Shuttered night club Blue Moon Nights on Lankershim Boulevard is going to reopen as a comedy club come spring.
Jack Assadourian, owner of the HaHa Comedy Cafe in the NoHo Arts District, is paying $805,000 to move his business a few blocks south on Lankershim for a bigger venue and better accommodations.
"I’m happy because I will still be in the area I love, that I put a quarter century of my life in," he said. "I still want to run a business here and accommodate the people."
Assadourian left Lebanon for Los Angeles in the late 1970s and started a career in the restaurant business. In 1988, he opened a Mexican eatery in the NoHo Arts District and converted it into a comedy club a few years later.
Since then, legendary acts like Eddie Murphy and Andrew Dice Clay have performed at the Haha Cafe.
But he said the time had come to move to a spot with more seats--raising the occupancy to 200 people--, bigger bathrooms and a green room for comedians.
He says he plans on moving his business in April, but before that he has to sort out a few issues of operation with the city.
Up until its foreclosure last year, Blue Moon Nights was a constant concern for local residents and the police due to noise levels, fights, alleged on-site drug sales and reports of shots fired by a patron in July 2011.
Officer Rob Benavidez of the Los Angeles Police Department said the nightclub was also illegally selling alcohol after 2 a.m.
"They are finding creative ways to sell liquor after hours," he said last year. "This could have been squashed from the beginning if we were able to get conditions that LAPD had asked for years ago."
The city attorney's office placed more than two dozen restrictions on the venue, some of which Assadourian says he will appeal at a Jan. 15 meeting with the city.
He says he would like to extend the club's closing time from midnight to 2 a.m. during the week and change the minimum entry age from 21 to 18.
Both requests are for conditions that are already in effect at HaHa's current location.
The comedy club's full bar is also moving to the new location with strict ID enforcement, Assadourian said.