Free Hot Dogs at a Hell’s Kitchen Dive: Sounds Familiar


When a famous Hell’s Kitchen dive, adorned with cute anthropomorphic oinkers and specializing in free hot dogs, gets its shtick shtuck by a newbie neighbor that swaps swine themes for old-time three-ringed schemes, who comes out fatter? Free food at any taproom rules! (‘Specially near Port Authority, where seemingly every toothless derelict with a love for the devil’s hooch starts their picklin’ in the morning.) Circus, with its peanut-shell-covered floors, begins its shuckin’ and beer-sloshin’ at 10 a.m. so don’t let the shiny-new red-leather U-shaped boothes or fancy touch-screen jukebox fool ya. Upon entering, a whiff of beer, hot dogs, and popcorn’s the first thing that’ll hit your schnoz. It’s a new bar trying to do the old-bar thang—in allegiance to its crusty mentor, Rudy’s. In less capable hands this could be a nosedive into cheesy, but where originality lacks, great prices compensate: $3 vodka drinks from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and $3 domestic beers and $4 micros (recommend: Blue Moon Belgian White) all the time. Adding to the perks are classic Ringling Bros. pictures, weird—seemingly stolen from a toddler’s room—clown mobiles, and a friendly staff with actual bartending skills beyond just “the pour.” Try Meghan’s Raspberry Gimlet ($6) or the dessert-like Key Lime Pie ($6)—both are funambulating. Give ’em 10 years and time to add to that creepy clown collection; they may just hit dive-bar cultdom.