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The Viper Room Will Be Torn Down And Remodeled As Part Of A 12-Story High Rise

An all-black building with a black awning and the words "The Viper Room" on a sign over the door. A tan building is next door, and cars are parked along the curb. The sidewalk is lined with alternating trees and street lamps with colorful banners hanging from them.
The music venue The Viper Room is seen in April of 2020, when it was closed due to coronavirus measures.
(Rich Fury
Getty Images)
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It’s curtains for the Viper Room as you know it.

The iconic music venue on the Sunset Strip hosted bands such as Hole, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tenacious D and more. The cave-like club was the toast of the ’90s rock scene when it was co-owned by actor Johnny Depp. The club also became notorious in 1993 when actor River Phoenix died from an overdose on the sidewalk outside the venue.

Now, come next year, the building and surrounding storefronts are slated to be torn down and replaced with a mixed-use high rise.

According to a statement sent by Silver Creek Development, which bought the property four years ago, the 12-story building will include a hotel, restaurants and condos. And the Viper Room? That'll reopen with a new design on the ground level.

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While the ’90s may feel like they weren't that long ago, we should still consider the historical significance of the Viper Room and sites from the same era, according to Adrian Scott Fine of the Los Angeles Conservancy.

"They're not even talking about these places, or even thinking about them as being potentially historic because they do see them as being so new,” Fine said. “So we need to change that because we're going to lose a lot of places before we even start understanding how they fit into a larger context."

Because the soon-to-be-demolished Viper Room lacks architectural significance, it will be “inherently more difficult to make the case” to protect the building, Fine said

Tommy Black, general manager of the Viper Room, says he's excited that the venue will get "a new lease on life" and become "bigger and better."

Construction is set to begin in 2023.

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