In the spacious catacombs of Urban Kitchen, a new venue, The Urban Lounge, is already making noise. – Monterey County Weekly

Local artists expected on stage at The Urban Lounge on Thursdays include The Mallory Brothers, Dan Frechette, Reija Massey, Chuck Brewer, Eddie Gutierrez and more.
Local artists expected on stage at The Urban Lounge on Thursdays include The Mallory Brothers, Dan Frechette, Reija Massey, Chuck Brewer, Eddie Gutierrez and more.
The location itself is a promise of success. The gigantic property on Munras Avenue that houses Urban Kitchen restaurant and Red Lion Hotel is not only a perfect stop between Monterey and Carmel, but due to its secluded position not far from Del Monte Shopping Center, it can offer a lot in terms of parking. It will certainly need it for bands coming with equipment, and fans coming to party.
“It’s our fifth night,” say Brad Mallory and Jacqueline Kabat, who will run this operation together. She does marketing; he will be executing whatever needs to be executed, including bartending, for now.
Until 2019, the venue was labeled The Safari Club, known for its bingo room vibe and karaoke nights. The Urban Lounge will continue both traditions. While the sound system is new, the atmosphere remains very retro, with dim red lights, a small stage and a corner couch for friends of the band.
It’s after 6:30pm on Saturday and the venue is still rather empty except, fittingly, for the sounds of Led Zeppelin. Based on the surroundings, it could easily be 1969. A young local metal and rock band – Reija & The Ironheads – sets up, and a cameraman is taking stills before the concert.
Hired for this project by brothers Rene and Rob Diaz, Mallory and Kabat are known in the community as founders of a music community called Tribe in the Sky. Now, it seems, the community has found its headquarters – each Thursday The Urban Lounge will hold a free Tribe in the Sky jam night, with happy hour 7-8pm. (Right now, the venue is open only Thursdays to Saturdays, but the plan is to eventually expand to Wednesday and Sundays.)
Saturdays are reserved for karaoke and dancing is expected too – including a salsa night as soon as March 11. The venue is ready to offer a full dinner-plus-performance experience (Monterey Comedy Improv will be there Saturday, March 12 – $49 for dinner and the show, or attend the show only for $22), one can order food both from the bar menu and the full menu of Urban Kitchen (until 9pm). There’s a working fireplace, a couple of pool tables, and the walls are adorned with art by Big Sur artist Sofanya White.
Opening night was big, Kabat and Mallory say, hoping that the worst of Covid is over and the community will gather once again.
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