4355 N. Cicero Ave. Chicago, IL 60641 R.I.P. June 30, 1996

Editor’s Note: thanks to Darrick, a former patron of Circuits, the following was taken from a flier he found in his closet memorializing Circuits, an 80/90s music club ala Mutiny (still with us),
Club 950, Czar Bar, and Club Dreamerz.

Circuits, “Where Music Matters,” was located on Cicero just one door south of Montrose. It started out as a pretty basic bar that played music that was kind of out-of-place in Chicago’s “Old Irving” Neighborhood. Most bars/clubs in the area were either sports bars, or featured classic rock or hot-mix/disco. The original owners had a love for The Buzzcocks, Roxy Music, The Cure, The Undertones, The Clash, Iggy Pop… you get the picture… It was Northwest Side’s only punk/new wave bar.

Opening its doors in the mid-80s, Circuits had nightly DJs that spun different theme nights during the week while Friday & Saturday nights were a mix of everything… punk, new wave, glam, garage, ska, industrial, etc. Ownership changed hands in the early 90s and shortly after, a portion of the dance floor was built up into a stage where bands like The UK Subs, The Business, Ethyline (formerly Pound), Busker Soundcheck, Needle and many other played on special nights during the month. DJs were still spinning theme nights and weekend nights became even more of a grab-bag of tunes.

Circuits closed its doors in the Summer of ’96. The final hurrah was an all day, all night (into the next morning) Bacchanalian frenzy with impromptu live music, BBQ, seemingly endless free shots, too many DJs trying to spin “one last time,” people snagging souvenirs, drunken hi-jinx, and it was hard to go 10 minutes without someone saying, “This sucks, I’m gonna miss this place.” Circuits is now a Currency Exchange [tear].

  • UK Subs
  • Busker Soundcheck