New comedy club opens in Long Island City

The Standing Room doesn’t have a sign yet but its been open since June with comedy stand-up and musical performances.
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The laughter is back on Vernon Boulevard. A new comedy club called The Standing Room quietly opened in late June at the former home of The Laughing Devil.

The Standing Room, located at 47-38 Vernon Blvd., is still in its “soft open” phase with a grand opening to be scheduled for next month. Area residents are being offered multiple opportunities to experience every aspect of the new venue for free all this month.

In addition to stand-up comedy and live musical performances, The Standing Room offers specialty cocktails and microbrew beer. The ownership group behind the club is the same team that opened The Stand in Manhattan, which was named Best Comedy Club 2013 by New York magazine.

Former Long Island City resident Paul Italia is among the The Standing Room’s four owners.

“I used to live here and I’ve watched this neighborhood grow and evolve over the last decade,” he said. “This is a terrific community and we want to provide people here with a great night out, whether that’s enjoying a comedy show or just relaxing with a good drink. We have a menu of unique cocktails and local beers, we’re partnering with area restaurants to offer special desserts and small bites, and we have projectors to broadcast the game or present screenings. And of course, great comedy.”

The Laughing Devil was sold in April after Steve Hofstetter, who owned the club since 2011, moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood. His business partner, Jacob Morvay, had already given up his part of the ownership after the birth of his child.

The new team plans to lure bigger name comedians across the East River from their club in Manhattan.

“It’s a smaller, more intimate room than the club in Gramercy,” co-owner Patrick Milligan said. “This gives us a chance to try things that are different, even experimental, while also tapping into the incredible talent pool we already work with.”

To introduce their club to area residents, the ownership team is planning several promotional events such as the LIC Concerts official after-party. People who attended LIC Concerts July 16 and July 23 enjoyed the after-party on the house, and The Standing Room will do it again after the July 30 performance.

There is also a nightly special available to residents of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Astoria and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Bring in any catalog, circular, credit-card offer or other junk mail that proves you live in one of those neighborhoods and get two tickets to any show through Aug. 31.

The Standing Room will also host a Happy Hour for any area business or organization, including a one-hour hosted bar, drink specials and free admission to the comedy show.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, July 29, 2015
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