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Circus Bar

With a name like Circus Bar, you'd expect all sorts of shenanigans — wild animals sipping Jäger, drunken jugglers chucking daggers across the room, a trapeze, maybe. What you get is Barnum & Bailey-inspired randomness. And at times it is a bit creepy — but it starts to makes sense as your inebriation rises beyond the legal drinking limit. Painted clowns smile broadly — eternally jolly in their motionless state, not unlike the end bay that houses Circus Bar. It's a (painted) red-topped shop decorated with a bright "open" sign that appears to float in a sea of nondescript factory-, warehouse-, and service station-type buildings in the murk of the post happy-hour twilight. Circus Bar, a sports bar-slash-pool hall, is actually less circus than it is watering hole. Fresh off long shifts, the work-weary patrons sit back with a cold one firmly in hand. They watch ESPN and make small talk with the pleasant plaid-skirted bartenders. As in any good neighborhood dive, the walls are lined with decorative shit. But instead of Danny Marino No. 13 jerseys, there are tiger and elephant portraits, hand-drawn caricatures, and one insanely creepy stained glass clown that carries himself like a psychotic puppet (and watches you everywhere you go). The jukebox tunes go down well with bourbon and Budweiser. There's free pool on Sundays and Texas Hold 'Em on Mondays and Thursdays. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, get bucket specials from 7 to 10 p.m. There is one unfortunate tease though — despite Newcastle coasters, you won't find the lovely brown ale on draft. Bummer.


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