Ever since Jeremy Aevermann opened Liquid in the space that formerly held the Funny Bone, he’s had a monkey on his back.
“When I got my loan from the bank, the actual business plan was called the Laughing Monkey Comedy Club,” Aevermann explains.
The idea was a comedy club supplemented by live music. Against his better judgment — and at the request of ex-Funny Bone employees who wanted to open their own comedy club, he says — Aevermann backed off the idea and focused on music instead.
A few years later? “I honestly wish I just would have went with my gut,” Aevermann says.
A couple of months from now, Liquid, 405 S. 8th St., will begin presenting live comedy four nights a week in Boise. Aevermann plans to launch the concept with a show by well-known comic Emo Philips.
“Right now’s the time,” Aevermann says. “There’s no comedy.”
Realists might say this is a horrible idea. Comedy has struggled in Boise. Remember Hijinx comedy club? Or China Blue’s short-lived, one-night-a-week Chuckles Cabaret?
But opportunists might say the timing is excellent. As Aevermann points out, Liquid will have virtually zero competition. Even Meridian’s Bull’s Head Pub — which did weekend comedy — closed months ago.
Either way, Aevermann has created a modest business model in a room that Boiseans still remember being filled with laughter.
Unlike the Funny Bone, Liquid will offer just one show per night — an early performance around 8 p.m. There will be seating for up to 180, although Liquid will need to draw only a fraction of that number to make it work, he says.
Unlike the Bone, a live band will hit the stage afterward, just like on any other night at Liquid.
“If people want to stick around, they can,” Aevermann says.
“What I always hated about comedy shows,” he explains, “is I would get there, I would have two, three drinks, and as soon as I was ready to keep partying, they would flip the lights on and kick me out!”
Because few of Liquid’s regulars rarely roll in before 10 p.m., there’s little to lose, Aevermann says.
There will be skeptics. But he sounds determined. Aevermann opened Liquid as the economy was tanking in 2008 with his wife, Elizabeth, and a business partner who has since left. He isn’t afraid of hard work.
“I’m going to give it a good run,” he says.
To have a chance at succeeding with comedy, Liquid will need to beat Treasure Valley residents over the head with the concept through marketing. It also will help if touring performers are, you know, funny. So Aevermann will screen his comics.
Considering that Liquid has kept its doors open this long — a feat for any newer bar — there’s reason to think this could work. Plus, after putting out feelers with local comedians, he has emerged hopeful.
“Don’t think I’m not scared. Because I’m scared,” Aevermann says. “I only made the decision 100 percent I was going to do this a week ago. But I already did a ton of the research four years ago, and I talked to the right people.”
JAZZ CHANGES AT CHANDLERS
Singer-guitarist Dan Costello is the new music director at Chandlers Steakhouse, 981 W. Grove St., which has live jazz nightly. He replaced pianist Kevin Kirk, who left Sept. 30.
As director, Costello is mostly trusting what was established, he says. He’ll gig at Chandlers about three times a week in a solo capacity or with backing musicians.
“I’m trying to be as sensitive to what the space wants as possible,” Costello says, “and still get to do some of my own tweaks to it.”
Vocalist Sally Tibbs, who performed regularly with Kirk, also has left the building. Otherwise, you’ll mostly still find familiar Chandlers entertainers such as Shaun Brazell, Steve Eaton, John Jones and the Sidemen. Check out the schedule on 16.
WEEKEND PICKS ONLINE
If you’re looking for something to do but find yourself without a copy of Scene, check out my blog Fridays for “Five Things You Should Do This Weekend.” (Or “Four Things.” Or “Six Things.” You get the picture.)
In addition to the picks, you’ll find an invitation to share your own ideas via the comments section. This results in: 1) Little-publicized entertainment gems from readers; 2) Outraged football fans horrified that I failed to recommend the weekly beatdown at Bronco Stadium. (When BSU plays a ranked team, the game will top the list. I swear.)
Incidentally, here’s a weekend option: Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson will perform at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Bouquet, 1010 Main St. Tickets are $15 at TicketWeb.
Michael Deeds co-hosts “The Other Studio” at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM “The River”; he appears Thursdays on Channel 6 News.