No Laughing Matter

Austin loses another legendary institution to economic impact of pandemic

Austin loses another legendary institution to economic impact of COVID

Cap City Comedy Club_stage_mic_2014
Another Austin institution is closing. Cap City Comedy Club/Facebook

Austin's biggest comedy club is shutting off the spotlight. After nearly 35 years, Cap City Comedy Club is permanently closing, citing the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.

In a statement originally emailed to the Austin American-Statesman, owners Rich Miller, Margie Coyle, Colleen McGarr, and Duncan Strauss said they were "devastated" to close Cap City, but the financial strain brought on by the pandemic was insurmountable.

For comedy fans, the news is both heartbreaking and surprising. Just last month, the club was announced as a sponsor for the 2021 Moontower Comedy Festival. Since the festival's inception 10 years ago, Cap City has been one of the main venues, along with the Paramount and State theaters, and has helped the homegrown fest build a reputation as an international comedy event.

Like so many of the long-running businesses that we've lost over the past six months — Dart Bowl, Threadgill's, Magnolia Cafe West, et al. — the  North Austin club was a city institution, and its impact was indelible — and undeniable. One needs only to look at the legendary comics who posted about Cap City's closing to realize the impact this sleepy strip mall club had on the local and national comedy scenes.

For those who had tickets to upcoming shows, the club says it's beginning to figure out the refund process, and will be in touch with more information. As for the future, the owners say it's goodbye for now, but hopefully not forever. 

"We aren’t crying, you’re crying. Actually we have not stopped crying. So live standup in Austin will be re-ignited at some point and please support. Cap City may be back but different," they said in a statement published on Comic's Comic, a comedy blog. "THANK YOU FOR AN AMAZING 35 Years at 8120."