Enter laughing Comedy Club opens in Union City

Many Hudson County residents travel as far as East Orange or New York City for the best comedy clubs. Now, they will only have to travel as far as Union City to catch those same comedians and an excellent dinner.

Cheval Restaurant, on 17th and West streets, owned by Scott Carter, now offers comedy on Saturday nights.

“There really is nothing else around here for comedy,” said Carter, who hopes to attract a new crowd for his restaurant.

“It is eventually going to grow [in popularity],” said Keith Cruz, who books the comedians for the restaurant. “Once Hudson County grasps that there is comedy right here.”

Booking the acts

If the first show is any indication of the comedians that will perform on the intimate stage in the back room of Cheval Restaurant, then the customers should only expect the best.

The comedy club opened on March 10 with Otto and George, a ventriloquist act well known for their part on the Opie and Anthony radio show on 102.7.

“The people who came to the show knew [Otto and George],” said Carter.

Cruz isn’t exactly new at booking comedy acts. Cruz also booked comedians for Anthony’s Restaurant in Hoboken about three years ago.

“I go to New York and other comedy clubs and introduce myself,” said Cruz about finding his comedians.

Cruz is also working on booking some Latin comedians to cater to the large Latin community in Union City and Hudson County.

“We try to cater to all people. But I think, whatever is funny is funny,” said Cruz. “The month of May I am going to attack the community with Latin comedians.”

Cruz said that he likes to book a two-hour show with a host, two middlemen comedians and a headliner. Tickets for each show cost $10; however, prices may vary depending on the comedians. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the bar or at the door. Customers can also reserve tickets over the phone.

Attracting new customers

While a restaurant like Cheval Restaurant that has been open for more than 75 years has developed its own following, Carter hopes that the comedy club will attract new customers to the restaurant.

“The biggest challenge now is trying to attract new customers,” said Carter, who often hears stories from his customers who had their wedding parties here more about 50 years ago. “We get a lot of old-timers.”

So far, Carter said that the comedy club has been working.

“A lot of people came to eat dinner and then see the show,” said Carter, whose food is prepared by his brother Marc Carter who trained with famous chef Emeril Legasi for two years.

However, Carter still caters to his loyal Cheval customers.

The restaurant offers early bird specials from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for senior citizens and daily specials.

The restaurant is open from Wednesday through Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 3 p.m. to Midnight and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.


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