The end is nigh. Sometime in February 2006, The Lounge (1509 Marion Street) will close for good. "Honey, our lease is up, and that's it," says Mara Leone, who runs the popular hipster bar in the space originally taken on by her mother, Jan Leone. A decade ago, Jan Leone opened an eponymous restaurant in the old Victorian mansion off Colfax Avenue; Mara eventually turned the front area into the Lounge and kept it going even after the restaurant closed.
Rumors are already circulating about the future of the spot -- one involves salsa (dancing, not pico de gallo) -- but nothing has been announced yet. "Our landlord won't tell us anything," Mara says, "so I'll be just as surprised as everyone else." Stop by to bid a fond farewell in person, or just call 303-863-8433 to say you love the Lounge. There's nothing sweeter than a bartender who calls you "honey" and means it.
The action's picking up at Bender's 13th Avenue Tavern (314 East 13th Avenue), which is now double-booking its Thursday nights with Night of the Living Shred and Rock Star Karaoke. The two events appear to be residing peacefully together, with off-key singing in one room and skateboarding DJs in another. Night of the Living Shred, which premiered a couple of weeks ago, blends Thrasher magazine culture with vinyl records played at deafening volumes. Organized by sponsored skater Charlie Morrison and DJ Wesley Wayne, it's a sure draw for kids with cool haircuts. "We're just trying to make the night the rockingest night ever," says Wayne. For Tony awk wannabes, it's like a really good X Games after-party. The night features product giveaways from prominent skate shops and companies, iconic 1980s skate videos projected to life-sized proportions, and DJs who cover all the bases of punk/rock/metal/rap/whatever. In fact, the only thing that's missing is a ramp.
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What's more painful than the worst skateboard spill? Listening to people abuse their voices at Rock Star Karaoke -- or, as host Jermaine Smith calls it, "Karaoke Debauchery." The evening has been going for about a year now, and it's as popular as ever. "It started off as just another niche in the scene, and a lot of hipsters came to it," says Smith, who brought his MC skills all the way from Wichita. "Now it's more of a LoDo crowd." Whatever side of the tracks people are coming from, they fill the room to near capacity every week. While Smith will deny only a few karaoke requests, there's one absolute no-no: "Who Let the Dogs Out?" And please, remember that it's never acceptable to call it "kuh-row-key." For more fun facts on either event, go to www.benderstavern.com or call 303-861-7070.
Finally, there's still time to bounce on in to Bounce Lounge, the ultimate jam session hosted by Count D and Theo Smith (aka Lord of Word) at the Walnut Room, 3131 Walnut Street, starting 9 p.m. Friday, December 23. (Our apologies for the wrong date in last week's Club Scout.) Admission is $10; for more information, go to www.jerseybounce.com or call 303-292-1700.