Connor’s Pub Remains a Village Fixture 40 Years Later
Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Michael Durr
It’s not flashy. It’s somewhat hidden, off the beaten Broad Ripple path.
And yet, Connor’s Pub has managed to flourish as a Village fixture for four decades. So how do they pull it off?
The staff feels much of the success of Connor’s Pub lies in its versatile and unpretentious atmosphere and the close connections that exist between customers and employees.
“It’s the type of place where you can mow the lawn and then come in for a beer, or you can come in in your tux after a wedding,” says Connor’s daytime bartender Maria. “I think one of the things about it being tucked away is that people will walk in here and say, ‘I didn’t know you were even here, and this place is so cool.’ With the canal, Connor’s kind of sits in its own little peninsula and has its own kind of charm that way.”
It’s an establishment that packs a substantial punch considering the modest size of its interior. You’ll often find full bands rocking out on Sunday nights and bursting-at-the-seams crowds cheering on football, baseball or rugby games on weekends.
Owner John Yaggi (affectionately known as J.Y. by friends, staffers and regulars) purchased Connor’s in 2002 from Mike and Denny Connor, who officially launched Connor’s back in 1979 after the previous occupant, J-Boys bar, shut its doors. For the last 17 years, Yaggi has striven to maintain a welcoming vibe that offers a wide beer and liquor selection and a quality food menu.
With a patio and interior walls adorned with street signs, framed sports jerseys, beer signage and postcards from folks all over the world who have visited the pub, Connor’s is open until 3:00 a.m. every night of the week. The relaxed daytime atmosphere provides a distinct contrast to the lively vibe at night.
“It’s always nice to see multiple generations here,” Maria says. “We get a lot of the Butler crowd, which is one of the reasons Connor’s has that continuum. You have people who went to Butler and whose kids are at Butler now.”
The kitchen staff turns out high-quality bar fare including pizzas, burgers, tenderloins and wings, as well as individually breaded and baked cheese balls that have become a Connor’s staple.
Drink specials abound throughout the week including pint nights and craft beer nights, featuring local brews and Irish beer staples. Each year for St. Patrick’s Day, Connor’s takes the party out of the confines of the bar and into a huge tent for morning-to-night revelry that locals have come to highly anticipate, including multiple music acts, food and Irish-themed beverages.
“I don’t think people realize how much J.Y. puts into St. Patrick’s Day in order to put the tent party on here year after year,” Maria adds. “It’s big every year and he’s behind the scenes working and puts up and takes down the tent on the same day.”
Maria says some of the current Connor’s regulars have frequented the establishment for decades, and she attributes such a high level of dedication to Yaggi and his staff’s friendly approach toward all who walk in the door for a pint or a plate of food.
“Some people have been coming in here for 35 years, and I don’t expect you would see that in a lot of the big-chain bars,” she says. “It’s a sole proprietor business, and more and more we’re losing that sole proprietorship type of place in Broad Ripple. I think that has something to do with why Connor’s continues to have a good presence.”
Connor’s Pub is located at 6331 Ferguson Street in Indianapolis. For more information, including a menu, updates on drink specials and more, call 317-255-5039 and visit connors-pub.com.