Michael Edlavitch is tired of shoveling snow.
After three years in business, Edlavitch is closing the doors to the Royal Comedy Theatre in Hopkins for good at the end of April. And he’s blaming the weather.
“It’s cold. I’m tired of shoveling snow on Main Street. Did I say that it’s cold all the time?” Edlavitch says when asked about his reasons for shutting down.
While the weather probably plays somewhat of a role in his choice, Edlavitch, who purchased the building before choosing to turn it into a comedy club, says that he has been receiving offers to sell since last summer, making the timing just right to close the curtain on the small but mighty comedy club.
Since its inception, Royal Comedy’s 50-seat showroom has brought in a steady mix of out-of-town names like Todd Glass and Mitch Fatel, along with local headliners like Maggie Faris and Jeff Pfoser. In addition, Edlavitch presented his very own Hopkins Comedy Festival back in 2017, solidifying the club as a part of the local comedy community.
A comedy veteran himself, Edlavitch spent 15 years in standup prior to opening the club. When he saw an opportunity to bring comedy out west of Minneapolis, he jumped on it.
“I learned a lot about the comedy business over the past few years,” he says. “I really made it a mission to have more diverse headliners, which I think people appreciated, and I realized there is just as big of an audience for local Minnesota headliners as there is for out of town comics.”
For the club’s final month, it’ll be an all-local sendoff. Rob Fairbanks, who has gained social media notoriety as the “Rez Reporter,” will perform at the club April 5-6, while club regulars Jamie Blanchard (April 12-13), CiCi Cooper (April 19-20), and Kevin Craft (April 26-27) will close things out.
According to Edlavitch, his plan is to leave the snow and ice of Minnesota behind and head out to San Diego, though he says he’s still campaigning to get his family on board.
Aside from his family, he says that the comedians who have become fixtures at the club have taken the news of its closing well, although they have made a compelling case to keep him in Minnesota.
“I just got a text earlier telling me about the forest fires and earthquakes in San Diego,” Edlavitch laughs. “So they’re definitely trying to keep me around.”
As for whether the closing of the club spells the end of his run in comedy – or even comedy in Minnesota, for that matter – Edlavitch isn’t closing the door just yet.
“I’ll take a year, go to the beach, and boogie board. If I don’t see enough shows that I like happening in Minnesota, maybe I’ll come back and start promoting again. Plus, maybe global warming will make the year-round weather in Minnesota better.”