Victory Lounge Ain't Lobo, and That's All Right

Clean doesn't mean bad.

Bar: The Victory Lounge, 433 Eastlake Ave. E., 382-4467. Barkeep: Lawrence Lefsky Pick your poison: The Squirt Shot Bar notes: The Victory Lounge used to be the Lobo Inn, a dismal dive with a sticky floor, shady characters, and punk-rock charm for miles. As a staunch defender of sketchy, skuzzy bars with no patience for designer cocktails (or the sort of customer base that drinks them), I loved the Lobo and saw my share of loud, sloppy rock shows there. Whenever someone described the space's new incarnation to me, it was usually something along the lines of, "It sucks, it's not the Lobo, and there are flat-screen TVs." Now that I've visited Victory myself, I only agree with the latter two assessments. Just because it's cleaned up doesn't make it sterile, and while I'll take a Spits show over a Sonics game any time, that doesn't exactly pay the bills when your rent skyrockets, as the Lobo's did. Besides, it's still the same owners (including Funhouse co-owner Bobby Kuckleburg) and many of the same employees, including Lawrence Lefsky, a handsome smartass from New Jersey. They also have an insanely affordable "Power Hour" from 10 to 11 p.m., when any drink imaginable is 50 percent off. How long have you been here? We've been open [as the Victory] since June. I worked at the Lobo for two years before that. Didn't you used to work at the Storeroom, too? Yes, for about a year. So, what do you like to make? The Squirt Shot is pretty good. A lot of our shots were born out of the Funhouse. I don't do shots. What?? I know, most people don't understand that about me. Or the fact that I don't like the band KISS. Well, here, let me make you a Squirt Shot. Fine. What's in it? Fresh grapefruit juice, Ruby Red vodka, a splash of grenadine, and Red Bull. Jesus. You'll love it. [Sipping gingerly] Not bad. Really? Can I have a vodka soda, please? [Defeated] All right. But we're listening to this. What is it? Not KISS, please. The best that 1979 had to offer: Gary Numan.

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