Since the legendary Punchline Comedy Club in Sandy Springs closed in the spring after 33 years in the same location, the owners have been hunting for a larger, more modern space.
But co-owner Chris DiPetta said the two best options are at least 18 months away from being available, so they are seeking temporary digs and are considering what has been Jerry Farber’s Side Bar at Landmark Diner on Roswell Road in Buckhead.
The deal, DiPetta said, is not finalized.
Farber, a veteran stand-up comic in town, has been running Side Bar in a 110-seat space in the diner building since 2010. While he has hosted some comedy events there, he has focused mostly on music. He is seeking a new locale for his club in Buckhead. (Farber said he will host events there through the end of September.)
Farber said Landmark owner Tom Lambros is willing to carve out restaurant real estate to double the space to accommodate the Punchline.
But even 220 seats would be smaller than the Punchline had been. DiPetta said he still wants a bigger space but doesn’t want to wait much longer without a location, even if it’s temporary.
DiPetta said if the Buckhead spot works, he and co-owner Jamie Bendall could potentially keep it operating while opening a second Punchline in the northern suburbs.
The Landmark Diner happens to be less than a mile from rival the Atlanta Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theatre, which opened in 2012.
DiPetta is fine with that. “I don’t care,” he said. “They encroached on my territory first. They didn’t care being 3 miles from us (when the Punchline was in Sandy Springs). It won’t bother me to be 4 blocks from them.”
The Punchline has hosted thousands of comics over the years from Jerry Seinfeld to Ellen DeGeneres to Louis CK. But the club shut down at the end of March when the landlord informed the owners that future development in the area might lead to the building being torn down and nearby parking lots razed.
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