LIC Comedy Club Laughing Devil to Stay Open, Start Screening Movies
HUNTERS POINT — It won't be their last laugh, after all.
Long Island City comedy club The Laughing Devil was put up for sale last month — but owner Steve Hofstetter said he's decided to hold on to the laugh lounge, pulling the property off the market, as the Daily News first reported.
In addition to live shows, the club also plans to begin screening comedy flicks three days a week.
"I never really wanted to sell," Hofstetter told DNAinfo. "I kind of begrudgingly accepted that as our path."
Hofstetter first opened the club with co-owner Jacob Morvay at 47-38 Vernon Blvd. in 2011.
The pair decided to sell this summer because of their increasingly hectic schedules — Morvay is a new dad, and Hofstetter recently started another gig in Los Angeles.
They had wanted to see the property continue as a comedy club, and they had a buyer in place who was going to keep it that way.
But the prospective new owner "got cold feet realizing just how time consuming it is to run a club," Hofstetter said, and backed out.
They had other offers, but those potential buyers wanted to turn the space into a bar — something Hofstetter didn't want to see happen.
"I have nothing against other bars, but I built the comedy club to be a comedy club," he said.
"I think there so much of this focus of, 'What do we do tonight? We have to go to Manhattan.' But that doesn’t need to happen," Hofstetter continued.
"We need to show that these kinds of things can survive in the outer boroughs."
He decided to buy out Morvay, and says he'll be splitting him time between New York and California. The club's general manager, Scott Sharp, will become a part owner and will manage the day-to-day operations.
Hofstetter said they'll be starting new ventures at the club, including converting their showroom into a small movie theater where they'll screen classic comedies three days a week.
"I'm so excited," Hofstetter said of their plans, and his decision to stay on.
"It's not just a business," he added. "It's my baby."