The Jalopnik fellas continue to penetrate the Indy 500 scene like Fred Smooth with a broomstick. They've already wormed their way into the official Indy 500 parade, ripped the lid off of an apparent child-slavery ring in the Indianapolis area, and taken a lap around the track in the official pace car, a Corvette Z06. And in case you were wondering about the Indy nightlife before the race, they've got that covered, too, making them the perfect combination of investigate journalists and drunks.
Mike Austin from Jalopnik here...and let's be honest, I am a bit of what ya'd call a drinker. When midnight rolls around and the wise option of an early evening comes up, I become the king of bad decisions and decide to roll out for a nightcap, which actually means drink until close. Which is 3 am in Indy.
But I still try to maintain some semblance of professionalism, so I will report to you on the Indianapolis bar scene on the night right before the big race. I won't lie to you. It is grim. I did hear reports this evening that the bars near the speedway are both divey and packed, two excellent things that make a bar good. But here in downtown, it is dead. Really dead. I asked bartenders and patrons both, and the general theory seems to be that people partied too hard last night and are kind of serious about watching the race tomorrow. The race starts at 1, so this makes no sense to me, especially since I'm going to be dealing with less than four hours of sleep as of this writing.
Continued after the jump...
There is one lively area of downtown, and if I remember correctly it is called Meridian Street. But honestly, it's not worth the trouble. Last night Team Jalopnik had the fortune of being at a VIP party in the suburbs, and both the VIP and general section had enough scenery to keep us happy. In downtown Indy, things don't look so good. In fact, they probably look worse than our usual Michigan haunts, which is to say it's actually terrible. On top of that, bouncers are still asking $5-6 cover at 1:30 AM and that is a situation that we consider unacceptable. Anywhere without a cover is either closed or dead. So fair warning, if you're in town for the greatest racing spectacle in the world, don't expect a good bar night downtown on the night before the race.
More later. The boys will be liveblogging the race from a corporate tent on the infield, which just has to be a first. Stay tuned...