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Back in the Alley: New Club Planned for Shockoe Bottom

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A closed Shockoe Bottom music venue is scheduled to reopen in September as a club called Kingdom.

It's scheduled to open in the former Alley Katz on Walnut Alley, which runs between 17th and 18th streets. Kingdom will be remodeled with a lounge as well as new bars, sound and lighting.

Jason Malhoyt, one of the three owners, says the new club will feature DJs as well as live music from many genres, including indie rock, hard-core and hip-hop. "We're going to have everything," he says.

Since the closing of Alley Katz last year, live-music venues have been in short supply in the Bottom, where club owners and patrons have seen clashes with residents over noise, fighting and associated problems.

David Napier, president of the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association, says he hadn't heard about Kingdom. "I hope it's not just another DJ club," he says. "Alley Katz was a unique and good addition."

Opened in 1995, Alley Katz was a popular venue for punk, metal and hard rock acts passing through town. But it also supported local musicians, says Emaleigh Franzak, assistant manager of Plan 9 Music in Carytown. By the time it closed in 2010, however — for a lapsed business license and unpaid taxes — venues such as Strange Matter and the Canal Club were booking acts that would've played Alley Katz.

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