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The Casba: Smoky Dive Bar Buried Beneath Broad Ripple Village

Nestled deep underneath Bleecker Street is an oft forgotten Indianapolis bar that has stood as a place to close down a crazy night around Broad Ripple Village for the past 30 years. Dark, smoky, and slightly edgy, The Casba is a popular pillar of Indianapolis nightlife that brings its own unique atmosphere to the Circle City. The Casba is located in the basement of a club on Broad Ripple and has withstood several renovations over the years. The bar began life as a small gallery bar, a dive populated by few people other than locals. Eventually, the place attracted more patrons and, after their latest renovation in 2008, is now one of the most popular bars in the area to finish a night at.

Things change every day at The Casba. A whole slew of different Indianapolis events are always going on at the bar, and each event attracts a different sort of crowd. Lots of Indianapolis music goes on at The Casba, including lots of sets by Indianapolis DJ’s. Sunday nights are Reggae Night, an always busy event that’s been going on at The Casba since 1996; the bar is one of the few places in Indianapolis where you can hear reggae music. Tuesday nights at The Casba are home to vocab nights, an open mic event that brings in poets, musicians, and other members of the Indianapolis arts scene to the Casba stage. Wednesdays feature more DJ’s, while Thursdays are the designated “Live Music Nights,” bringing lots of Indianapolis bands under the streets to The Casba.

Video of Cultural Afropology performing live at the weekly Reggae Night at The Casba, an Indianapolis bar in Broad Ripple Village

 

The interior of The Casba might seem a little bit unwelcoming at first. Because it’s in a basement, a musty smell lies just underneath the smoke, and the lights are dim and concealing. But once you spend some time here, you’ll begin to feel like The Casba is a cozy home away from home. All the staples of a dive bar are here, from the old neon signs on the walls and scuffed bar surface to the pock marked dart board and Christmas lights ringing the bar. The house shots at The Casba are legendary, and lots of Broad Ripple Village revelers make sure to stop by The Casba at around 2:30 a.m. for a night cap.

If the atmosphere at The Casba is a bit too rank for you, this Indianapolis bar is also home to a delicious Indianapolis restaurant on the upper floor, called Usual Suspects. Usual Suspects is an eclectic American restaurant with a varied restaurant of sandwiches, soups, salads, and more. Like The Casba, Usual Suspects has its own bar, though this one features more wine and cocktails than its subterranean brother. While The Casba is a great place to party and get down to live Indianapolis music, Usual Suspects is a good spot for conversation or a romantic date.

The menu at Usual Suspects has something for everyone; patrons can sample the restaurant’s variety of stuffed quesadillas (including Carribean-style chicken, Caprese, Southwestern, and Curry Chicken) as an appetizer, refresh their palates with restaurant’s three delicious salads (including Cobb and the Chicken Noodle Salad), or pack their stomachs to bursting with a host of entrees, including stuffed burgers, Black and Bleu Beef Tips, a stuffed pork chop, jerk chicken, and more. And after your meal, there’s nothing stopping you from going downstairs to The Casba and working off some of those delicious calories from your meal by shaking it on the dance floor.

The Casba is a hidden gem of one of the most happening Indianapolis cultural districts. Buried beneath the streets of Broad Ripple Village, The Casba is a cozy, atmospheric dive bar that puts on a different hat each day of the week. Reggae, rock, hip-hop, dance DJ’s, and even poetry and Indianapolis artists are all welcome at The Casba, and the house shots and active crowd make The Casba a popular last stop for Broad Ripple Village partygoers after a night of booty shakin’ at Landsharks, Rock Lobster, and The Ugly Monkey. Upstairs is Usual Suspects, a classy Indianapolis restaurant that’s a great venue to catch up with your friends. The Casba is everything you could want rolled into one: a homey bar, a constantly evolving Indianapolis music venue, and a deliciously eclectic restaurant. Stop by some night to see what a nightlife gem is buried under Indianapolis!

The Casba and Usual Suspects
6319 Guilford Ave
Indianapolis, IN46220
317.251.3138
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Mike Woods