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- 2012 - October - 4th -

Comedy Club of Jacksonville setting up Southside routine

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

It’s funny how evident it is the Comedy Club of Jacksonville is planning to open on the Southside.

A billboard looms along Beach Boulevard near the club’s location at 11000 Beach Blvd., next to Bankshots and behind Dollar Tree.

A sign is on the building – Comedy Club.

And a sign on the door announces a mid-November opening date, along with a separate posting of the “joke of the week.”

Owner Stephen Smith was at the location Wednesday afternoon. The 10,400-square-foot space is vacant and awaiting build-out. Pending permits and plans show a “comedy and banquet center” that Smith said will be 300-seat club with a full kitchen and bar.

The website, JacksonvilleComedy.com, describes the club as “focused on great service, delicious food and first-rate adult comedy without much of the vulgarity.”

The site and Smith say the comics to be featured have appeared on the David Letterman and Jay Leno shows and on Comedy Central “and provide a nightclub act without the fatiguing repetition of hard-core language and content. Get a Jerry Seinfeld-style of show, not Jerry Springer.”

State corporate records show Smith is the owner of the Comedy and Banquet Center of Jacksonville. Articles of incorporation were filed in May 2011.

“We want your genuine belly laugh, not the embarrassing ‘what did that person just say’ shock laughter that is associated with a foul comic,” the website says. The shows and comedians will be rated – with the softer routines at the early shows Friday and Saturday.

Smith said there will be five shows a week – Thursday night and two nightly Friday and Saturday.

The website said 90 percent of the comics have not performed in Jacksonville.

The website announces comedian Mike Armstrong, a former Louisville police officer, will open the club Nov. 15-17 for “Police Appreciation” week. It says $2 will be donated to the Police Athletic League for every patron who sees the show.

Lachlan Patterson, Ryan Hamilton, Ralph Harris, Jeff Jena and Andrew Kennedy follow.

The menu shows food is $10 and below and features appetizers, salads, “entrees on a shtick” and traditional fare, such as burgers, hot dogs, tacos, a club sandwich and a BLT. There also are desserts. Buffets are available for groups.

Seats range from $6 to $25, the website shows.

Smith said the club will hire 15-20 employees and the website says it is hiring servers, beverage and food runners, kitchen staff and bartenders. Jobs are part-time, mostly between 6 p.m.-midnight Thursday-Saturday.

Smith won’t divulge what he’s investing in the venture, only saying “a lot.”

He said he’s been in Jacksonville for 16 years and spent a few years with The Comedy Zone in Mandarin. “Geographically, we’re not going to compete,” he said.

Smith said he has 34 years of experience in radio sales, too.

Fred Pozin, general manager and owner of The Comedy Zone, said Wednesday that Smith worked in sales with him.

“He’s a good guy. He did a great job,” Pozin said.

“He had a love for comedy as well and I am glad he was able to take some lessons and put them to work,” he said. “I wish him the best of luck.”

Pozin also is general manager of the Ramada Inn Jacksonville in Mandarin, where The Comedy Zone operates.

Pozin said he applauds anyone for bringing more attention to comedy.

PDU Direct shows its sign

The “PDU Direct – Our Pride is in our Products” sign was approved for the company’s location at 2908 W. Beaver St.

Liberty Lighting Inc. is putting up the wall sign at a cost of $400.

A-e-mag.com, an industry site for awards, engraving and custom gift professionals, earlier reported that Plastic Dress-Up Company/PDU announced the opening of its 47,500-square-foot warehouse in Jacksonville to provide next-day service to PDU’s customers in Florida, most of Georgia and parts of Alabama.

It quoted Southeastern Sales Manager Lyle King that the company was using the entire space as a warehouse.

Easton, Sanderson & Co. owns the property. Wayne Sanderson said PDU opened there Aug. 1 and signed a five-year lease. He said broker Mark Scott at Graham & Co. represented Easton, Sanderson and Bart Hinson at Colliers International represented PDU.

Cummer sprucing up

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is designing exterior renovations and improvements to its grounds and gardens at its 829 Riverside Ave. campus.

Elkins Constructors Inc. is listed on the building permit application as the contractor for the improvements, shown at a construction cost of $1.63 million.

Titus hotel named Marble Waters

Call the Titus Harvest Dome Spectrum Church hotel the “MW Marble Waters Hotel & Suites.”

The church, nearby at 12335 Atlantic Blvd., has developed the four-story, 80-room hotel at 45 Kernan Blvd. N. at a project cost of $11 million.

The permit shows the project is for Water Marble Holding LLC, whose agent is Rodney J. Washington Sr. and whose managing member is Titus Harvest Dome Spectrum Church Inc. Washington is pastor of the church.

Two sign permits issued show it will be called “MW Marble Waters Hotel & Suites.”

River City Sign Co. is the contractor.

Closing Kmart starts ‘inventory blowout’

Kmart has started its “inventory blowout” sale toward closing its 5751 Beach Blvd. store. The store is not participating in current Kmart circulars, instead selling off its items in preparation for its closure by year-end.

Proclaiming “everything is on sale!” the store is discounting inventory from 20 to 70 percent, according to an ad Sunday in The Florida Times-Union.

Sears Holding Corp. spokeswoman Kimberly Freely said Sept. 17 that Sears will close the Kmart store by the end of December.

A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the state said 71 workers would be affected from Dec. 9-23 at the No. 4283 store.

Kmart is part of Sears, which has been closing Sears and Kmarts nationwide.

Freely said the affected workers will be notified of positions available at area Sears and Kmart stores but will need to apply for those jobs.

She said the Kmart going-out-of-business sale should wrap up by mid-December and the store should bevacated by the end of December.

On Dec. 27, Sears Holdings announced it would close 120 underperforming Sears and Kmart stores but has not identified all of them, according to searsholdings.com.

Among its initial closings were two area Kmart stores in Fernandina Beach and St. Augustine.

Marshalls build-out at Parkway Shops

Marshalls is closer to opening at the Parkway Shops at River City Marketplace. The City approved the $1 million build-out for the 25,000-square-foot store, comprising sales, office, storage and other spaces.

The Parkway Shops center is under development at 14964 Duval Road.

Dick’s Sporting Goods will open in the center as well.

The Daily Record reported in February that Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust planned to develop the Parkway Shops next to its River City Marketplace retail center in North Jacksonville and had signed Marshalls and Dick’s Sporting Goods for the project.

About 20,000 square feet of small shop space is also under development.

Goodwill doubling St. Johns Square space

Goodwill Industries of North Florida is moving within St. Johns Square, at St. Johns Bluff Road and Beach Boulevard, expanding from 7,900 to 16,715 square feet. It is expected to open in January.

It will be the nonprofit’s largest store to date in North Florida, featuring a larger back room and drive-thru donation center.

The 11160 Beach Blvd. store will be built out at a project cost of $243,943. Tom Trout Inc. is the contractor.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

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