Marty and Julio:
Age/Single or married
Marty Sokol (Single)
Julio Licon (Married)
What is your career background(s)?
Marty has been a television producer and in the entertainment industry for over 15 years and Julio has been in the club and nightlife business since the mid nineties.
What made you both want to be club owners and promoters?
Julio and I have been close friends since we were kids and Julio and I were sitting in a bar a little over 10 years ago unhappy with our respective current work situations and I said ‘Julio, why don’t we just open a place of our own?’ and he turned to me and said ‘I know the spot!’ The very next day we went down to what is now CHICO and within three months we had opened our first nightclub together. I think the trick was not thinking about it and just acting on impulse. I think if we had actually thought about it we would have talked ourselves out of it!
Congratulations on your 10 year Anniversary of CHICO. How is the club doing?
Fantastic, gracias! CHICO is an amazing place and No matter what Julio and I do, CHICO will always be our first love and our baby. The customers and of course Team CHICO & the Dj’s make CHICO what it is – a damn fun party!
Overall, how is the community accepting CHICO in East LA? Do you see support for our gay community growing on the East Side?
Absolutely – I can’t tell you how much things have changed since 1999 – almost every family has out gay family members now and we think the majority of people want everybody to be equal and happy.
Tell us about your club COBRA in North Hollywood?
COBRA is an exciting nightclub for us because we get to do so many different types of nights for our community including a House/Hip Hop night – Inferno – on Wednesdays, a transgendered night, Goddess – on Thursdays – Club El with DJ Ivan on Fridays – the world famous Ole Ole with El Show de Karlotta on Saturdays and every night we get to showcase the hottest Go Go dancers in Los Angeles! Also, the last Friday of every month is Club Hombres showcasing … well, hot hombres!
How are the crowds different at each of your clubs?
Both crowds are as unique and diverse as you can imagine within and outside of the Latino Gay community. They transcend all ages, colors and backgrounds.
As businessmen, how do you feel the recession is affecting our gay
It is our desire to offer our friends and clients the best possible experience with the greatest level of customer service at the lowest possible price. We believe that this is not only relevant in difficult times but in all times! Of course beyond that we offer no less then three drink specials on any given night!
What advice do you give other gay businessmen operating during this economic time?
Stay positive – Stop reading the bad news! (We gave up the Business Pages over a year ago!)
What types of community events are you doing at each club? Are you still doing fundraisers in support of Bienestar and other organizations?
We work with all worthwhile organizations that are doing good for our immediate community and our world community. We are always involved in outreach and hold at least one fundraiser a month. Any organizations we are not currently working with should feel welcomed to contact us.
What is the part of the club business you like the most?
Laughing with customers. Feeling the family of our amazing staff who make up Team CHICO and The COBRA Team.
What is the part of the club business you least like?
The end of any party – we want to keep going!
Any new promotions coming up for next year and each club?
We are excited to offer as a thank you to all of our friends in Los Angeles NO COVER at CHICO for the rest of the year (excluding the 10 year Anniversary $5 and New Years Eve $10)
COBRA is launching a new show on Sundays and beer bust from 4 to 9.
But most importantly, both clubs will be sponsoring our annual Toy Drive for orphans in TJ – please bring an unwrapped toy and pay no cover at COBRA. The Toy Drive will be held the entire month of December!
As for next year – hold on(!) -major announcements to be made!