Fountain Square music venue Pioneer closes

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David Lindquist, [email protected]

A music venue known for hosting popular dance parties in the heart of Fountain Square has closed.

Pioneer, 1110 Shelby St., ceased operations, according to Andy Skinner, co-founder of the monthly “Spellbound” dance event at the venue.

Pioneer owner Bryce Caldwell could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rusty Redenbacher addresses a Pioneer audience during the 2018 edition of Tonic Ball. (Photo: Melodie Yvonne Ramey/For IndyStar)

Caldwell opened Pioneer — site of live performances during annual events Tonic Ball and the Chreece hip-hop festival — adjacent to Fountain Square Plaza in 2015.

Initially a music venue, bar and restaurant that served northeastern Italian and Alpine food, Pioneer dropped the restaurant segment of its business plan in June 2018.

Skinner said the 3-year anniversary edition of the Spellbound party, scheduled Dec. 28, will shift to White Rabbit Cabaret, 1116 Prospect St.

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“Nothing but great memories at Pioneer,” Skinner said. “All praises to White Rabbit Cabaret for being nimble and accommodating on short notice.”

Low Pone, a monthly party that combines drag performances and live music, is seeking a new home after Pioneer’s exit, Low Pone founder Carrie Keel said.

In November, Pioneer hosted the Diana Ross stage of Tonic Ball, the fundraiser for Second Helpings that presents Indiana musicians paying tribute to iconic acts.

Before opening as Pioneer, the 8,000-square-foot building was home to Deano’s Vino at the convergence of Shelby and Prospect streets and Virginia Avenue.

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Contact IndyStar reporter David Lindquist at 317-444-6404 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @317Lindquist.

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