New club brings comedy to a local level

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BELLFLOWER — A new comedy club will soon be coming to Bellflower, bringing a brand of entertainment that – up to this point – has had sparse local presence.

John Giries has been the co-publisher of the Stand-Up Comedy Magazine for around six years alongside Julian Vazquez, but being a Downey resident, comedy was hard to come by locally.

So when an old theatre in Bellflower became available, it was an opportunity Giries couldn’t pass up.

“There’s an old theatre that’s been built in the 50’s, and it was a perfect venue for something like a comedy club,” said Giries. “It’s been really fun because we’ve had a lot of people from Downey, Bell Flower, neighboring cities all excited because traveling to a comedy club in Hollywood, or Irvine, or where ever, [there’s] traffic and it’s not easy to get to.”

“To get an intimate club so close in the city is gonna be really convenient for a lot of Downey residents.”

Giries says that he and his partners are eying about a 160 person-capacity atmosphere, with gourmet food and full liquor.

“It’s been a really kind of organic project with the city. Everyone saw the vision and it’s been a work and progress, but we’re getting close to breaking ground. We hope to open by late fall.”

Giries says that having a club like this so close to Downey is “going to be very cool for residents to take advantage of.”

“A lot of bars, taverns, restaurants in Downey, in Bellflower have been having a comedy night, usually on an off night; a Monday or Tuesday night,” said Giries. “A lot of Downey or Bellflower residents have been going to either the Laugh Factory in Long Beach, maybe the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach…there’s been a lot of little establishments in Downey and Bellflower putting together little comedy shows…and they’ve been selling out.”

“The hunger, the appetite for comedy is there; we just want to make it a little easier to get to, offer more than to deal with driving an hour and a half through traffic.”

This new venue will also be a great opportunity for local comics.

“We’ve gotten so many phone calls…a lot of comics who reside in these cities have contacted us; they want to be a part of it,” said Giries. “We are totally open for keeping the community of comics in the area performing. We’re totally open to having produced shows, and having comics that live in Downey and Bellflower perform here.”

“It’s not just about the A-list comic, because everybody knows them. We’re after finding new stars, giving people a channel or media outlet to perform, and to get noticed and to work on their material.”

Unlike the big-time feel of other clubs, Giries says that this new venue’s intimate setting will benefit up-and-coming comedians.

“I think we’re going to be a unique venue,” said Giries. “We find the intimate clubs do better because you have a more of an up close and personal experience with the comics, and we don’t want to lose that…We don’t want to lose the intimacy; I think that’s a really important niche. Every seat in the house is going to be a VIP.”

The club will have seven shows a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Prices will vary by the performance and performer, however the club is looking to remain reasonably affordable, trending anywhere from $10 to $40.

“We are definitely wanting to be budget friendly and affordable,” said Giries.

Giries added that the venue is already open to people looking for employment.

“For Downey residents who may want to work, we’re gonna definitely be interviewing for all different types of positions,” said Giries.

For those interested, email info@thestandupclub.com.

The club is located in the heart of Bellflower’s downtown, at 9831 Belmont Street.