Popular music venue leaves K Street


As of Nov. 1, the name and cherished underground bar will have turned its lights out for the last time.

Daniel Magalit

The end of an era and a musical tie to the community.

The Blue Line light rail practically runs over it every day; below street level lies a bar and concert venue where dozens of up-and-coming bands have played and a place that the locals have come to love, called Marilyn’s on K.

Unfortunately for those who frequent the bar and people who love live music and a friendly environment, Nov. 1 was the last day Marilyn’s on K was open.

According to mariylinsonk.com, the venue has been around for 16 years. Originally on 12th and K Street, it moved underground in 2005 and has been providing the community with place to enjoy music, billiards and of course, cocktails, ever since.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” said Don Boyer, the venue’s sound technician for the past nine years. “We’ve been struggling for quite a few years. Now things are starting to look good and [the owners] got a great offer to sell the place. So I got mixed feelings about that. I’m kind of sad…but you know, we’ve had some great bands here, and we’ve had some good times.”

Walking into 908 K Street, in the core of downtown Sacramento, was like walking into a rugged musical Hall of Fame. The walls were filled with posters of bands that have graced the Marilyn’s on K stage. The wraparound bar contours itself to one of the many support pillars throughout the space. The televisions and billiard tables only add to the entertainment.

When asked what he will miss the most about Marilyn’s on K, AJ Tucker answered, “The bands … I’ve seen a lot of good music here. Hundreds of bands, some really good some not, but every night there are two to three bands. It’s awesome.”

The closing of a venue affects not only the people working there and the bands that play, but the community as well.

“I think [the closing of Marilyn’s] is going to be a big deal,” said William Eaddy, who has been the bouncer at Marilyn’s on K for a little over seven years. “It’s going to be the end of a very special era. It’s really sad.”

With the new Kings arena being built and a possible soccer stadium in the old rail yard, Downtown is set to become prime real estate.

Brian Rodriguez, the general manager of Marilyn’s on K for the past two years, said big money has come in to buy up all of K Street and he hopes that it will make it better.

“[After Marilyn’s] I’m going to have to do the corporate thing,” said Eaddy. “I don’t want to have to be stuck in an office and that is the great thing about working here at Marilyn’s. I got to see the night life and I got to talk to great people and never really had a problem.”

Rodriguez said he is going to take a break for a while. After working two years and finding bands to play every night, Rodriguez said he is exhausted.

Marilyn’s on K was a one-of-a-kind place, according frequenters of the venue.

“[Marilyn’s] is really kind of secluded,” said Tucker. “Kind of the unique thing about this place, is that it’s in a prime location, but it’s not right out in front of everybody.”

After “big money”, as Rodriguez put it, bought out the owners of the concert venue, it was forced to close even though there was still a year and a half left on the lease.

According to the people who know the place best, Marilyn’s on K will be gutted and possibly turned into a posh new bar/lounge without a stage, effectively ending an era of live music.

“Downtown is changing so quick,” said Boyer. “We were one of the few big live venues here along with Assembly, they’re closing too. There are all these cool places that are disappearing off the face of the earth, and I think it’s going to be tough for the bands, you know, I think that’s going to be the toughest thing.”