It only takes a few minutes to understand why Chatterbox has earned its reputation as the Best Dive Jazz Club in Indianapolis, inspired filmmakers and generated dozens of news stories. The live jazz is unforgettable. And the place is most definitely a dive. It’s a combination that has inspired a loyal following of music lovers for decades.
It wasn’t always the place to go for live music. When David Andrichik purchased the building that housed Chatterbox in 1982, he primarily was looking to make a real estate investment in downtown Indianapolis. The bar on the first floor of the building was just part of the deal. And there wasn’t much going on along Massachusetts Avenue, with the exception of a few shops and some sketchy activity in nearby buildings.
When David realized that the bar was emptying out long before midnight — a consequence of the work shifts of the mostly blue-collar clientele,David, a Chicago native, decided to build a stage in a corner of the bar and bring live jazz into the mix. It would be one of the moves that drew more people downtown and helped transform a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue into one of the city’s most popular destinations. David is often credited with leading the way to the massive development of Mass Ave over the past 10 to 15 years,
Yet, the Chatterbox comes across as unfazed by all its new, upscale neighbors. After purchasing the place, David decided to skip the renovations and keep the bar the way it was decades ago — right down to the disintegrating linoleum floor that seems as old as jazz itself. Along with a massive collection of photos, knick knacks, Christmas lights, posters and an animatronic dancing James Brown doll, the Chatterbox houses a growing collection of Sharpie-scribbled messages on the bar and bathroom walls and other memorabilia,
In addition to local jazz greats, legends like Wynston Marsalis have jammed here. And Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Ron Wood have been among those sitting back and enjoying the music in this dive bar.
We’re looking forward to you adding your signature to the place!
We like our jazz. But we're also into bowling, sing-a-thons, community fund-raisers and more. Check out our special events and calendar to see what's happening next.
“You can’t get the Chatterbox any other place in Indianapolis. There might be some places like it, but the Chatterbox is uniquely its own, and that makes it special. And it makes Mass Avenue more special.” — Brian Payne, Indianapolis Business Journal
"The eclectic interior and small patio out front are perfect for meeting new people over a whiskey and great tunes at this 30-year-old bar that hosts live jazz every night of the week. Leave your mark on the graffiti-covered walls.” — "30 Best Bars in Indianapolis," Indianapolis Star
We're looking forward to meeting you at the Chatterbox Jazz Club. Enjoy the music and greet some new friends while you're here.
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