Five must-visit themed venues in Indianapolis

If you’ve been bored of the same old activities, we’ve got just the solution for you with this list of five places to try in Indy.

Black House Cafe exterior mural with Freddy Kreuger and scared children.

Murals on the wall outside of Black House were created by Pamela Bliss.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Whether it’s sipping coffee at a horror-themed cafe or reliving the past at a retro arcade bar, Indianapolis offers plenty of options for an entertaining night out.

Black House Cafe, 1122 Shelby St.

You can run, you can hide, but you should really take a peek inside this horror-themed coffee shop. In the heart of Fountain Square lies the Black House Café — a spooky deviation from ordinary coffee shops. It’s sure to draw in caffeine lovers + horror fans with its haunting exterior murals, local horror-themed artwork, and the Chucky doll.

Owner Mari Ramirez-Reyes, maintained the theme well with drinks like the “Not Your Mother’s Mocha” and the “No Please Don’t Kill Me Mr. Ghost Face.” If the cafe isn’t enough, you can also book a room in the horror-themed Airbnb, which can sleep 13 people and includes themed rooms featuring Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, and more.

Strange Bird, 128 S. Audubon Rd.

If the recent snowfall has you craving warmer weather, rum flights, fresh oysters, or thoughtfully crafted food, take a trip to the tropics right here in Indy. Strange Bird, located in Irvington, offers a warm ambiance paired with eye-catching tiki drinks like the Painkiller and Jungle Bird + food items such as the katsu curry and gyoza.

Strange Bird is also the host of Shoyu Shop created by Chef Kyle Humphreys which cooks up four varieties of mouthwatering ramen with vegan options available. Pro tip: Stay up to date on its Instagram page for half off oyster specials and oyster shucking classes.

The Cake Bake Shop, Multiple locations

Once upon a time, in a kingdom not so far away (Broad Ripple + Carmel) sits the enchanting Cake Bake Shop. Although this shop isn’t specifically labeled as fairytale-themed, there certainly is a reason they were chosen to open a location at Disney World. In this fairy tale, happily ever after tastes like French macarons, pastries, and a slice of raspberry champagne cake that can fill a plate. Aside from desserts, there is also a full lunch + dinner menu, as well as an extensive classic and signature drink menu.

Tappers Arcade Bar, 501 Virginia Ave., Ste. 102

Hailed as one of the original Indy arcade game bars, this a place where nostalgia meets affordable retro gaming. At Tappers, you can expect more than 60 free-to-play arcade games including Genesis, Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 video games. Players can enjoy games such as Ms. Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., and Space Invaders.

If you grew up an 80s or 90s kid, or are just craving community fun, Tappers Arcade Bar is a great place to be. Visitors have to be 21 or older to enter + there are craft beers and classic cocktails available for purchase. Check out its Facebook page for special events, including its Silverball ShoDown pinball tournament which takes place every third Sunday of the month.

Nevermore Union Station, 302 S. Meridian St.

Do we have any POEtry fans here? Then you may like this Edgar Allen Poe-inspired entertainment space. With nine unique spaces including a rooftop terrace, a tea parlor, and a game room with duckpin bowling, Nevermore is sure to leave you entertained.

Pro tip: It offers food and drink menus regularly however, on Wednesdays + Thursdays from 5 p.m. to close, there’s free “rush hour appetizers” included with the purchase of two cocktails.

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