr. took over management of the establishment after his father died in 1984 and transformed it into a Blues venue the following year. The change brought national acclaim. The Noodle features two stages with live music seven days a week. Many well-known blues musicians have performed at the club, including Albert Collins, Buddy Miles, Edgar Winter, and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. It also has attracted visits from nationally known celebrities such as Dan Akroyd, Harrison Ford, Billy Joel, Robert DeNiro, Liza Minnelli, Joe Montana, and others. 

Slippery Noodle second-generation owner Hal Yeagy Jr. died on November 19, 2020.

Revised March 2021
 

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