CONSIDER THE TYPICAL shotgun-style bar: It’s like lining up in front of a firing squad. Sit down. Face forward. Get shots. Fall down. Next victim, please. But drinking at a round bar is different. First, let us define our terms. By "round bar", we mean a raised platform that forms a complete loop. Bartenders work in the center. Drinkers moisten their mouths on the outside. We do not mean curved or semicircular. The ends must meet. The meeting is the thing. That’s what distinguishes a round bar, what makes it akin to gathering before a communal fire -- albeit one lit by liquid libations. (Not literally. That would almost certainly violate some kind of safety code.) Partaking of adult beverages at a round bar makes you part of a tribal circle, where conversation flows easily. Or, it makes you a knight at the round table. Whichever. Either way, you’re never alone. And that’s why we like them. Especially these six.

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THE BAR: PJ Carney’s (West Side), New York
THE SCENE: A vaguely Irish watering hole with a mix of regulars, tourists, and solo business types who always seem happy and chatty. It probably also helps that even after two a.m. you can still get a drink and a burger. (212) 664-0056

THE BAR: Round Robin Bar, Washington, D.C.
THE SCENE: Located just off the grand lobby of the Willard InterContinental Washington hotel, the Round Robin is small and elegant, and the circular mahogany bar may be the prettiest round bar in the country. Election nights here are much like Super Bowl Sunday in a sports bar. (202) 628-9100

THE BAR: Touch Restaurant and Lounge, Miami
THE SCENE: It’s like a South Beach dance club but without the attitude and the dance floor. The round bar in this swanky eatery sits surrounded by dining tables and a performance stage. The best touch -- pardon the pun -- is the booze shelves built into petrified palm trees. (305) 532-8003

THE BAR: Artis’ Lounge, Chicago
THE SCENE: A laid-back blues and soul-music club on Chicago’s South Side, with the main attraction offstage being the round bar in the center of the space. The crowd is casual and local. The drinks are strong. The music is excellent. And the space is anti-swanky. (773) 734-0491

THE BAR: Carousel Piano Bar and Lounge, New Orleans

THE SCENE: Bars like this one used to exist all over the country, and most went by the name Merry-Go-Round because they were fashioned from dismantled carousel rides. This surviving example is in the Monteleone Hotel. And, yes, it revolves. A full rotation takes 15 minutes. Try to wait longer to finish your drink. (504) 523-3341

THE BAR: Broadway Bar, L.A.
THE SCENE: Lindsay Lohan? No. The ghost of Cary Grant and more than a few living Angelenos? You bet. Located in a downtown Gothic revival building adjoining the Orpheum Theatre, the space, dominated by the 50-foot-wide circular bar and its art-deco-inspired, flower-print bar stools, screams Old Hollywood. (213) 614-9909

|Melons | Charlie Brown’s melon head Polka dots |The moon |The "O" in Oprah| Philadelphian Ben Franklin’s spectacles|Charles Barkley’s nickname when he played in Philadelphia -- "the round mound of rebound" | The wheel |Wheels of cheese |Cheese balls |Cue balls | Boxing rings (the "squared circle") | Santa’s belly | A bowl full of jelly