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Goodbye Hell’s Kitchen, Hello Loch’s

Changing hands, finding balance at Tacoma's newest venue

NEW VENUE: Lonnie Reed, a former booking agent for Hell’s Kitchen, and his partner, Meranda Fritz, are re-opening the venue where Hell’s Kitchen used to be. It has been renamed The Loch’s. Courtesy photo

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There's been a lot of buzz about the closing of longtime Tacoma rock club Hell's Kitchen.

Now, the buzz is about Lonnie Reed and his partner, Meranda Fritz, re-opening the venue as The Loch's.

Reed is the former booking agent for Hell's Kitchen, and has had his hand in the Tacoma music scene for more than four years.

The Loch's opening night was Friday (Sept. 7). The scheduled lineup was Deathmocracy, Helles, A Lesson in Chaos, Psychonaut Deathtrip and Where the Dead Are.

It's a familiar lineup, which is exactly the way Reed wants to start things off.

"When I was offered to take over, I wanted to keep the same vibe," Reed says.

There will be a lot of the same HK staff onboard; Pat Dawson will be managing, and Flash, like at HK, will help with booking. Nic Sprynczynatyk, the HK doorman staple, will continue to play host.

There will still be all-ages shows, an important element to the area's music scene.

While there will be familiar faces and familiar music, expect some changes with The Loch's - the name, for one.

Reed is not buying the business; he's leasing the building and starting a new business, so a name change is required.

"We were trying to think of something about the water, or greenery," says Reed. "The Loch's was just a working title that stuck."

"Plus, the name Hell's Kitchen was a deterrent for some people," says Reed, who wants to add new and different bands to the usual repertoire.

In the coming weeks, expect a change in the look, as the couple plans to brighten up the interior and add a new sign with The Loch's logo out front.

"It was like a cave before ... you could hardly see your food," Reed says.

"It's still going to be a rock club with rock shows," he adds, "but maybe the next night will be a ladies night with a Top 40 dance party."

The menu will still offer bar food, but additions will be made, such as fresh deli sandwiches, salads and signature recipes.

Reed and Fritz both grew up in the area and have two children together. Balancing family life and a new business is tricky.

"I'm sure it's going to be really cool, but right now it's a little scary," admits Reed. "Everyone has their idea of what the venue should be - and you just can't make everyone happy - but I'm doing everything I can to try."

(The Loch's, 928 Pacific Ave., Tacoma)

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