Uptown Comedy Corner may have to relocate

This was posted on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Uptown Comedy Corner, which has been at 800 Marietta St. in downtown Atlanta for 12 years, may soon have to relocate along with other nearby businesses.

Cartel Properties president George Rohrig purchased the land on that block and is seeking to turn it into a mix of retail and living space to accommodate nearby Georgia Tech students, according to Uptown Comedy Corner co-owner Craig Wilson.

Wilson said he’s looking at other properties outside the city of Atlanta and has at least three reasonable possibilities. Options that would fit his needs are limited at reasonable prices inside the city, he said, given rising rents. A usable space off Cheshire Bridge Road, he said, costs $18,000 a month, too rich for his taste.

“To find a showroom that size without pillars and with a high enough ceiling is hard,” Wilson said.

He said under his current lease agreement, Rohrig would have to give him four months lead time to boot him out, which could happen at any time though he suspects it will won’t happen at least until next year.

Wilson said Rohrig has floated the idea of keeping Uptown around but that would leave Uptown without a home for several months.

Rohrig, in an interview Thursday, said he hopes to keep Uptown around but parking could be a challenge.  “Obviously, we’d like to keep them somewhere,” he said. “They do pretty well.”

Nonetheless, he said he hopes to start breaking ground on the project by November and December.

The club, which was open in Buckhead in the 1990s, has primarily targeted African-American comics and fans. Bill Bellamy will be performing there September 15-17.

Two other comedy clubs lost their space in recent years. The Punchline had to leave its long-time spot off Hilderbrand Drive in Sandy Springs after 33 years in 2015, relocating to the Landmark Diner. (The old space now appears to be a bridal shop.) And the Atlanta Improv shut down in Buckhead later that year when the landlord wanted to use the space for other retail and efforts to open a new version elsewhere fell through.


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