Jokes and Notes, considered the only black-owned comedy club in Chicago, is closing after 11 years. The club in Bronzeville hosted a number of up and coming South Side comedians as well as big names like Deon Cole and Monique.
Owner Mary Lindsey said the first five years of business were successful, but then it got harder to run the club.
“People would say I love what you do,’ ” she said. “ ‘I love coming to your club because you produce great shows. But I want to go eat, and then come, and I want to be able to walk to it.’ And so that’s always been a challenge for me since the area didn’t grow like it was supposed to.”
Lindsey said the comedy scene on the North Side is successful because it gets a lot of foot traffic from surrounding retail and tourism.
“When you think of the North Side, they have so much there. Even tourism. Tourism doesn’t think to come south of 22nd (Street),” she said.
Lindsey says the perception of the South Side as a high crime area also kept people away.
She said she still loves the Bronzeville neighborhood and wouldn’t hesitate to come back if development picks up. And she’d also be happy if someone else picks up where she left off.
Jokes and Notes hosts its last show on Saturday. Tickets are already sold out.