Comedy club chain signs lease for downtown location inside Circle Centre mall

Helium Comedy Clubs, which operates six comedy clubs around the U.S., plans to open an Indianapolis location next year in a 9,000-square-foot space at Circle Centre mall.

The venue will offer stand-up shows five nights a week (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays) and will have seating for 275, owner Marc Grossman said.

"It will be a diverse array of shows, appealing to all demographics in Indianapolis," Grossman told IBJ Friday morning.

The club will be at the corner of Meridian and Georgia streets. The official address for the club, as listed on its liquor license application, is 10 W. Georgia St.

Grossman said he’s signed a lease on the Circle Centre space and is now working on obtaining a liquor license and construction permits. He’s targeting an opening in the first quarter of 2019.

Grossman, who lives in suburban Philadelphia, opened his first Helium Comedy Club in that city in 2005. He went on to open Helium clubs in Portland, Oregon; Buffalo, New York; and St. Louis. The company also operates two other clubs under other names: Goodnights in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Bananas Comedy Club in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. 

Comedians with recent or upcoming bookings at Grossman’s clubs include D.L. Hughley, Margaret Cho, Jay Mohr, Kevin Nealon and former MADtv comedians Aries Spears and Bobby Lee.

Grossman said the Indianapolis club will offer lineups similar to other Helium clubs—a mix of famous names and lesser-known comedians.

“You can trust us. You don’t have to worry if you’ve never heard of the guy. You can show up and you’re going to see a good show,” Grossman said.

Grossman said he chose Indianapolis because he saw an opportunity here. “There’s not a lot of competition at this point in Indianapolis, and the metro area has 2 million people. That’s a good recipe, to me.”

North-side club Morty’s Comedy Joint, which had operated at 3824 E. 82nd St. in a former Don Pablo’s restaurant, closed that location this spring though it says it has plans to reopen. A voicemail message at the club says Morty’s will be “reopening in late July or early August at a new location to be announced.”

Crackers closed its Broad Ripple club, at 6281 N. College Ave., last fall. Its downtown location, at 207 N. Delaware St., remains open.

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