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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Circle, demolished Art Deco restaurant

2017 UPDATE, scroll to the bottom:

Lily Matini just shared the news with me today, about the loss of the iconic restaurant in Portsmouth Virginia. I have many fond memories of dining at the circle, the historic Art Deco piano bar in Portsmouth Virginia. 

I had many opportunities to visit the circle while stationed The USS Theodore Roosevelt, when it was in the Portsmouth shipyard for maintenance. The circle was only a short drive from the shipyards and a fun place to visit for dinner.

Restaurant was well known for its iconic mural of Hollywood stars above the bar. In the center of the circle sat a baby grand piano on a rotating platform. Each night at the circle, diners would  be entertained with live piano music. The music was elegant but the food was simple, the menu consisted of fried chicken, seafood and soul food. Another wonderful thing about the circle, was the eclectic mix of clientele. Some patrons were dressed in their best, with suits, ties, dresses and pearls. This was in contrast to others who would show up in sweatpants and jeans, to cruise the buffet line.

It's hard to believe that the circle was demolished without much press, many of us are just finding out now. How sad to see such a fine example of Art Deco architecture, destroyed to make way for development.  I wonder if they were able to save the Al Hirschfeld style mural of Hollywood stars..

UPDATE 2017:
The sign has been saved and the mural was recreated. They are now on High Street in Portsmouth, on display.

1 comment:

  1. https://www.facebook.com/Support-Portsmouth-Public-Art-1408830416001510/