Thursday, July 22, 2010

Best Lobby Bar in Downtown Indianapolis?

I travel to downtown Indianapolis a lot for work, so I've come to know just about all of the bars, hotels and restaurants in downtown Indianapolis. I thought it might be fun to write up some of the things I like and share them here.

Of late, I've been thinking about the concept of the lobby bar. You know, the bar that a hotel typically has, typically on its first floor, often times opening out onto the lobby. Indy's got a lot of hotels downtown and by extension, a lot of lobby bars. I've been to just about all of them, at least once. And it turns out that my favorite is at the Canterbury Hotel, a tiny little hotel on South Illinois in-between Maryland and Georgia Streets.

The hotel is a bit older, built in 1928. It's a bit small, something of a private club feel to it, and it occasionally feels a bit worn around the edges. I like it, though, as the people that work there are nice, and it's typically convenient to what I'm doing when I'm in downtown Indianapolis. There is an door that takes you directly into the Circle Center mall, which comes in handy for walking to work if the weather isn't so nice out. (FYI, the hotel was recently purchased by a new owner, who promises to renovate.)

The real gem, though, is the bar. Just off to the left from the front entrance, it is a small, quiet, wood-paneled kind of place, where I love to go sit with a book at the end of the night. Dani, the bartender, is quick to recognize regulars, and very friendly and funny. There have been other times where I've stayed at some other hotel, and managed to make a point of stopping in to have a drink, just because I like the room, and the bartender. And it's the kind of thing that makes me more likely to stay there next time I visit.

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