Just five months old and like a growing newborn, Tacoma Comedy Club is already too big for its britches. The only difference is Tacoma Comedy Club co-owners Adam Norwest and Aaron Flett-Riggs aren't whining. Instead, they're enabling their very own growth spurt - planning a move next weekend to 933 Market Street in downtown Tacoma. (For those not keen on addresses, the new Tacoma Comedy Club will reside in the space formerly known as Rhythm and Brews.)
Having launched the Tacoma Comedy Club adjacent to Malarkey's Pool and Brew, initially the two venues shared a space that included waitstaff, menu items and bathrooms.
"We just became too big, too fast in our current location," Riggs tells me, adding, "If we move now while we're still new, it will be less confusing for our customers in the long run."
With the new Market Street location, "We can finally bring the bigger names to Tacoma that don't usually come here," Riggs says with relief.
Bigger comedy names to Tacoma? Like who?
"Ah, let's see. There's Dave Attell and Joe Rogan," offers Riggs, the first comedians to come his mind.
"We're not talking ‘big' names like Jerry-Seinfeld-big," admits Riggs, "But if we were to bring someone like Jim Breuer the tickets would be something like forty or fifty dollars. That's Paramount-in-Seattle-type-big."
Keeping with the "intimate but still big enough" description Riggs uses for the Tacoma Comedy Club, the new space seems like a perfect fit. All that's needed, according to Riggs, "is to add the Tacoma Comedy Club touch to it."
"It's like our original logo was designed for this place," says Riggs of the new space.
As mentioned, at the old location Tacoma Comedy Club shared waitstaff with its roommate, Malarkey's. This sometimes resulted in the club not being able to keep up with demand, meaning sometimes food and drink service suffered. The independence gained by this move is very important for the growth of Norwest and Riggs' creation.
"We needed a space that could handle our current volume and what (volume) we will have in the future," Riggs states. He divulges that although the menu at Malarkey's was good, he will bring a more "dinner" type theme to the new location.
This week, March 17-19, will be the last action at Tacoma Comedy Club's current Tacoma Avenue location, with Mark Malone gracing the stage along with special guest Xung Lam.
Wednesday, March 23, the public is welcome for an open house at the club's new home, an evening including, fittingly, an open-mic night - free of charge.
Beginning March 25 and 26 it's back to business, as the new Tacoma Comedy Club hosts Bob Rivers Live for a little stand-up comedy action and kick-off party for Mr. River's new gig at Oldies 95.7FM KJR, which begins April 1. Tickets are $15 and reservations are highly recommended.