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The punch line

Aaron Flett-Riggs goes solo, opens Grit City Comedy Club in familiar locale

The Grit City Comedy Club will open this week in exactly the same location that the Tacoma Comedy Club recently moved out of.

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Tacoma has the divine privilege of welcoming another new comedy club to town.

But there's slightly more to the story ...

Comedian and filmmaker Aaron Flett-Riggs, sans former business partner Adam Norwest, will be bringing comedy back to the former Tacoma Comedy Club locale in Malarkey's on Tacoma Avenue. He'll launch this venture under a new moniker: Grit City Comedy Club. According to Flett-Riggs, staffing issues, a huge overhead, poor acoustics, odd bathroom placement and contract difficulties at the new location of Tacoma Comedy Club simply were not working out for him. As you'll recall, Flett-Riggs and Norwest moved the Tacoma Comedy Club to its current Market Street location in March, with Flett-Riggs telling the Volcano at the time that a lack of size and service concerns were the reason for the move. Norwest will continue to run the Tacoma Comedy Club from its Market Street location without Flett-Riggs.

Of the Tacoma Comedy Club's decision to move from its cozy Tacoma Avenue location Flett-Riggs says, "We were rolling, we were kicking ass. And we got greedy." Flett-Riggs says the Malarkey's space, despite his and Norwest's initial decision to leave it, is an ideal location for a comedy club in Tacoma. He says he's happy to be back.

Flett-Riggs tells the Volcano he intends to make the Grit City Comedy Club "less pretentious" than the Tacoma Comedy Club, and wants to return to Tacoma's roots and our "gritty" nature. Some other changes Flett-Riggs says we can expect include the addition of pizzas to the menu, the exclusion of a "foo-foo martini menu" and, eventually, adorning the wall space with pieces from some of local artists.

Flett-Riggs says his Grit City Comedy Club will feature one show on Fridays and two shows Saturdays. He says you can also expect to see some "f***ing funny shows," including local and a lot of non-local comedians. He says future acts include the likes of Tracey McDonald and Sean Rouse. 

Does Flett-Riggs feel there is too much competition in the comedy scene now, especially since his new venture will essentially be competition to the club he was once part of?

In a word, "No."

If anything, Flett-Riggs says, this will bring "awareness to the comedy scene."

The Grit City Comedy Club will celebrate its soft grand opening Friday, June 3, with headliner Richie Stratton.

[Grit City Comedy Club, Richie Stratton, Friday, June 3, 8:30 p.m., $13, 445 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma]

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