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Circle A

Eudemon climbed the couple of stairs at the entrance and opened the door. It sits right where Weil Street hits Chambers, next to the abandoned railroad. Circle A is an old small neighborhood bar with a little parking lot and a bike rack. Just as Eudemon expected, it was a small place with a few tables and a TV, always on, over the far end of the bar and another TV near one of the tables. A colorful jukebox sits on the other wall. Music was playing and a few folks sat around in conversation. “Hey, wait a second there is nothing on those TVs but static,” thought Eudemon. It seems the owners keep the sets tuned to the background radiation from the big bang. They bathe the room in a wavering almost blue light. Things may not always be what they seem. Take the sign outside, for instance. Eudemon assumed it was the sign of anarchy, and it is, but he learned the flip side; a circle with an “A” is the insignia of the 5th Army. That turns out to be a relational thing. And the place has an open feel about happening things; a Yin, Yang attitude. The owner, Warrick, tells Eudemon that he has no philosophy to push:, “I don’t stand for anything that I will admit to.” But it is clear the longer Eudemon sits there that the key to this place is its owners and their love of music. Eudemon pulls up a chair to the bar and greats “J,” as she suggested he call her. He orders a beer and a “Jiggle Pop,” a snack that’s as much fun to watch as eat. Green and orange wagon wheels with matching basketball shoes hang from the ceiling and function as chandeliers. This is a live-work space, like so many of the buildings here were intended. Warrick pops into their kitchen to grab a bite or fix some coffee. Hasil completes the team and is named after Hasil Atkins, a West Virginia Rockabilly musician. Hasil is love and security rolled into one, the family dog. J hails from Sheboygan while Warrick is from Virginia. Eudemon asks J what type of music is playing. “It’s fado,” she says, and she explains it is from Portugal where she lived and worked for a while. It is a folk music that arose from the Portuguese colony of Capo Verde, an island off the west coast of Africa. Eudemon likes it. J moves over to the DJ set and puts on “Cambodia Rocks,” a group that performs what sounds like standard rock and roll with a Southeast Asian slant. And so it goes, as this is a DJ dedicated bar with different music and different guest DJ’s every night. The music reigns, and the music changes by the hour and by the evening. A guy with a cowboy hat comes in and sits at the bar. Warrick engages him in conversation. Eudemon asks Warrick how long have they been running the place. He said, “We closed the deal in 2000. I needed a zoning variance and I wrote the city that the place was too small for raising corn or dairy cattle.” “A likely story,” thinks Eudemon. Warrick tells Eudemon a guy named “Rhiny” used to own the place in the ’60s. Rhiny tells Warrick that the story goes that during the prohibition the owner used to have whiskey upstairs in his home and he had installed a tube to the first floor to secretly dispense the contraband. “Probably for medicinal use only,” thinks Eudemon, “I guess anarchy has been around for quite awhile.” It is near ten and the DJ of the evening has arrived. Riverwest rocks.