116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Thew Brewing in southwest Cedar Rapids is rebranding and reopening later this month as a comedy club.
After announcing last month it would cease brewing operations and closing last weekend, the brewery at 301 Second Ave. SW will reopen as The Lucky Cat later this month with a slate of comedy, trivia, yoga and other events.
Since Penguins Comedy Club, 208 Second Ave. SE, closed downtown, co-owner Haley Flenker said Cedar Rapids has lacked a space for comedians to perform.
“I think (the comedy community) is going to continue to grow and thrive with a dedicated space,” Flenker said.
With the complete rebranding, Flenker said she and her husband wanted to have subtle ties to things they’d done previously, and Lucky Cat fit the bill. The brewing operation was the most expensive part of staying in business, Flenker said, and Thew saw the most success with its comedy and other events. They decided to lean into that with the new venture.
She previously said the decision to cease brewing was not made in anticipation of the $81.5 million First and First West development on the vacant land at the corner of First Street SW and First Avenue W, which will bring in a Big Grove brewery and other uses.
Flenker said she was excited to remain in the Second Avenue SW space as the Kingston Village neighborhood grows around it.
“The bounce back from the pandemic has been slow,” Flenker said. “ … For us it just made the most sense to take things in a different direction.”
Flenker said The Lucky Cat will have around five mostly part-time staff in addition to herself. Once it reopens, its operating hours are from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.
Some local and regional comics are already lined up to kick off the space’s reopening, and Flenker said people are welcome to reach out if they are interested in being booked on a show.
The Lucky Cat also will offer drinks and a food menu that still is in the works — something simple, Flenker said, to keep the emphasis on the comedy space.
The drink menu features a rotating offerings of beer, wine and seltzer, liquor and mixers, and cocktails and mocktails. The cocktail list includes a lavender vodka lemonade named after popular local drag queen Lexi Belle. There also is a non-alcoholic mocktail version of the beverage.
Flenker said she’d previously talked with Lexi Belle about doing a canned cocktail for her, and since that idea never made it off the ground, she reached out to the drag queen as soon as the menu was in the works and got the go-ahead to make a drink in her name.
“We’re really excited,” Flenker said of the new venture. “I’m thrilled. This is a passion of mine, developing community and developing the comedy community here.”
For more information, a schedule of events and to subscribe to the mailing list, visit theluckycatcr.com or follow The Lucky Cat’s social media pages.
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