Monday, April 28, 2008

The Return of Lizard Lounge (MetroWeekly)

Two years after calling it quits, Mark Lee brings Lizard Lounge back to Sundays

Mark Lee knows how to make an impression.

There was the success of his first Sunday night party in Adams Morgan during the late 1980s. Then his Atlas parties became an indispensable part of any holiday weekend.

Then there was Lizard Lounge, the Sunday night mainstay that charted out new gay territory on 14th Street -- making the neighborhood a cool spot years before the rise of condos and specialty stores. Lizard's growth and popularity led to a couple of venue changes, finally landing downtown on Connecticut Avenue.

At the same time, Lee was making just as big a political impression as an impassioned promoter and defender of nightlife businesses, advocating against undue regulation and overly burdensome operating agreements thrust upon bars and clubs by small neighborhood groups.
But his battle against the D.C. smoking ban gained him his greatest prominence -- some would say notoriety -- as a nightlife advocate. And when that battle was lost as the city passed and implemented the ban on smoking in bars and clubs, Lee announced that Lizard Lounge would be no more.

Two years later, the nightlife landscape has seen significant change -- a number of new ventures have opened, while others have closed their doors for good.

Time, it would seem, for the return of the Lizard Lounge.

Just as it did in the past, Lizard Lounge will take its perch on Sunday nights -- this time at Lima, an already popular nightclub located at 14th and K Streets downtown -- beginning with a re-opening party on May 4.

Click image to read the entire 24 April 2008 Metro Weekly feature / interview by Sean Bugg. Photography by Todd Franson.

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