By the time we arrived at the Squared Circle (2418 N. Ashland Ave., Lincoln Park, 773-904-8170) to watch the WWE's WrestleMania 30 on Sunday night, the place was already slammed—barely enough room to breathe, let alone maneuver to a good vantage point to watch wrestling's flagship event. Every seat was full. Fans were turned away at the door.
The Squared Circle has fashioned itself as the home of WWE lovers in Chicago—a surprisingly big group, say the bar's staff (they host sizeable crowds for WWE Raw on Monday nights and charter buses to Berwyn to watch professional independent wrestling matches, too.) Plus, it helps that owner Lisa Marie Varon is a former pro wrestler herself. And watching WrestleMania here, we were told by fans, is like "watching the Super Bowl at a football bar." Unsurprisingly, the crowd was into it. Like, Blackhawks-in-the-Stanley-Cup-levels into it. And it was a mixed group, too, with young and old, male and female.
While watching, there were big brick-oven pizzas and stuffed burgers to eat, along with a small selection of craft brews, including event sponsor TallGrass Brewing's 8-Bit on tap.
Here's what you missed if you couldn't make it inside.