If living near a bar makes you happy, you're not the only one. Recent research from Oxford University has shown that people who hang out at their local pub are not only significantly happier, they have healthier social lives and drinking habits.
The research, which has validated the lives of many a pub regular, explained that these findings are likely due to the face-to-face interactions experienced in these surroundings. More bar patrons are at ease in social situations, in part due to the consumption of alcohol and the overall relaxed atmosphere.
"Friendship and community are probably the two most important factors influencing our health and wellbeing," Oxford University Professor Robin Dunbar told the Telegraph. "Making and maintaining friendships, however, is something that has to be done face-to-face. The digital world is simply no substitute. Given the increasing tendency for our social life to be online rather than face-to-face, having relaxed accessible venues where people can meet old friends and make new ones becomes ever more necessary."
While these findings are a delight to those in Britain, to whom pub culture is an integral aspect of daily life, they also provide some hope for us here in Indianapolis, as many of our neighborhoods are home to locally favored bars, both established and up-and-coming. If you're hoping to benefit from the happiness of living within walking distance of your favorite pub, here are some areas that will interest you:
Residents of Broad Ripple are likely already familiar with bars facilitating a feeling of community within their neighborhood, especially after the recent reopening of Brothers Bar & Grill, which underwent a $1 million renovation. The bar had been closed for two weeks in January, allowing workers to expand the restaurant into the space that used to be the Bleecker Street night club. Now, the space has even more seating available for families to dine in until 9 p.m., an effort to emphasize the "restaurant" aspect of the business. Broad Ripple is also home to Moe & Johnny's, a local favorite that boasts a reliable menu of pub-grub as well as coffee shop fare at reasonable prices. You can't ask for a better variety under one roof!
As downtown Indianapolis continues to add more living options, especially in condominiums, its nightlife is catching up. Walk down Massachusetts Avenue and you'll encounter Old Point Tavern, a great local joint with a lot of beer options and impressive menu (we recommend the chili!). Ball & Biscuit is another Mass Ave favorite, serving creative cocktail creations and unique takes on bar snacks, like gourmet popcorn and bacon sticks.
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