Long Live the King

More venom, no Sugar.

"Slats is in here almost every night," notes King Cobra booker Jason Rothman, "which I guess is a badge of honor." And why not? If one of Capitol Hill's most recognizable rock mascots deems the club worthy of repeated patronage, there must be something to King Cobra—the most recent occupant of the space formerly known as the first-gay-then-not dance club Sugar (which closed after multiple incidents, including a shooting). It's a new incarnation of the former Pine Street Kincora (R.I.P.), sharing the same owners, Che Sabado and Jaimie Garza, and a somewhat similar name, but in new, much larger/sterile digs­­—which make it seem as though the charming, crusty punk and skater watering hole that once was Kincora fell into the game somehow and moved on up a few floors. While the sleek, stark white two-level interior has been artfully defaced with a gigantic, wall-spanning mural of an urban landscape resembling an apocalyptic Emerald City, and LP covers grace the tabletops and wall space upstairs, on quieter nights, when there's no show to draw a larger crowd, it feels a bit cavernous, with not enough of the still-loyal clientele to fill it. But with solid, rock-heavy bookings (though they've kept somewhat true to their promise of varying genres: Iceage Cobra, Shawn Smith, and Cancer Rising have all appeared on the calendar) at least three nights a week, the new incarnation seems to be making a solid run of it so far—no easy feat in what are now the densest rock blocks in town. 

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