Circus Liquor – A North Hollywood Icon

Do you remember seeing the iconic crazy clown sign outside that liquor shop in Clueless? Or maybe you’re traveling through North Hollywood and want to see all the bizarre that the area has to offer.

Head on over to Circus Liquor to get your fix of weird!

What is Circus Liquor?

circus liquor

Circus Liquor is a liquor shop in North Hollywood. It’s famous for its 32-foot “evil clown” who’s been around for six decades.

The clown has X’s for eyes and stands on the corner of the store holding a drum with “Circus Liquor” written on it. He has a bright blue polka dot outfit and lights up neon at night.

Circus Liquor has 1,000 kinds of spirits, 750 kinds of beer, and a large selection of kegs. In addition, they sell hats, shirts, and souvenirs of their evil clown.

Where is Circus Liquor?

Circus Liquor is located at 5600 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601.

When did Circus Liquor open?

Circus Liquor opened in the 1960s.

What movies has Circus Liquor been in?


circus liquor - clueless

Clueless is a coming-of-age film from 1995 with a cult following. It’s loosely based on the 1815 novel Emma written by Jane Austen.

The movie revolves around Cher Horowitz, a popular, rich, beautiful high schooler who becomes friends with a new girl, Tai Frasier, and wants to give her a makeover. Living in Beverly Hills, Cher uses her superficial exterior to hide her soft, intellectual side that ultimately saves her.

Circus Liquor appears after Cher avoids Elton’s advances. She gets mugged and ditched- and ruins her dress on top of it all- while at Circus Liquor.

Alpha Dog

Alpha Dog is a crime drama from 2006. It’s based on the true 2000 kidnapping and murder of Nicholas Markowitz.

In the movie, a teenage drug dealer named Johnny Truelove, along with his friends, kidnap the naive younger brother of a junky who owes them drug money. However, one of Johnny’s friends ends up becoming friends with the brother. But we won’t spoil the rest!

When Johnny stops at Circus Liquor, a stash of dope is dropped into the boot of his car.


Spun is inspired by a screenplay written by Creighton Vero and William De Los Santos that traces three days that De Los Santos experienced in Eugene, Oregon exploring its drug subculture.

Jonas Akerlund made his name known after Spun as a feature film director after being famous for music videos. The film is unique for its skillful blend of drama and dark comedy. The title references a slang word that means going many days with no sleep after binging on meth.

The liquor store visited by The Cook is called Circus Liquor in Spun, but it’s not the famous spot with the clown. The location isn’t a Circus Liquor anymore.

Tips for visiting

circus liquor interior

  • Visit during the day time! The area around Circus Liquor is not the best area to be around at night. There was even a robbery at gunpoint at in 2017.

  • Take advantage of their specials! Sometimes you can get three wines for $10. Not bad! 

  • They’ll de-cork the wine for you if you ask!

  • Ask someone to take a picture of you in front of the clown! It’s much better than a selfie.

  • Check out the walk-in fridge! You’ll be able to find a plethora of craft beers, and maybe even some you haven’t seen before. It’s known as the Beer Cave.

  • Parking is easy! The lot is big.

  • If you’re on the hunt for something specific, check here! They carry pretty obscure stuff along with the basics, so if you’re looking for that ever-elusive wine or beer that you just can’t seem to find anywhere, they may have it.

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