Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge Houston, Guide & Review
Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge is an authentic Sports Bar. The lounge decor looks like it dubs as an antique toy shop and there is a small stage for live music. If you like music with personality this is a great place to enjoy it. The Continental Club’s sister spot Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge brings a little different action to Mid-Main. Funky and eclectic with bright lights and a bit of a vintage circus, Big Top boasts “no cover ever” and a clever motto of “no phone-no pool-no pets.” You’ll discover fun new bands of many stripes and get to play foosball or shuffleboard with your buds if you so desire.
Big Top is a bit more low-key than Continental Club, with finishings that date back decades to when this spot was a toy store. The entire interior is bathed in red light for a slightly eerie, dream-like vibe. This dive bar is where an eclectic, tattoo-friendly crowd heads to chill out after spending some time next door at its more staid sibling Continental Club. Sometimes there’s local live music but mostly this is a Fellini-esque circus-themed lounge where you can relax with friends. Some of the interiors date all the way back to when the space was a toy store in the 1930s and ’40s, alongside vintage posters, folk art, and strange odds and ends, all bathed in eerie red light. A great place to relax and unwind with a great mix of cool people.
Forget happy hour: Big Top doesn’t open until 8 p.m. Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge features creative cocktails, a fun atmosphere, cheap drinks that are diverse, live music, craft beer, stylish interior, free WI-FI, chic decor, friendly bartenders, great little vintage bar with good music and DJ’s regularly. There is a dance floor inside and outside, and seating in both areas as well. The outdoor patio is huge, and we spent most of the night out there. Really great decor. Very cobbled-together-circus-esque if that makes any sense. Scattered around the bar, they have movie theater seats in rows, but also normal chairs. The wall behind the bar is also really cute – basically a display of old-fashioned toys.