The Music Mill is closing

January 7, 2009
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Music MillThe restaurant, bar and concert venue Music Mill plans to shut down next month after a four-year run at 3720 E. 82nd St. near the Fashion Mall at Keystone. The unique concept opened in early 2005 in a former Discovery Zone children's amusement center. The Music Mill's lease was up and the sour economy has been taking a toll, said Nick Davidson, one of the owners. The building is owned by locally based The Broadbent Co. A lineup of previously scheduled concerts, including Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Gaelic Storm, will go on as scheduled. The remaining schedule, which runs through February, can be found here.
  • This was an awful place to see a concert.
  • Great concept, good acts, horrible execution.
  • It was never the best location or the best setup, but The Music Mill brought in an array of artists that most other venues in the market just don't attract. I, for one, will miss The Music Mill. It was one of the few places I've been to hear music that could pull off a loud set just as well as it could do a laid-back performance. Would love to see something like it pop up downtown.
  • horrible place to see a show? like the vogue? you must be a chain smoker.

    this is bad news folks, really bad news.

    maybe benjamin can drive out to deer creek or wait in line at conseco to see a really good show.

    :jack and dianne gomer:
  • Oh! I just hate to see this place go. The Music Mill had so many unique concerts that you just couldn't see anywhere else in town. You'll be missed, Music Mill!
  • this really pisses me off.

    great shows seen there include

    Nada Surf
    The Go! Team
    The Hold Steady

    and others
  • Over the last four years, the Music Mill was able to round up a pretty impressive lineup of bands that would not have been able to fill some of the larger venues around town. I've seen some great shows there. However, like Verizon Wireless, people have a hard time detaching their enjoyable concert memories from the venue itself. The Music Mill is an unremarkable venue. There is nothing distinctive about it, nothing that couldn't be replicated in any number of other locations around the city. I'm sad that they couldn't make ends meet but I won't miss it terribly.
  • I'll miss the Music Mill. (I'll really miss not reeking like smoke when I leave a concert!) I've seen several great shows there, but didn't make it up there as much as I would have liked. Hopefully another local venue will step up and book some of the bands that frequented Music Mill.
  • I agree that the venue really had no character but I also agree that there were plenty of great shows there. I've seen several.

    Never ate there but I recall that the restaurant idea never really took off because of bad service/food quality.

    I knew it was only a matter of time but I hoped I'd never see the day when it would close.

    I'll miss having a non smoking concert venue for bigger shows. Radio Radio in Fountain Square is a great non-smoking venue for smaller shows
  • The Music Mill had one of the best sound systems in the city. The room just sounded great.

    I saw Tegan and Sara there a couple of years ago and was blown away by the clarity.

    The original design of the restaurant was one of the best interiors in the city until they up and changed it a couple of years ago. Not sure why.

    Agreed, it will be missed. My only qualm was that it wasn't closer to downtown.

    I wish someone would take the old Jaguar bar on Penn downtown and turn it into a similar venue.
  • It's for lease...go for it, ablerock. I'm sure Buckingham would love to have a paying tenant.
  • It has just been announced that the Macy's at Lafayette Square is closing.
  • this is no surprise, it was funded with lottery winnings (from what I heard) and didn't have a viable business model. Also by all accounts the owners were fairly erratic and eccentric. A weird venue that never felt quite like it knew what it wanted to be- rock and roll club? restaurant? dance club? Just had a weird vibe. It lasted longer than I thought it would. Still they had some good shows and brought some good acts to town so that will be missed.
  • I wish I had more money thundermutt. I'd love to give it a shot. I'd also like to help out Buckingham, as they have a proper vision for that area of the regional center.

    It would be neat to create a student housing project near the library with the old Jaguar as the centerpiece of the nightlife area.
  • Great idea Ablerock. That whole area could really be something special. There are already some nice little spots along there like Urban Elements.
  • I just don't understand why these innovative ideas aren't implemented dwontown? This place seems unique in terms of what they had to offer for entertainment. I have never been to it, so I can't say much about their operations. However, I do have an issue with the design of the exterior. All I can say is that it is boring, uninviting, and just blah. Come on... I think if they thought something fun like the exterior of a Virgin America store... big loud attention getting sign and then go from there. What is it with some of the businesses in Indy putting up ugly and boring styles? Anyway, I think this type of entertainment venue would be better suited in the downtown area. Tourists, residents of the area... Seems like the business currently is only attracting mostly residents. What tourist who comes downtown to stay would want to travel far far out to the burbs for entertainment?
  • I attended a comedy show here, and having paid $100 for the tickets was sorely disappointed. We waited in a huge line in the pouring rain to get in while the employees chatted or were not tending to their posts. Once inside we discovered that the seating was nothing more than crammed in metal folding chairs. Drinks were hard to come by as you had to keep getting up and walking past everyone to get a drink during the show, and the interior was basically just black--walls and ceiling with horrible acoustics, and a concrete floor. It was a real hole in the wall. Not a great experience. While the comedian was hilarious, the venue was miserable. Never went back. Other venues in the city can handle the bands and shows that frequented the Mill...or perhaps LiveNation can buy this place and make it a true showplace. Don't blame the economy folks--comes down to old fashioned quality customer service and quality goods/services!
  • I attended several shows at the Mill - never did figure out the dining part. The sound was fine and they presented an interesting mix of acts. I always saw LOTS of folks near my age - let's just say over 35. Can't anyone come up with a venue with tables and chairs - I for one get tired of standing through a sometimes two hour set. Remember the old days at the Vogue? Of course, we would still need a little room to shake it when the spirit moves us . . . .
  • Agree with most on here that this is bad news. Indy already gets looked over by national acts and up and comers for other cities. Louisville, Cincy, Nashville and Chicago come to mind. Even Bloomington has the infastructure to be able to support the bands that play 500-1000 seat venues. This is a shame for the city. The Vogue, Radio Radio, Birdys, etc all have the same vibe to them and the acoustics in the egypian room are absolutely horrid. Once the MM disappears, Indy will lose a gem.
  • I didn't much like the crowded folding metal chairs either, and I never understood how they could ignore all those people who didn't go to the bar to get a drink. A waitress might have been a good idea. But as far as sound and air quality go, this was a nice place to see a show. I've seen several bluegrass bands at Music Mill. It sure beat the Vogue's smoky, choked-lung atmosphere.
  • I really liked this place. I really don't know what some of you expect in a concert venue. I saw several great shows there and always thought the sound was really good. I've been to some hole in the wall places, but the Mill wasn't one of them. The restrooms were decent and mostly clean, the bartenders were friendly, and it was nonsmoking. They brought many acts to town that I don't think we would've had otherwise. Some of you can complain all you want but the Music Mill filled a void here and it will be missed.
  • I am going to miss The Music Mill. Best show I ever saw was battle of the bands... Last Place First rocked the house.
  • This was the only place in the city large enough (barely) to book nationally recognized eclectic music from jazz and blues to non-mainstream acts. I went there often. For the people who complained about not being able to get a drink or the uncomfortable seating, jeezus, give ma a break. Indianapolis is much bigger than Louisville and Dayton; we're the home of Wes Montgomery; and we couldn't get a lot of top acts very often even with the MM open. There's nothing quite like living in Whitebreadland, where the biggest concern is the proximity to a bartender or the foam on your seat or how long you have to stand in line. It will just mean we'll go out of town to see these concerts and spend our money somewhere else.
  • I never went there but the sad part is this further narrows the Arts & Entertainment venues. Whether you liked it or not is not as important as how this loss reduces local options.
  • Hate to see this place go!! Sucks that they couldn't make it work!!

    It was a great place to catch a mid-week show with the added bonus of not going home smelling like an ashtray.

    Drinks weren't overpriced, staff was friendly, and the array of acts was great!

    Music Mill, you will be missed!!
  • I loved the Music Mill and the acts they brought to town. I hope some other places in the city can pick up some of the acts they brought to town more regularly -- Marc Broussard, Dave Barnes, Matt Nathanson, Jon McLaughlin, etc etc etc
  • I liked the intimacy of the venue, but hated standing for long periods on the cement floor. That's what kept me from wanting to return.
  • This makes me very sad as this was one of my favorite places to catch a small show. I saw 3 shows there in the past year and really liked the venue both for music and comedy. I absolutely preferred it to standing all night in the Egyptian Room or smelling like an ashtray after leaving the Vogue.
  • Food was terrible.
    Service was even worse.

    Music venue was great however.

    Strange location.
  • The Music Mill is a 15,000 square foot facility with a newer restaurant and kitchen. It is located at 82nd and Dean in Clearwater Shoppes. Contact me if you have an idea or interest in the facility. Michael 237-2900
  • I used to go here when it was Leaps and Bounds (later Discovery Zone)

    It was the best!
  • per14 comments are dead on. Food was awful, and I was always amazed that the restaurant was open for lunch. There was literally maybe 3-4 cars in the parking lot during peak lunch hours, and these vehicles probably belonged to employees. Sad to hear that the place is closing even though I did not get a chance to see a concert. I have not been to Birdy's in years but always wondered how this place manages to survive given it's proximity to the backa** suburb of Ravenswood.

    Anybody know what will become of the vacant Clearwater movie theatre? This area has definitely undergone some significant changes in the last few years.
  • Dustin - regarding the exterior: It was a refitted kids Discovery Zone. While perhaps not the best look it certainly was prefarable to letting it sit and rot as so many of these places are today.

    T--- I couldn't agree more.

    If you wanna talk about a hole in the wall how about Bogarts in Cinci? That place has about 5 tables for you folks who like to sit and the area surrounding it is absolutely awful. It used to be cool but after the Cinci race riots it was all downhill and most businesses closed up. I never minded the MM location as it had plenty of parking and was easy to find and get to - AND I didn't have to drive to Cinci, Columbus, or Chicago to see a show.
  • Music Mill was an excellent venue to see a wide variety of acts at reasonable prices.
    As Music Mill closes Indy sinks even deeper into the cornfield and we're left without a
    decent venue in town to see non-mainstream artists.
  • Mike you need a good bankruptcy lawyer, maybe save the day.

    there is alot to work with there, maybe the execution was the prollem.
  • Agree on brining good acts,
    but agree more on the HORRIBLE service.
    Staff was a bunch of punks that acted like they were doing you a favor by taking your money and letting you in the doors......
  • Its outward appearance looks like a school supply warehouse you would see ploped in the heart of park 100 or out in the warehousing wasteland in plainefield. Very uninspireing. Never had the food, but would imagine it not being given top priority. Staff acting like they are doing you a favor by taking your money and letting you in the doors, well, for those of you who love the energy and pace of big cities like LA, New York and the likes that is what it is like. Still sad to see a otherwise creative and somewhat original idea for indy close though.
  • I saw Amos Lee there and Margot and Nuclear So & So's.....sad to see it go.
  • Music Mill will certainly be missed from my end. This was a great venue that filled a needed gap in the Indy-area concert scene. Their 4-year run is highlighted by many fantastic names and events: P-Funk, Bob Schneider, Galactic, Haste the Day, Gin Blossoms and the list goes on... Where is one to go now to see a mid-major concert and not come away smelling like an ashtray? Also, living on the Northside you couldn't beat the convenience.
  • Jason,
    That Galactic show was nuts, wasn't it? I love the Music Mill. Their opening show was Scissor Sisters and it was obvious they had lots of kinks to work out, but over the years it got a lot better. It waas clean, never a line for the potty and the space is wide instead of long, so there wasn't a bad spot in the house. I do wish there had been more levels, so rails to set drinks and maybe a bar stool here and there, but that's about it.
    First the Patio, now the Music Mill. I hope they can find time to fit in some good shows at the Vogue between Retro Rewind and Gwar.
    At least summer is not too far away and White River has the potential to draw some really great acts.
  • Gwar. :lol:
  • Music Mill was first and foremost a concert venue, for all its other faults, and they brought a lot of mid-level or up-and-coming music acts to Indy that otherwise will probably skip us. So even if the food wasn't great (it wasn't; I tried it several times), the bar was difficult to get to (it could have been designed much more conveniently), or they didn't have much seating, Music Mill served a need within the music community, and for that I am sorely disappointed about its demise. White River is great in the summer, but 8 months of the year it's closed. The Vogue isn't interested in booking a lot of these shows, or else they'd be doing more concerts than they are now ... like they used to. Radio Radio's pretty small and seems to be pretty selective about what acts they book. Birdys will hopefully step in to fill at least some of the void, since they'd booked some of the acts that later went to MM after it opened -- but otherwise, what venue is available and actively booking similar shows? None that I know of. Plus the smoke-free atmosphere and easy-to-see stage made Music Mill a pretty good concert destination. So some really amazing music will probably pass over our fair city with the closing of this venue. I cross my fingers that some individual/group/business entity will be willing to grab this opportunity, make some changes to the restaurant (get a good chef; provide good service; price reasonably), and make another go of it. I know I'll be in line for tickets, and I look forward to seeing my last show there next month.
  • I sure as heck won't miss it. Who in the world wants to go to a venue that is marooned in a strip mall outlot to see a show? Not me.
  • I saw several jazz shows in this venue. It was the only place that you could see contemporary jazz at a reasonable price. My wife and I will miss the venue. It allowed you two get closer to the performers than any other location and not have to deal with smoke all night...
  • The Music Mill was OK, but again...the location was terrible. I do wish there was something of this size close to downtown. Mass Ave or Fountain Square would be a wonderful place to have a venue of this size and at least one additional smaller venue. Would love to see Fountain Square grow as a mecca for live music and art in general. Thank God for Radio Radio! Live music in general seems to have a hard time in Indianapolis.

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