L.A. is one of the hippest places in the country. It’s the origin of so many scenes, the birthplace of cultural movements, and the breeding ground of new, progressive identities.
Every kind of entertainment has passed through the streets of Hollywood or Sunset Boulevard and found a place to roost in one of the many clubs and locales that the Los Angeles people know and love.
Famous movie scenes have gone up and down the street, in and out of its venues, and the very model for what makes a nightclub can be found between local businesses and deli restaurants.
The Viper Room is one of those hotspots of calm.
Its current name holds a uniquely dark history, as dark as the tar-black exterior, which stands on the same spot as a long-running history of music clubs and whiskey bars that has existed since the 20s.
Over its nearly 100-year history, it’s been everything from a grocery store to the decadent last stand of various musical and stage stars who went there for a party that lasted the rest of their lives.
10 /10 From Grocer To Greaser
The original spot opened in 1921, during the rush of L.A. developments that turned the oil drilling roadside spot into an excellent sprawling cityscape. But groceries weren’t the biggest draw to its location.
Sunset Boulevard became a more happening spot in the peak jazz years, and the site changed hands into the Cotton Club, no relation to the same-named club in Harlem.
Over the years, the lounge turned into a bar but always kept a place for music, entertaining all the newest trends like rock, punk, and heavy metal throughout the decades.
9 /10 Real Gangster Stuff
Part of the room’s past lies in the lustful hands of Micky Cohen, a famed west coast gangster who owned and operated it as a strip club.
He held and used it as three-strip clubs with different names, alternating branding each time it got shuttered or burnt down, anything to keep the building running and his empire alive.
After he was caught evading taxes, the property was divested and turned into The Melody Room before rock and roll took over.