Viper Room Nightclub May Be Imperiled As Developer Buys Its WeHo Property


A parcel of Sunset Strip land that includes the famed Viper Room nightclub has been purchased by an Arizona developer, who claims they haven’t decided yet what to do with the property.

The sale of the land, which stretches over 38,000 square feet from San Vicente Boulevard to Larrabee Street in West Hollywood, CA., closed on June 15 for a reported $80 million. In addition to the Viper Room, the parcel includes the Aahs costume store, Bar Code barber shop, the Liquor Market and Ta-Ke Sushi and Amarone restaurants.

West Hollywood is an independent city between Hollywood and Beverly Hills. It is home to several famed nightclubs, including the Roxy, the Troubadour, and the Whisky a Go Go.

The Viper Room land parcel buyer is 8850 Sunset, a limited liability company based in Scottsdale, Ariz.  A company spokesperson said the firm hasn’t yet decided what to do with the property.

However,  West Hollywood has been a hive of new construction over the last few years, one that has seen such landmarks as the House of Blues fall to the wreckers ball.

The Viper Room is best known as the location where actor River Phoenix died of a drug overdose on the sidewalk outside the building, but its origins date back to the days when it was called the Melody Room, a hangout for mobsters Mickey Cohen and Bugsy Siegel. The venue morphed into a club called the Central in the 1970s and 1980s, then was purchased by actor Johnny Depp and others and turned into the Viper Room in 1993.

The opening night of the venue saw Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers perform, allegedly a special request from Depp, who later sold his piece of the bar. The club has since become a showcase for a mix of major acts and relative unknowns, and still attracts a strong show business crowd when a particularly buzzy evening is on tap.

The club has also been a frequent film/TV location, appearing in the 1983 film Valley Girl, in Oliver Stone’s The Doors, and in the 2003 Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.


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