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Vintage sign depicting a colorful clown that advertises for the Circus Room bar, which is located along historic Route 66 in the city of Amarillo, Texas.

Circus Room

Route 66, Amarillo, Texas

The Circus Room is located along historic Route 66 in the panhandle city of Amarillo, Texas. According to Amarillo’s tourism website the Circus Room is one of the oldest continuously operating bars along Amarillo’s section of Route 66. A January 1962 notice in the local newspaper state that Jack Ware Kaboth and Bruce Dale Andrews, owners of the Circus Room, received a liquor license for the establishment. Soon after the Circus Room was advertising for help to open the new place: “THE ALL new Circus Room, 2309 West 6th now taking applications for floor girls. No previous lounge experience necessary but must be attractive.” In March 1964 the partnership of Kaboth and Andrews was dissolved, with Andrews continuing to own and operate the business as sole proprietor.

In 1970 the Circus Room was the site of an unusual accident. Jack Posey, an employee, arrived to help open the bar for the day. He pulled up along the southeast corner of the building. Not expecting to stay long he left the motor of his pickup truck running. “Vibrations from the idling engine pulled the transmission into reverse gear and the truck began a long, circular, driverless trip that ended when the truck backed into the building and caused a 6-by-4-foot hole in the west wall. The truck traveled from next to the building on the southeast corner to the middle of the west wall. James Westbrook of 907 Manhattan spotted the driverless truck as it moved across the parking lot behind the lounge and, after unsuccessfully trying to stop the vehicle, dashed to the door to call for help. Concrete blocks from the wall came flying across the lounge before he could alert Posey.” (The Amarillo Globe-Times. January 23, 1970.)

A 1965 advertisement for the Circus Room proclaimed that “This is it. Lions. Acrobats. Elephants. Squirrels & Nuts.” Other 1960s advertisements highlighted live entertainment, or free popcorn, or a recently remodeled dance floor. In 1970 the Circus Room announced itself as “Amarillo’s Most Distinctive Lounge” while in 1975 it was “Clowns, Tigers, Pussy Cats & Mixed Drinks.” Today, over 57 years after it first opened, the Circus Room continues to serve up drinks and entertainment for its faithful clientele.