Cap City Comedy Club reopening in Austin — here's where – Austin Business Journal – Austin Business Journal

December 31, 2021
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The shuttered Cap City Comedy Club is reopening at The Domain this fall under the direction of new owners.
The legendary Austin comedy club, which closed in September after 35 years near U.S. Highway 183 and North Lamar Boulevard, announced the revival Feb. 10 on social media.
“We’re excited to announce that @CapCityComedy will be re-opening its doors this Fall! We will continue our tradition of booking national acts, Austin-based comedians & cutting-edge up + comers, now in a new location at The Domain,” the comedy club said in a twitter post. “Check back for more details & announcements.”
Cap City did not specify where the club will be located within The Domain. But a representative with Simon Property Group Inc., which owns and manages much of The Domain, said the new comedy club will move into 7,380 square feet at 11506 Century Oaks Terrace, Suite 100, right between a Kendra Scott store and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. The site was formerly the home of a restaurant called Daily Grill.
Helium Comedy Club, led by brothers Brad and Marc Grossman, has bought Cap City. The two sides have had a relationship for more than a decade, Marc Grossman said. His online ticketing company, Seat Engine, began handling ticketing for Cap City in 2009.
Grossman said Helium intends to invest $2 million to build out the space at The Domain. That includes building a mezzanine level, where a second showroom and another bar will be located. Once completed, the buildout is expected to expand the space to between 10,000 and 11,000 square feet.
Grossman said one of the managers from the old Cap City Comedy Club will help run the new space, and that prior Cap City employees will get an opportunity to work at the new location, if they choose.
“There’s huge goodwill in the city,” he said. “People love the club, they love the brand, they love the staff. Why would I change that?”
Helium was established in 2005, according to its website, and has comedy clubs in Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; Buffalo, New York; St. Louis and Indianapolis.
Cap City shut down live performances last March. That shutdown became permanent in September as the result of the pandemic and its lease coming to an end, backers told the Austin American-Statesman. However, the folks behind the club did hint that that club “might be back but a little different.”
The new space at The Domain is set to feature a full food and drink menu, along with two showrooms, according to the announcement. The main showroom is set to feature national acts, while the second showroom is expected to focus on Austin’s comedy scene. Cap City will continue to sponsor Austin’s Moontower Comedy Festival.
The name will continue to be Cap City Comedy Club, but Helium will own and manage it.
“We could not be more thrilled that Cap City will be back as the center of the Austin comedy scene,” original Cap City owner Colleen McGarr said in a statement. “We have known and worked with Marc for years and could not be happier to begin this new chapter.”
Marc Grossman said he doesn’t currently have plans to open more clubs in Austin.
“I don’t, but I would say I’m entrepreneurial,” he said. “I’m going to investigate and keep my eyes open, for sure.”
Cap City’s return could portend a comeback for comedy in Austin after a largely laugh-less pandemic. Comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan famously moved to Austin in 2020, while fellow comedian Dave Chappelle was recently holding down a multi-night residency at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q before reportedly testing positive for Covid-19.
Plus, New York City comedy club The Creek and The Cave recently announced on social media that it is moving to Austin. CBS Austin reported Feb. 10 that The Creek and The Cave will be moving into the former home of music venue Barracuda, at 611 E. Seventh St. in the Red River area. The new club is set to open April 1 with both an indoor and outdoor stage, according to CBS Austin. Barracuda closed in June, along with fellow Red River venues Plush and Scratchouse.
Cap City was among a number of iconic local institutions close in 2020. For instance, I Luv Video announced plans to close just days before Cap City, while Dart Bowl made its decision to close after 62 years in July. Other much-loved venues that closed last year included Shady Grove and Threadgill’s.
It’s not clear what will become of Cap City’s former location in a North Austin shopping center at 8210 Research Blvd. The center is owned by World Class Holdings through an entity called WC 8120 Research LP, which filed for bankruptcy in October.
Judge Tony Davis on Feb. 3 granted a motion from lender BancorpSouth Bank to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee to oversee the limited partnership. The next hearing in the case is set for March 4.
This story has been updated with additional comment from Marc Grossman.
A previous version of this story misidentified the ticketing company owned by Marc Grossman.
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