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#106 Red Key Tavern (Indianapolis, Indiana)

The Red Key Tavern is an Indianpolis institution that has been in the Settle family since 1951. The Indiana bar’s late proprietor, Russ Settle, was famous for his list of “the rules” that every patron had to follow. His wife Dollie has been the bartender for decades now, and along with her son Jim and granddaughter Leslie Ann, continues to enforce those rules today: No feet on the furniture; no chairs in the aisle; cash only; hang up your coat and hat; use your indoor voice; don’t swear; and, most importantly, the bartender is always right! Frequented by locals, touring musicians, and writers, the bar is known for its ice-cold bottled beer and straightforward cocktails. The place itself is a throwback. From the neon sign over the door (four musical notes depict the old boozy song “How Dry I Am”) to the post-war selection of 45s on the jukebox to the original 1950s Formica tables and straight-back chairs, the bar’s décor has remained virtually untouched since the day Settle bought the place. The linoleum-tiled floor has a path worn between the jukebox and restrooms, and there’s plenty of kitsch here, too, like the stuffed antelope head behind the bar and the World War II-era model planes hanging from the ceiling. Don’t miss the cheeseburgers — cooked on a flattop grill — or Dollie’s potato salad. (Sarah F./Yelp)


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