Oct. 1 2014 12:00 AM



Due to a reporting error, the wrong talent booking company was listed for the Stockyard BBQ/The Comedy Zone. Hefron Talent is the company that works with Stockyard. Funny Business, the company that was named in the article, handles talent booking for the Jokers are Wild at Tripper’s.

Speculation and rumors have abounded about what would happen to the former Paul Revere’s building since it closed last summer, but this week I confirmed with Missouri-based O’Reily Auto Enterprises that the building will be leveled and an O’Reilly Auto Parts store will be built on the property.

“We don’t have a permit for construction yet, so given the time of the season, we’ll probably just wait until next spring to start, after the thaw,” said project administrator Sheldon Jennings. O’Reilly Auto Parts was founded in 1957. It has 4,257 stores in 42 states including two in the Lansing, on the south and west sides.

As for the liquor license, that will be going to the newly formed restaurant group Potent Potables Project. It’s the brainchild of Aaron Matthews, Al Hooper and Sam Short, the team behind Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern and the upcoming Creole and Cosmos projects. Short said that the newly acquired liquor license is for one of two upcoming projects the group is working on, but he wouldn’t elaborate yet. But he did dish on the name, Potent Potables.

“We’re all big ‘Jeopardy’ fans,” he said.

Hail hydra

Comedy must be like the hydra of Greek mythology: Chop one head off, and more grow back. When Connxtions Comedy Club closed last spring, it left a hole in mid-Michigan for nationally touring standup comedians. But now that hole will be filled by two new comedy clubs.

In Charlotte, The Stock Yard BBQ has gotten a massive interior overhaul — including the construction of a stage — to become the Comedy Zone, a 160-seat club. Its first show will be the weekend of Oct. 24-25.

“If demand is there, it will be open five days a week,” said owner/operator Terry Ranshow. “And if it really takes off, I’d like to expand someday and have a place about the size of Connxtions, about 400 seats.”

Nationally touring comedians are being booked by Hefron Talent. Ranshaw said he’s keeping the barbecue theme, but cutting off dinner at 8 p.m. on show nights.

Steve Tripp, owner of Tripper’s in Frandor, will reopen a 3,000-square-foot empty space inside the building that it used to use for comedy in the mid-‘00s — coincidentally named the Comedy Zone —to create The Jokers are Wild.

“I’m excited to bring comedy back to Lansing,” Tripp said. “We’ve been talking about doing this forever, but I’m a procrastinator at heart. When Connxtions went out, people started pestering me. I’m doing this to keep them quiet.”

Tripp said he’s already starting to line up acts, booked by Grand Rapids-based Funny Business, but he doesn’t expect the 175-seat club to be open until January.

The Stockyard BBQ and Comedy Zone 1820 Lansing Road, Charlotte 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily (517) 993-6093, thestockyardbbq.com.

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