Molly’s Game: Is The Cobra Lounge a Real Place? Where is it Located?

Aaron Sorkin’s 2018 crime drama film, ‘Molly’s Game,’ follows a real-life inspired narrative about Molly Bloom, a former Olympic-class skier whose life took a sharp turn after an accident wrote out the sport from her cards. However, imbued with a winner’s spirit, Molly refuses to reign in her ambitions and sets them upon an entirely new undertaking: running one of the most high-stakes Poker Games in the country. As she builds herself up from scratch, the woman soon becomes the mastermind behind Poker Nights, which house big names from A-list celebrities to Wall Street Experts.

However, Molly’s success eventually comes crumbling down— when one mistake leads to another and the FBI knocks on her door. Before any of that, though— when Molly is only starting to find her footing— she works under Dean Keith, who runs his own exclusive Poker Nights at the Cobra Lounge. Consequently, fans must be curious about the real-life basis behind this establishment and its current standing.

The Viper Room: The Real-Life Cobra Lounge

‘Molly’s Game,’ based on Molly Bloom’s autobiographical novel, switches up some details— by fictionalizing names for real-life counterparts— while adapting the woman’s thrilling life for the screen. As such, The Cobra Lounge, where Molly gets her first taste of running high-stakes Poker Games, becomes the film’s version of The Viper Room, the real-life establishment. There are bars named The Cobra Lounge in the US, but they have no relation to the one featured in the movie. Instead, it’s based on the infamous Viper Room.

The Viper Room holds its own rich history as a nightclub relevant to pop culture, often recognized by its nickname, “Johnny Depp’s Joint,” in reference to the actor’s former co-ownership of the bar. The club is also remembered as the place where River Phoenix met his unfortunate and untimely demise after overdosing in 1993.

Notably, the establishment houses significance within the country’s Rock scene, famously hosting acts such as Oasis, Lenny Kravitz, The Strokes, and Queens of The Stone Age, among others. Furthermore, the club has overseen its fair share of scandals and controversies over the years, such as the infamous altercation that musician Tommy Lee got into with the paparazzi, which the 2022 show, ‘Pam & Tommy’ references.

Likewise, the Viper Room saw a similar nod in ‘Molly’s Game,’ albeit with a fictionalized name change. The film features the club as the place where Molly’s boss, Keith, hosts his Poker Game, with invites sent out to numerous unnamed celebrities. In real life, a similar turn of events took place after, according to Houston Curtis, Tobey Maguire collaborated with him to create a high-stakes Poker Game.

After hosting the event at Maguire’s place for a while, the duo sought a change of scenery, which brought them to Darin Feinstein, a Viper Room co-owner. As such, Feinstein, Bloom’s boss, for whom she creates an alias, Reardon Green, in her biography, ended up hosting the game at the Viper Room, where the woman saw her introduction to the field.

In her book, Bloom wrote about this experience, sharing, “I recognized in that instant that this is not an opportunity that a girl from a small town in Colorado gets. There were Wall Street titans. There were billionaires. There were A-list actors, the most famous people we see on television, politicians, and they’re all seated around this table playing this game [Poker] that I didn’t know what it was, but it seemed to be super compelling to them.”

Since its brief involvement in Molly Bloom’s scandalous Poker Game, The Viper Room resumes to run its business as before. Located at 8852 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, California, The Viper Room continues to host events, musical or otherwise.

Read More: Is Molly’s Game Based on a True Story?