Photo by JJ Wandler
The Victory Lounge
433 Eastlake Avenue East
Barkeep: Lawrence Lefsky
Pick Your Poison: The Squirt Shot
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 sketch, 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 it did with the Lobo). Besides, it?s still the same owners (including Funhouse co-owner Bobby Kuckleburg) and many of the same employees, including Lawrence Lefsky, a handsome smart ass from New Jersey. They also have an insanely affordable ?Power Hour? from 10-11 pm, when any drink imaginable is 50% 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?
Shots of Jager and cans of Pabst.
Hilarious! I hope you know I wouldn't be stupid enough to ask you this sort of question if I wasn't interviewing you with a specific purpose.
The Squirt shot is pretty good. A lot of our shots were born out of the Funhouse.
I don?t do shots.
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.
You?ll love it.
[Sipping gingerly, like the wuss that I am]. Not bad.
Can I have a vodka soda, please?
[Defeated] Alright. But we?re listening to this.
What is it? Not KISS, please.
The best that 1979 had to offer: Gary Numan.