You might not think that fine wine and stand-up comedy go together, but they made for the perfect pairing as “The Comedy Flight” debuted on Thursday night, January 11, to a packed room at Cellar Gate in Highwood, Illinois.
Owned by Kayla Steffens, a retired elementary teacher with a passion for travel, meeting people, sharing stories and sipping wine, Cellar Gate Wine Market and Bistro opened in the fall of 2008, offering a variety of wines gathered from small production vineyards around the world. This rustic and intimate venue also offers wine tastings, live acoustic music and game nights. It is also available for private parties and special events. However, Cellar Gate never had hosted live, stand-up comedy.
Larry Bloom, founder of Funnier By The Lake Comedy, based in Highland Park, was looking to “serve something funny” to a new location on the North Shore. He and Ricky March, founder of Best Corporate Comedy, scout out different suburban venues where “dinner and a show” comedy packages can help attract new patrons and increase business on slow nights. Bloom approached Steffens about trying out the idea at Cellar Gate. She was game.
“I just had a feeling that comedy would work here,” said Bloom. “I first performed stand-up comedy in Highwood and was happy to find a new local venue. I like to bring comedy to spaces that have not considered it before. As soon as I walked in to Cellar Gate, I knew it was a good fit.”
“The Comedy Flight” debuted that Thursday evening to a sold-out crowd filled with laughter. Hosted by Bloom, the show featured professional stand-up comedians from the Chicago area: Shannon Noll; Mona Aburmishan, founder of the Comedy Bowl in Chicago; special guest Ricky March; and headliner Peter-John Byrnes.
The inaugural show was very successful and garnered positive feedback from the crowd, not just for the comedians, but also for the sophisticated venue, the great food and of course, the wine!
A second Comedy Flight at Cellar Gate, tentatively planned for Valentine’s Day, is in the works.
For more information about future Comedy Flight shows, the venue and producers:
Funnier by the Lake
Best Corporate Comedy
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