Jamie Younger, Owner of Young Brothers Bar in Marshall-Shadeland, is a visionary in the community. This past fall, he opened BJ Events Center, attached to his bar, in an effort to make the space ground zero for the Northside’s future.
By Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Walking into Young Brothers Bar, music and laughter are in the air. Jamie Younger, the bar’s owner and namesake, is casual and unassuming. He is in the thick of things, interacting with the patrons.
“It’s the kind of place where everyone knows your name,” Younger said. “You’ll walk out feeling like family.”
Located in the heart of the Northside, the now 12-year-old bar is the fulfillment of Younger’s father’s dream, whom he described as his best friend. A lifelong Northsider, Younger said Woods Run Avenue was the only place to set up shop.
“This is the only place I know,” he said. “You’re either from the Northside or the outside. I’ve been other places but there’s no other place I’d rather be.”
For Northsiders and non-Northsiders alike, Young Brothers Bar provides a space not only for beverages but also for Steelers tailgates, birthday parties and according to Younger, even the occasional baby shower.
On any given day, Younger says he can be found there taking the helm of the operation. Due to his hands-on approach, Younger said the bar’s “frequent flyers” aren’t just customers but family. He prides himself on the bar’s sense of community.
“The regulars are the fabric of this bar and how we survive,” Younger said. “They know each other and each other’s families. It’s very generational. They all grew up with each other and played together as kids.”
George Johnson, 68, who Younger affectionately introduces as “Uncle George,” grew up with Younger’s grandparents and has been a part of his extended family for decades. He started out as a visitor before coming on board in 2007. If Younger’s not around, Johnson sees to it that things run smoothly.
“We make it happen,” he said. “Everyone has their differences. He does things I don’t like and I do things he doesn’t like, but at the end of the day we all get along.”
Johnson added that it’s important to him that people understand Young’s commitment to the neighborhood.
“Jamie’s a visionary,” Johnson said. “He has ideals and he puts things into perspective. He’s not just sitting back taking. He gives back to the neighborhood.”
Throughout the years, events held at Young Brothers Bar have raised money for causes ranging from supporting cancer patients and the local library, to hosting political events for the Northside’s very own State Rep. Jake Wheatley.
This past fall, Younger opened BJ Events Center, an event space attached to the bar which holds around 50 people. The new space is air-conditioned and fully equipped for band rehearsals, podcasts, yoga classes, bar mitzvahs, family reunions and more. It has a house sound system, various microphones and microphone stands, projectors, tables and chairs and a state-of-the-art lighting system with over a thousand color shades available. Younger would like to host more showers, parties and minority-inclusion development events. He also wants to make the space ground zero for the Northside’s future.
“I want to help reinvest in this neighborhood in the long term,” Younger said. In addition to owning Young Brothers Bar, the 45-year-old serves as the Vice President of the Brightwood Civic Group, the President of the Northside Leadership Conference and volunteers with local sports teams.
“I want to see [Young Brothers Bar] as a catalyst in revitalizing the neighborhood.”