On the Sunset Strip site of a club formerly known at various times as Filthy McNasty’s or The Central, this rock, punk, metal and indie music club and dive bar was originally opened by actor Johnny Depp in 1993. Later that same year, it achieved a sad brand of fame when actor (and Depp’s friend) River Phoenix died of a drug overdose just outside its doors.
Depp relinquished his partnership in the club in 2004, and today it’s partially owned by Harry Morton, founder of Southern California’s Pink Taco chain of Mexican restaurants and the son of Hard Rock Café founder Peter Morton.
Not as much of a star attraction now as it was in the 1990s, the Viper Room is still known for picky bouncers and a killer sound system; if you’re a true music fan who wants to catch an emerging act or a locally-popular DJ, this is the club for you. Food isn’t served, but drinks at the full bar are reasonably priced ($7-11) for a West Hollywood club.