Bogey’s Comedy Club in Willoughby, which closed in 2010, is being reborn in the Embassy Suites Hotel in Beachwood beginning July 24 thanks to one of the club’s previous owners, Kirk Bogos.
Bogos said Bogey’s originally opened in October 2008, and shortly after, the country went through the financial crisis.
“Anything entertainment-related that required people to use their disposable income really suffered,” he said. “We had to pack it up after a little over a year-and-a-half. The winds were against us, we closed the club.”
But Bogos never really let go of his desire to have the club. He said during the nine years since Bogey’s has closed, he’s been “living life” while maintaining a career in radio. But when the company he worked for was purchased by a rival, he decided to retire rather than work under the new owners. He said he never stopped doing stand-up comedy in his free time, adding his comedy was always the most important thing he did.
“I worked at several clubs over the years that were in hotels,” Bogos said. “I remember saying to myself when we closed the club how much fun it was. I loved it. It was great. I met a lot of great people and really enjoyed having my own comedy club. I thought, ‘Someday I gotta do this again,’ though hopefully, if I did it again, I wouldn’t lose as much money as I did the first time around.”
He said he feels the timing is perfect to resurrect Bogey’s, which will occupy part of the Embassy Suites ballroom at 8 p.m. every Wednesday and on the second Saturday of every month beginning in September. There will also be a show on Aug. 9, a Friday, because the hotel had a wedding scheduled for Aug. 10.
Though the area has two other comedy clubs – Hilarities in downtown Cleveland and the Improv in the Flats – Bogos felt a market was being ignored on the east side.
“I realized that over in that I-271/Chagrin Boulevard area, there’s a total of 11 different hotels,” he said, adding he contacted the general managers for all 11 hotels in hopes of speaking with someone about his idea for a club. “I said they’re in a competitive field, a competitive geographical area, but what makes your hotel different than the one 50 yards away other than a couple bucks on the room?”
He said two general managers reached out to him, interested in his offer, though one of the hotels simply didn’t have the space he needed for Bogey’s. However, Embassy Suites did, and Bogos said he was willing to be flexible with the hotel in return. Bogey’s doesn’t have a dedicated room at the Embassy Suites but will occupy some part of the hotel’s ballroom each night it is open, providing seating for about 160 people.
“They’ve been great to deal with,” he said of Embassy Suites Hotel. “The only thing I had to do was be a little flexible, because they already had some commitments for the room, in a variety of configurations, already on the books.”
Tickets will eventually be available on the club’s website, bogeyscomedyclub.com, though the site isn’t live yet. Bogos said tickets will be $15 in advance and $20 at the door. He said he’s still “pulling all the strings together” to get Bogey’s ready for July 24, but expects to have everything ready in time and already has performances booked through October.
“The timing is perfect, the economy is good (and) venues are doing really well,” said Bogos, a Lyndhurst resident. “Everything is in favor of doing something like (Bogey’s).”