Stand-Up Scottsdale serves up local laughs at new location

Looking to make its venue easier to find and more enjoyable for the audience, a popular Scottsdale comedy club has relocated and reopened with a goal of offering those who love humor an intimate, yet classy and edgy establishment in which to catch the brightest stars in comedy.

Stand-Up Scottsdale reopened its doors Feb. 4 at its new location, 5101 N. Scottsdale Road. (Photo by Emily Balli)

Stand-Up Scottsdale reopened its doors Feb. 4 at its new location, 5101 N. Scottsdale Road. (Photo by Emily Balli)

Stand-Up Scottsdale earlier this month re-opened its doors after moving from Old Town Scottsdale to a new location at 5101 N. Scottsdale Road. The club was closed for a month while making the transition.

“I’m excited about the new deal and I think our guests are going to be stoked for it,” said Howard Hughes, owner of the club. “Our old building was gnarly and this is snazzy. It’s what our guests deserve.”

In addition to owning the club, Mr. Hughes is a popular comedian in his own right and a frequent performer at Stand-Up Scottsdale.

Long-time fans of the club might be familiar with the club’s new location — as it’s actually the original location, but newly remodeled.

The club was open for two years at the new location at Chaparral and Scottsdale roads, and then two years at the prior location at 68th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The building that Stand-Up Scottsdale had occupied the past two years was previously Anderson’s Fifth Estate, a popular nightclub that was open from the mid-80s to early 2000s.

“The old location was off the beaten track and it needed a lot of remodeling,” Nathan Learner, the original investor in Stand-Up Scottsdale said. “The new location is front and center for awareness. The new build-out is great and the restaurant has great food and the bar has lots of access.”

According to Mr. Hughes, the prior building had not been renovated since the mid-90s. All the updates and renovations the club needed would have cost about three to five hundred thousand dollars.

The club has now returned to the original location but with many improvements to the space.

Mr. Hughes is excited about moving the club back to its original location and said they were finally able to knock down a wall in order to accommodate a bigger audience.

“We (originally) moved out of there because there’s a wall that divides the room,” Mr. Hughes said. “The previous owners wouldn’t remove that wall and we just became too big for the room. The room held 100 people; now we’re going to hold 140 people.”

Although the new location is bigger than what it used to be, it is smaller than the more recent location. Mr. Hughes thinks, however, that the audience will enjoy the smaller, more intimate feel the new space provides.

“This city is kind of built around big corporate comedy clubs and that’s a lame experience for most people,” Mr. Hughes said.

“My club is more in line with a New York City comedy club. Small; we keep it dark, we pack it tight and the comedians are relevant comedians. They have points of view, they’re telling original jokes; it’s not cheap or provocative humor. It’s just good solid comedy.”

Mr. Learner agrees with Mr. Hughes and thinks the more intimate feeling of the new location will win over guests.

“I think the comedy scene in Phoenix and Scottsdale is pretty weak,” Mr. Learner said. “People don’t support it very well yet there are all these clubs. Most are large corporate clubs that hold way too many people so your pertinence is not intimate and exciting. It’s like watching it on TV.

“Our club is absolutely intimate and it’s great. The energy is palpable in the club so you end you having a great time.”

“It’s a very positive situation,” Mr. Learner said. “I hope Howard makes the best of it. He has an amazing lineup of comedians already scheduled.”

For information, visit www.standupscottsdale.com or call 480-882-0730.

Editor’s note: Emily Balli is a journalism student at Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

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