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Longtime owner of The Slippery Noodle Inn dies after battle with cancer

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When Hal Yeagy started his business, his friends said he could have never imagined what it would become. The Slippery Noodle is known to some as the heartbeat of the city, the bar where every musician could have a stage and a voice.

Yeagy took over the business after his father died in the mid 1980s. Since then, he’s turned it into a bar recognized by people across the country.

Tony Evans can’t recall how he met Yeagy, but he knows it was sometime in high school. Evans said the two were part of a larger friend group that all played music.

He remembers being there when it all began for Yeagy.

“He said you know I just wanna do blues and we’re all telling him that’s not gonna work, everyone wants dance and band music but he was set on doing blues,” said Evans.

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The friend group of fellow musicians not only helped set up the bar, they also could be seen playing there through the years.

“It was a very exciting experience you know, a friend of ours was opening a bar,” said Evans.

He last reached out to Yeagy on Sunday. He knew his two-year battle with lung cancer had turned ugly quick. Evans said he never heard back from Yeagy, but his wife, Carol, responded.

“It’s been a rough week, we were just kind of waiting, we knew he didn’t have long,” Evans said.

When Yeagy breathed his last breath Thursday, he left behind a lifetime of stories that Evans said belong in the bar.

“It’s just those kinds of memories, where do I put them? I keep them where they’re at,” Evans said.

He thinks that’s where Yeagy will stay too, in the bar with the other spirits Yeagy explained feeling in a past interview with News 8.

“We use to have the old heavy metal rods locking the doors and everything and they would all be stacked in the corner where they get when you’d open up and I always just kind of figured it was my dad, who passed away when I took over, that it was my dad helping me open,” said Yeagy.

Evans’ daughter Amanda Clark shared a special bond with Yeagy, she lost her husband to cancer just a few years ago.

“Hal was always really in tune with what was going on in my life. I saw him and he was quick to tell me about his scans and how he was doing, and he was worried about his family and what was gonna happen. But in good spirits and we took a selfie right away so I could send it to my dad,” said Clark.

It’s a photo she will cherish forever, like her dad with his memories.

Evans isn’t sure what comes next for The Slippery Noodle, but he believes it’s soul will keep the music going forever.

“I feel it’s in good hands, I feel it’s in good hands,” said Evans.

Family and friends are asking anyone who wants to honor Hal Yeagy to consider donating to the American Cancer Society or the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, two of his favorite charities.

Yeagy’s parents, Harold and Lorean, purchased the bar in 1963, when Hal was just 6 years old. Hal took over after his father’s passing in 1985.

The Slippery Noodle is at 372 S. Meridian St., near Lucas Oil Stadium.

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