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Keep Houston Press Free
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MKT Bar: Tale of an Unexpected Hotspot, Act 5 (Finale)

CHARACTERS The Manichean; apparently intoxicated gentleman; our narrator; assorted children up past their bedtime

SCENE 1 A breezy Saturday. 8:55 p.m. Tonight, we're told, is MKT's "Vinyl Night," sponsored by Heights Vinyl. This week's vinyl group is Justice Tirapelli-Jamail and Cory Sinclair of The Manichean, a "progressive rock band" with a sound that is "very grand," according to Tirapelli-Jamail.

But for a Saturday night, it sure is quiet.

It looks more like a wine-tasting class, what with glasses of the red stuff everywhere. Even The Manichean sip from glasses of wine. Not to be outdone, three academicians read about Shakespeare from a smartphone.

SCENE 2 9:27 p.m. It's still quiet, but an enjoyable quiet. A father and daughter come in to buy gelato. A waitress serves the same to a hip couple. There is no pretension here, no dense after-work crowd to fight through, only the people left who genuinely enjoy vinyl.

That said, a large crowd gathers around The Manichean's DJ table, and Justice sits down to speak with the important-looking man. All stages and all ages are welcome -- even if one man appears to be a bit drunk.

Possibly Drunk Man (sitting down next to us): That is a fantastic hat. Rocks Off: Thank you.

He continues to stare.

Possibly Drunk Man: You have to excuse me. My wife is Nigerian. She wears these colorful hats. Rocks Off: Okay.

SCENE 3 9:47 p.m. We spoke too soon. MKT has filled up quite a bit since our last check-in. An even bigger party has gathered around The Manichean, and a delighted Tirapelli-Jamail shows off the group's records. Their musical selection has picked up from initially moody instrumentals, to electric guitar-riddled mid-tempo mantras of youthful abandon.

Exhibit A: Cory dances to his tunes with a woman and his toddler...

Wait, there are children here? Three sets! At nearly 10 p.m.! A toddler is even walking around -- in a bar -- on a Saturday -- at nearly 10 p.m. -- as if it's the most natural thing in the world. They're supervised, of course, but still.

Is this the one place where musicians, wine enthusiasts, businessmen, hipsters, families and yes, the occasional apparently intoxicated gentleman can wander in freely and have a great time?

It appears so.

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SCENE 4 10 p.m. The children have started screaming. Time to go.


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