Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cool Blues and Spooky Vibes at The Slippery Noodle


October’s Haunted Establishments with “Spirits” Series

The Slippery Noodle - Indianapolis, Indiana


The wind is rising, the leaves are changing and it’s time for our annual trek to check out some haunted restaurants and libation locations around the country. Today we’ll discover a place that began as an upscale inn for train travelers and is now one of the best places to hear live Blues (and witness otherworldly phenomena) in the Midwest.


Slippery Noodle Inn
Today, The Slippery Noodle Inn is the oldest continually operated bar in its original building in the state of Indiana, and the oldest commercial building still standing in Indianapolis. With a history of over 150 years, this bar has a rich history, not only as a tavern and inn but also a bordello and gangster hangout.


Founded in 1850 as the Tremont House, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Tremont House began as an inn offering lodging to train travelers passing through Indianapolis. Painted remains of a sign for the Tremont House can still be seen on the north side of the building.

Union Station
In the 1860s the name was changed to the Concordia House and the building was used as a way station on the Underground Railroad. There are rumors that tunnels connected the inn to the Union Station train depot.

Around the turn of the century, the business was renamed The Germania House and became the home of one of the first German clubs in Indy. But with the start of WWI and anti-German sentiments, the name was changed to Beck’s Saloon after owner, Louis Beck.


Moore's Restaurant
When Beck sold the bar to Walter Moore, he changed the name to Moore’s Beer Tavern, but the name was short-lived due to Prohibition. Moore quickly renamed it Moore’s Restaurant, but that didn't stop bootleg beer from being brewed in the basement and pumped upstairs to be served to select customers. As a ploy to cover the location of the brewery, a slaughterhouse also operated in the basement.


Al Brady
John Dillinger
Moore’s Restaurant became a favored hang out for several gangsters including John Dillinger and Al Brady. Moore allowed the gangsters to use the old brick stable for target practice.  Today, this room is used as one of the stage areas, and slugs can still be found embedded in the walls. After the repeal of Prohibition, Moore went back to the bar’s original name of Moore’s Beer Bar.
 
Moore decided to offer gang members a bit of entertainment and soon the upstairs became a bordello. What had once been luxurious lodging rooms were subdivided into 23 rooms, without heat, for the “girls” and their customers.


Moore was making a “killing” on his bar and bordello until, in 1953, two johns got into a fight over one of the girls. Fists flew, words were said and one of the johns ended up dead - stabbed with a knife. The bordello was immediately closed; the bar kept a low profile.




In 1963, Harold and Lorean Yeagy bought the place and turned it into a lunch counter, naming it The Slippery Noodle Inn. In 1985, the Yeagy’s son, Hal took over the business and expanded it, creating one of the premier blues clubs in the Midwest offering “Good Food, Booze and Blues.”


Today, the Noodle is a magnet for locals, music lovers, and Hollywood stars that enjoy the Blues. Visitors to the Inn have included The Blues Brothers Band, Billy Joel, Harrison Ford and Spike Lee.



But the Slippery Noodle Inn also attracts some otherworldly visitors. The basement, now home to one of the performance stages, was once where slaves were hidden on their journey north to Canada. Not all of them made it out of the Tremont House alive and those who died were buried under the dirt floor in the cellar. (Human remains were discovered during an excavation.)

Basement Area Today
Reports of shadowy apparitions downstairs have been numerous. People tell of hearing someone whisper to them when no one is near. Cold spots occur throughout the basement, even on warm nights with cool Blues playing. Employees have reported seeing a tall black man, dressed in overalls, working in the basement. It is believed that he was a former janitor for one of the inns, and is apparently still on the job. He has been seen and heard in the basement still trying to keep things in operational order.

Main Bar
The main floor of the building doesn’t have many tales to tell, but the second floor is another “hot spot” for paranormal activity. Now used for storage, this floor once contained the lodging house, and years later, the bordello. This area is alive with activity. Employees have seen a man dressed as a cowboy wandering along the second floor; maybe he was a stranger passing through on a train to the west ...




A few of the “girls” have also remained behind. Customers tell of seeing a woman standing on the second floor balcony looking out. People have been touched by unseen hands and heard sounds that no one can offer explanations for. Cold spots are also found up here. Bottles of alcohol stored on the second floor have been opened when no one has been in the building. (The girls enjoying a nightcap, perhaps?) An employee who went up for supplies saw a door open onto the hallway and then close as if someone had entered or left the room, then a cold spot wisked past her ...

If you’re looking for “good food, booze and Blues” then head to the Slippery Noodle Inn, 372 South Meridian Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. Enjoy an evening of live blues and jazz from two stages, with music available seven nights a week. For more information visit 

 
And if you happen to glance up and see one of the ”girls” surveying the crowd, rest assured she’s just looking for a little company to spend a long night with …

~ Joy