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Golden Ace Inn Indianapolis


Golden Ace Inn

McGinleys’ Golden Ace Inn first opened on March 1, 1934, but actually its’ story began twelve years prior . That is when two young immigrants, from County Donegal, Ireland, John McGinley and Ann McNulty, separately came over to America to live with family in Indianapolis, Indiana. Although they lived only five miles apart in Ireland, (John was from Carrick, Ann from Kilcar) they never met until a fateful night in 1931 at a local Indianapolis dance. John and Ann wed just two years later.

Sometimes the time is just right to take a chance. For John and Ann McGinley that time was 1934. Prohibition had just been repealed, a baby was on the way and they had just enough money saved up to open their own public house. It also didn’t hurt that they lived close to a main thoroughfare, Washington Street (aka US 40), in a nice working class neighborhood of Indianapolis. The only problem to this great plan was that neither had any knowledge as to the bar business. In Ireland both John and Ann’s families were farmers and prohibition had been in effect since they came over to the States. So, in an effort to learn what beers the local patrons preferred, John and Ann would watch as the beer trucks rumbled down Washington Street with a pen in one hand and a piece of paper in the other.

On March 1, 1934, the Golden Ace Inn officially opened for business (and just in time too considering St. Patrick’s Day was just 16 days away). That day was much like the next 32 years, John McGinley, behind the bar, clad in a white shirt and black tie, helping to support Ann and his ever growing family. Ann also helped out at the Golden Ace Inn, especially when her children were grown. Their children also took an interest in the family business, helping clean on Sundays when they were younger and helping behind the bar when they became older.

After John and Ann passed away, their seven surviving children took ownership of the Golden Ace Inn: Jack, Mary Ann, Jim, Chuck, Joe, Mike and Dan. Whether it be taking pride in their Irish heritage, frying up delicious cheeseburgers, or serving ice cold beer, McGinleys’ Golden Ace Inn has continued the traditions that John and Ann set forth. Now, it is the next generation of McGinleys, who are helping out their parents and learning the Golden Ace Inn’s story along the way.