Introducing The Black Sheep

By Tracy Jacks

The latest arrival to the downtown Rock Island’s entertainment scene comes complete with all the bells and whistles, along with some beeps, bloops, plinks, plonks, and heroes on the half-shell.

The Black Sheep is an arcade bar. It also mixing the atmosphere of a friendly neighborhood sports bar with, the classic fun of retro video games and pinball. It’s the brainchild of Shawn Cirlos, a fifteen-year veteran of the Quad Cities entertainment industry. Cirlos, who also owns Spartans Pub in Davenport, is excited to bring his vision to Rock Island.

“I’ve always loved downtown Rock Island,” he explains. “The atmosphere, the vibes, the people, the events. Besides stocking a wide selection of craft and import beers, The Black Sheep has a host of vintage pinball and video games that recall the glory days of 80’s arcades. Patrons can sip a cold one while challenging themselves with Ms. Pac-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or a multi-cade machine that plays over a dozen classic games from yesteryear.

In opening The Black Sheep, Cirlos has transformed the corner of 2nd Avenue and 20th Street with a brand new facade, patio, and expansive windows that allow patrons to have a wide view of happenings on the street. “Remodels and renovations have always been a passion of mine,” says Cirlos. “I’ve always been really good at renovations and ideas to change the look of a property completely.” To bring The Black Sheep to life, Cirlos had to gut the interior of the building and give it an all new modern personality.With tons of happenings on their calendar throughout the summer and upcoming festival season, does Cirlos still think he’s the “black sheep.”

“The name fits perfectly,” he says with a smile. “I knew we’d be 100% different than everyone else around.”

The Black Sheep is open Monday through Saturday from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. and on Sundays open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at 1730 2nd Ave.

Find The Black Sheep on Facebook