McCurdy's Comedy Theatre has never had much trouble attracting big-name comedians and plenty of patrons in any of its locations.
But owners Les and Pam McCurdy have announced the club is moving to a new location in downtown Sarasota to give patrons and comics their best McCurdy's experience ever.
"This will be our fourth location and God willing our last," Les McCurdy said. "It's got everything we want."
In early spring, McCurdy's Comedy Theatre will move into a 7,100-square-foot space at 1923 Ringling Blvd. The building, about two blocks west of U.S. 301, had been home to businesses called Shaner's, Horsefeathers, Elan and Silver Cricket since it was built in 2002.
"We don't have an exact date (for the move) yet because we just signed the lease the other day," McCurdy said Wednesday. "But we're shooting for late March or the beginning of April."
The current McCurdy's Comedy Theatre, 3333 N. Tamiami Trail, measures about 5,200 square feet so the new space is about a third larger.
"The performing area will be the same size, but the kitchen will be bigger so we can offer an expanded menu," McCurdy said.
There will also be room for a holding area where patrons can drink and eat before shows, and comedians can mingle with fans.
McCurdy said he had been looking to move for a long time, and had checked out
properties all over Sarasota and even Lakewood Ranch. He hadn't been seriously considering the downtown area until now though.
"Downtown had a couple of problems," he said. "One, it's expensive. And two is parking."
Parking at this particular property is not a problem, McCurdy said, because three parking garages with about 1,000 spaces are within a few blocks, and the theatre will offer valet service.
McCurdy's started out at the Holiday Inn near the airport 25 years ago. After a decade at that location, it moved to a small space on Clark Road for a few years and then moved to its current Tamiami Trail location 12 years.
"We've signed a 10-year lease with two five-year options," he said. "I'm 58 years old so that's pretty ambitious. We still love doing this. But we've been doing this for a quarter of a century and I hope we're doing it for another quarter-century."
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.