Next month, Scottsdale will have a new space for getting its laugh on.
Stand Up Scottsdale closed on January 3 and will be moving from its current Old Town Scottsdale location back to a brand new version of its original spot, set to open on February 4.
"We actually started the club where we're moving back to, but the owners at the time wouldn't take down a wall that was cutting off about a third of the room," says Howard Hughes, Stand Up Scottsdale's owner. "The new owners said they'll take down the wall, so we'll only drop from 170 seats to 140 seats, and it'll be a much nicer room. It just needed an upgrade."
Stand Up Scottsdale opened in 2012 and was featured on Bar Rescue the following year. Like many clubs that appear on Bar Rescue locations, the venue saw mixed results after appearing on the show. It briefly served as the Scottsdale location of the Laugh Factory, but then returned to its original branding. (There's a different Laugh Factory location in Scottsdale now.)
If you've seen an episode of Bar Rescue, you can probably guess everything that was wrong with Stand Up Scottsdale. (Every bar featured on the show seems to suffer from the same problems) After a solid cleaning, makeover, and re-training of the staff — not to mention the necessary arguments and general insults lobbed between owner and Jon Taffer, the show's host — the bar re-opened. Although it held up better than some of the other unsustainable plans created by the show, Stand Up Scottsdale saw various levels of success over the last few years, generally hosting local shows and smaller national headliners.
"Bar Rescue is a TV show first," Hughes says. "It didn't really understand the comedy club. Their expert is from the '90s, and he's not even in the industry anymore. For instance, they took us from 180 seats to 140, and it looked better, but that didn't help us on the weekends. I guess all publicity is good publicity though."
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Given the Valley's ever-expanding comedy scene (doesn't it seem like a new comedy venue opens every month?), there's probably some uncertainty in Stand Up Scottsdale's future. At least the new location probably won't hurt, as Hughes believes it'll be better or at least as good in pretty much every way.
"The showtimes and comedy will be the same, so nothing is changing but the location for that," Hughes says. "People can expect to have working bathrooms and a better atmosphere. The overall guest experience will be better, and it's a really nice room for comedy."
Hughes points out that the new location will make it easy for guests to dine at Papi Chulo's Mexican Grill & Cantina immediately before the show, as only small plates and drinks will be served during the performances.
The new Stand Up Scottsdale will be at 5101 N. Scottsdale Rd. and will feature the comedy act of Cotter & Loquasto its opening weekend.