In the 1990s, Harvey’s wasn’t just the place for comedians to play in Portland, Ore., it was the only place really. At least if you were a stand-up looking for a full week’s pay.
But after 25 years of operation, Harvey’s Comedy Club presented its final stand-up comedy shows on July 15.
Barry Kolin, who opened the joint in 1979 as Harvey’s Restaurant and Lounge and turned it into a full-time comedy club in 1992, had suffered a heart attack in June. Kolin told KOIN in Portland: “My heart and my mind tell me keep going, keep going, keep going, but my body says it’s time to slow down and go down a different path.”
In recent years, Harvey’s also faced more competition for comedians and comedy fans from the likes of Helium Comedy Club for bigger names as well as Curious Comedy Theater for alternative acts.
Kolin had a deal early in 2017 to sell Harvey’s to the owners of Spokane Comedy Club in Eastern Washington, but it fell through. Still, Kolin told Portland reporters that he remained hopeful someone else might reopen Harvey’s for comedy again soon.
Here’s a news story from when Harvey’s first opened.
And the TV report from when it closed.