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Legendary Circle Bar, Santa Monica

PRUNE: Circle Bar has existed for 70 years. How has it changed over time?

HOWARD ALPERT: Established in 1949, Circle bar has been in its current location since either the late 60s or early 70s. We took it over 1999. When I say we I had a partner with me and we ended up taking it from a pool hall motorcycle hang out, local drug dealing joint to more of a hipper, diverse neighborhood location with good mixed drinks, atmosphere, lighting and better mix of music. The first thing we did was get rid of the pool table because we heard in the past there were a lot of fights over the pool table and people using the sticks as weapons. However it was an iconic place with a lot of local celebrities came in. Jim Morrison comes to mind right away and the Doors.

PRUNE: On the contrary, what elements of the original Circle Bar have stayed the same?

HOWARD: The layout, the bar, the name and the sign. The sign is actually a landmark now. So even if we wanted to take it down we can’t.

PRUNE: What makes Circle Bar unique?

HOWARD: Circle Bar incorporates a lot of the neighborhood of South Santa Monica, Venice. It’s history and dancing.

PRUNE: DJ’s and dancing are just some of what attracts Circle Bar crowds. What can people expect during a night out?

HOWARD: Good drinks. Cross section of the area, neighborhood people and diversity

PRUNE: If you could invite any celebrity, dead or alive, to have a drink at Circle Bar with you, who would you choose and why?

HOWARD: The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Marly because they are iconic musicians who have really affected our whole world’s way of thinking, at least in my generation, and still have very strong influences.

PRUNE: What events should everyone keep on their radar for the remainder of summer?

HOWARD: We’re going to be having different theme nights. Ranging from 80’s night, 90’s music, dance nights like country night for our local country fans, battle of the DJ, Labor Day, and Halloween is always fun. We also have happy hour during the week from 9 in the evening til 11 in the evening.

PRUNE: You mentioned the new lighting. Why is lighting so important to you?

HOWARD: We put a lot of lighting in there so that we can do different types of lighting.

We have different LEDs working in different colors now. So some nights I might do a red thing some cool, little sexy. The big thing that most important thing I've always thought was the music and the lighting are very important to get the mood going great.

Photoshoot with celebrity Nicole Williams @justtnic, Photographer: Christopher Patey

PRUNE: Who are some of the celebrities that visited Circle Bar over the years?

HOWARD: We've had a lot of celebrities coming to the bar. We have celebrities come in but we don't broadcast it or go to TMZ or anything close so they can come in and have the privacy of course. People from Cuba Gooding to Mr. Big Daryl, Hannah Medina. Oh, yeah, Tony Soprano. Owen Wilson. You know, but it's definitely a place that everyone wants to come to just to come together for the same reason and that's just to chill

PRUNE: Where can we find Circle Bar on social media




EIC: Michael St. Michael @michaelstmichael

Entertainment Editor: Dylan Rubinstein @thedylanjader

ED x Interviewer: Andrea Allison @_andrea_allison

Interviewee x Owner: Howard Alpert @circlebarSM





EST. 2016


SINCE 2018



SINCE 2016