Iconic blues bar Slippery Noodle Inn sold after 60 years in Yeagy family

Slippery Noodle Inn
The Slippery Noodle Inn, 372 S. Meridian St., is recognized as Indiana’s oldest continuously operating bar in the original building on the original site, dating to the Civil War era. (IBJ photo/David Lindquist)

The Slippery Noodle Inn, an iconic watering hole and entertainment destination with nearly 175 years of history in downtown Indianapolis, has new owners.

Jason Amonett, who has owned multiple bars on South Meridian Street, and Sean Lothridge, a liquor industry executive, completed their purchase of the Slippery Noodle Inn, 372 S. Meridian St., on Wednesday.

Carol Yeagy became sole owner of the bar and restaurant after the 2020 death of her husband, Hal Yeagy. The sale to Amonett and Lothridge means the Slippery Noodle Inn is now owned by someone outside of the Yeagy family for the first time in 60 years.

Hal Yeagy’s parents, Harold and Lorean Yeagy, purchased the building in 1963. They came up with the Slippery Noodle Inn name and its signature “Dis-Is-It” slogan.

Hal, however, introduced live performances by blues musicians at the Noodle in the 1980s. The nightlife strategy transformed the 13,000-square-foot facility into a must-see attraction for Indianapolis music fans and out-of-town visitors.

Slippery Noodle Inn hosted performances by blues legends such as Buddy Guy, Albert Collins and Edgar Winter after Yeagy took over the business following the death of his father in 1984.

Amonett and Lothridge said they don’t plan radical changes, but visitors can expect a mix of other musical styles to co-exist with the bar’s usual blues sounds.

“We want to have some new groups,” Amonett said. “A little country, a little Southern rock.”

While the Noodle now presents live blues five to six nights a week, Lothridge predicts that other musical styles will pick up one or two nights.

The new owners also plan to augment the restaurant’s menu with meatless and vegan options for customers. A bigger selection of whiskey and tequila brands is another priority, Amonett said.

Amonett and Lothridge did not disclose what they paid for the land, building and intellectual property associated with the Slippery Noodle Inn.

To adhere to rules related to bar ownership, Lothridge will exit his role as Indiana and Kentucky manager for Remy Cointreau USA. He previously worked for distribution companies Monarch Beverage, National Wine and Spirits and Southern Wine & Spirits.

A discussion with Amonett last year sparked the idea of pursuing ownership of the Noodle, Lothridge said.

“I said, ‘This is the one bar that I would leave the liquor industry to jump into,’ ” Lothridge said. “We told [Carol Yeagy] that we believe in the Noodle and highlighting the legacy and history of it. She agreed to sell it to us.”

Lothridge said he and Amonett want to retain as many members of the bar’s 35-person staff as possible. Marty Bacon, general manager at the Noodle, served as the officiant at Lothridge’s wedding.

Amonett formerly had ownership stakes in Subterra Lounge, which operated from 2005 to 2018 at 250 S. Meridian St., and the Pavilion at Pan Am, which opened in 2015 at 201 S. Capitol Ave.

He also was an owner of Tiki Bob’s Cantina, 231 S. Meridian St., a controversial bar that closed in February. In 2022, the Marion County Alcoholic Beverage Board approved a one-year liquor license renewal for the nightclub, where fights and other incidents generated hundreds of visits by the police.

Amonett said his tenure as an owner of Tiki Bob’s ended in November 2019.

Lothridge said he’s eager to see Amonett’s marketing efforts in action for the Slippery Noodle Inn when large conventions and sporting events come to the nearby Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Jason has done a good job in his past tapping into some of those big events,” Lothridge said. “We want to replicate that at the Noodle—do some additional tent parties, make sure we’re tied into the alumni groups when they come to town for NCAA games.”

According to the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, 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.

Other business names associated with the building through the years include Germania House, Beck’s Tavern and Moore Bros. Tavern.

The Yeagys advertised the Slippery Noodle Inn as the state’s oldest continuously operated bar in the original building on the original site.

The claim led to a rivalry with the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette. In 1835, the Knickerbocker acquired the state’s first liquor license. Because the Knickerbocker, 113 N. Fifth St., was rebuilt after a fire in the 1960s and the business became a clock shop during a brief stint in the 1970s, the Noodle promotes its “continuously operated” credentials.

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12 thoughts on “Iconic blues bar Slippery Noodle Inn sold after 60 years in Yeagy family

    1. The fact that the new owner had anything to do with Subterra and Tiki Bob’s is “good hands”? Both were train wrecks.

    2. Yes, because Tiki Bobs and Subterra were exceptional….. Hopefully the Noodle stays the staple that is has been.

  1. My favorite bar in town. They’ve got some great bands that play there. Hope they can bring more in like The Warrior Kings and other rock n roll or country bands.

  2. The entire block from Georgia to the railroad overpass needs to be leveled and given a fresh start. The trash bars must go. Half of downtown crime would disappear with them.
    Having a Tiki Bobs owner involved with the “Noodle” is not a good omen.

  3. Currently, The Noodles calendar is a last-minute effort. I do hope that the new owners will keep it full and published well in advance of any bands playing.