BOCA RATON – Add the Whistle Stop to the growing group of South Florida establishments proving that comedy shows can add to their bottom line.
The Boca Raton bar hosted its first comedy night on Monday, nearly filling a room that sat mostly quietly on recent Mondays.
“Good turn out,” comic, host and promoter Matt Bellak said, “A little rowdy up front but they settled in. It turned into a show.”
Bellak said longtime friend and Whistle Stop owner Jeremy Levy approached him about trying to boost Monday nights.
A national touring comic who’s back in South Florida for a couple months, Bellak quickly made a few phone calls and created a formidable Monday night line-up.
Bellak served as host, before bringing Rodney Badger, Mike Cintron, Stephanie Wood, Nico Bolling, Drew Illa, Nik Macik and Sean Mullins to the stage.
Bellak and Badger spent much of their time trying to tame a still settling crowd. Cintron ultimately reeled them in.
“Mike went on, there’s a lot of power in that little body,” Bellak said. “He brought it.”
Despite being the first show at a new venue, Bellak kept the flow moving quickly. Each comic performed for 10-12 minutes.
“You’ve got to keep it tight.” Bellak said. “This room we kept to like 80 minutes or so.”
The show also boasted an impressive list of non-performing local comics, with Flip Schultz, Tim Hanlon, Charly Esturihlo, David Sadman and Franco Harris all dropping in to enjoy the show.
Bellak saw enough from the show to make the Whistle Stop a regular place to start his comedy week. There will be another show on Monday, likely with Hanlon – who teams with Bellak on the Dope City Tour – performing.
There will not be a show the following Monday, which is Memorial Day. After that, Bellak plans shows for the first and third Mondays of the month. He expects future shows to offer improved lighting and sound.
“I’ve learned a little bit and I’ll tweak it,” Bellak said. “It think if we keep building it this could be a fun little Monday night room.”
Bellak plans to remain in South Florida at least until mid-June before hitting the road again with Hanlon. South Florida comedy fans will have two chances to see the Dope City Tour in person before the duo leaves town.
They’re performing at the Palm Beach Improv on June 2, and the Miami Improv on June 9.