HaHa Comedy Cafe Buys Blue Moon Nights

The comedy venue will relocate in April.

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.

Bob January 09, 2013 at 02:21 PM
This can only make for a better situation. I like it!
Kyle Kilday January 09, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Is there someone taking over the former location, is that building going to be left empty now?
David Rivers January 10, 2013 at 06:19 AM
Odd, they would move a block south out of the arts district. They should have moved into that cool building for sale on Burbank blvd with the turret, next to Lonny Chapman Theatre. Hope the current place keeps the sign in front. Love the quirkiness. The area could easily have 2 or more comedy clubs.
john sullivan January 10, 2013 at 06:35 PM
I live on kling street about 50 yards from the new haha cafe location. I am okay with haha cafe from a neighbor perspective so long as it keeps an eye on the surrounding streets, mitigates parking issues and keeps to a reasonable minimum patrons especially underage patrons from parking and partying on kling or other streets and then leaving trash in the area. I have been there once, pretty good place and its not really the place where people go to get crazy so all in all no objection.
Mischler Ian Santa Ana January 11, 2013 at 07:14 AM
@Kyle, My friends and I passed by HaHa Cafe last week and spoke to Jack. He said he's planning to convert the old HaHa Cafe into a full-on restaurant/bar/cafe type place. He's moving all the comedy shows to the Blue Moon location.
Silvie Bekerjian January 11, 2013 at 07:21 AM
It's a positive move for the neighborhood. Perfect fit for NOHO ARTS DISTRICT. I have been going to the HAHA CAFE COMEDY CLUB for the past 5 years and I love their food and the ambiance. On many occasions I had the opportunity to meet celebrities like Chris tucker and the Wayne's brothers. In addition to best comedy they also the best nachos in town.
john sullivan January 11, 2013 at 07:38 AM
Except its not in the NOHO arts district. The arts district starts north of Camarillo. Its now in plain old North Hollywood. But again, its better than was there before and I cant reasonably expect the spot would be closed forever.
Francesca Zoida-Khan January 11, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Congratulations Jack! This is going to be a great year for you! The Haha Comedy Club has definitely always been my spot for a good time! This is going to be phenomenal! North Hollywood is luck to have such a loyal resident! -Cheers
Agostinozoida January 12, 2013 at 04:25 AM
As someone who performs regularly at the Haha cafe comedy club I couldn't be more excited. I remember as a young teen my parents would take me to the haha and I wished to be a comedian. I sometimes think its a dream come true to be a performer and working with Jack and Tere(owners) We are not moving out of NOHO arts district, we are taking it with us.
Honest John January 12, 2013 at 04:55 AM
Honest John I'm looking forward to slinging jokes there
Michelle baker January 12, 2013 at 05:36 AM
That's what I'm talking about... Can't wait... Michelle Baker :)
cs baharian January 12, 2013 at 06:02 AM
Ha Ha Cafe -- Good move, great spot, moving on to bigger and better things. All in all, Ha Ha Cafe will improve that area replacing the dive Blue Moon that was there before. Many congrats looking forward to the grand opening !!
Ara Assdourian January 12, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Congratulations bro! good luck!
robert January 14, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Iam excited to see this newer place open .This is a wonderful added venue of comedy to the NOHO ART DISTRICT.This will be a postive change from negative to a smile and laughter being HaHa Cafe Comedy Club .Be former President of Junior Chamber of Commerce .I emjoyed there food .Especially there Fajitas Awesome and there great names The Wayans Brothers and so many others .And also being a retired officer of the law .The owner is always on duty to make sure its a safe clean enviroment for young and and old . Friendly welcoming staff .Come and support this neighor Comedy Cafe
robert January 14, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Great place
Daniel W. January 16, 2013 at 05:29 AM
As someone who frequents the HaHa comedy club, I am excited for the opening of the new location. Great comedy, great food and now a bigger and better place to showcase it all. The owners and management have dedicated themselves to improving North Hollywood, and this is another move that exemplifies that.
Dave D January 16, 2013 at 05:40 AM
Looking forward to the new club. Always a great time on that stage, can't wait to take the mic at the new location. This new location will be great for comedy and the area.
Charles OBrien January 17, 2013 at 01:36 PM
They are completely two different types of businesses, you cannot compare the type of crowd that goes to a Comedy Club to a Night Club where the customers knew the owners of the Blue Moon Nights were selling liquor after hours and attracted the type of customer that did and sold drugs, got into fights and were disorderly, the owners of the Blue Moon supported this type of crowd and behavior. To place restrictions on a business that already has a good reputation in the community and tell them if they want to expand their business and employee more people and bring more revenue into the area that had nothing to do with the locations past problems is unreasonable. The type of people who go to a comedy club for an evening of entertainment are completely different from the type of people who go to a night club, it’s a completely different mindset. To blame a respectable business in the community like HaHa that just wants to expand and enlarge their business a location that had a bad past is wrong. HaHa should be allowed to expand and they should be allowed to maintain their current business operations and turn that current eye sore into a place of entertainment that is completely different from a Night Club that all people can enjoy. Do not blame HaHa for this actions of the previous owners, instead you should support HaHa with open arms and allow them to do business as usual.
john sullivan January 17, 2013 at 09:03 PM
I agree with you by in large but I have to be responsible to those living around me and so should HaHa Cafe. Two potential issues are parking and people hanging around getting drunk or high on side streets like mine. I am sure that HaHa Cafe will address problems should they arise.
Josh Cade January 18, 2013 at 04:49 PM
What give the city attorney the right tell any new business how to run their business because of past problems of the previous business that was there. Sounds like the city attorney is taking out what happened at Blue Moon on HaHa and has already tired, judge and convicted the HaHa Comedy Club for all the illegal actions they failed to prevent taking place at Blue Moon. The City Attorney or any other government agency should not interfere with good honest business who are trying to take advantage of the American dream and expand their business, LA should not be discouraging businesses from trying to expand and create more jobs, they should welcome HaHa goals and encourage them to do well and help them not interfere and limit them. I think the city is out of line in this situation, HaHa had nothing to do with the past history of that location and should not be punished for the cities failure to control what Blue Moon did, and not punish HaHa for what they never did.
john sullivan January 18, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Mr. Cade: As far as I know the City Attorney has not said anything about HaHa Cafe. There are current restrictions on the business. Haha Cafe presumably knew or should have known about the restrictions when it bought the property. It is entitled to seek an easing of those restrictions which based on its past history I dont think the City would oppose most of the restrictions. The prior owner however had a permit to operate 24 hours and that is highly unusual and probably will not be allowed.
Nick Wenzel January 26, 2013 at 08:31 PM
I think that only good can come from the comedy café. Would you blame a family moving into an old house where a crime was committed? It's the same reasoning here. The new tenants have no ties to the house they live in and have nothing to do with the crime. HaHa should be allowed to expand their business. They will bring a positive aura to a place where negativity was prevalent. A positive for a negative is a sound deal to me. More power to HaHa.
Charles OBrien February 04, 2013 at 08:36 AM
I am sure parking will not be as bad as you think, Comedy Clubs do not usually have as many people going to them as dance night clubs do, plus, there is a lot of street parking on Lankershim Boulevard. Most of the local business in the area will be closed by the time customers come to see shows at HaHa. Also, you have Just Tires and CVS within walking distance, I am sure HaHa can arrange something with those business owners regarding renting a few parking spaces on their property in the evening, it will be a win win win, CVS and Just Tires can make a few extra dollars in the evening when they are closed and HaHa can provide their customers a safe place to park without disturbing the local neighbors.
john sullivan February 04, 2013 at 06:07 PM
I talked with the owner last night. He remembered me because I use to walk my dog by the old place before I moved to kling. I'm not too worried, I am just cautious because of the prior owners. The tiki bar across lankershim is problem free. Jack might (if he hasn't done so already) tallk to just tires about using their parking at night. Blue moon used to use it in its heyday.
Charles OBrien February 04, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Parking will be the same situation no matter who moves into that location, its a small problem, you can not expect that building to sit empty forever, right now its an eyesore and a waste of great space, I for one would like to see a good business like HaHa who already have a good reputation in the our neighborhood move into it than another business like Blue Moon whose owners allowed illegal things to take place and attracted a crowd that was disruptive, you can not keep worrying about the past and blame future business owners for the problems of the past owners, someone is going to move into that space, may as well be a local business owner we already know and has a good track record.
Jerome Varoom Bruner April 17, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Ran into an old friend Jack from the Ha Ha Cafe. I noticed he is moving right into my neiborhood and I couldnt be more excited about it! I have known him for almost 15 years and he has always been extreemly hospitipal whenever I would go to the club. He gave me a tour of the the new location and it is amazing. Hes putting a great amount of work into it to ensure it maintains that personal ambiance of the old location while expanding the capacity. Theres even a podcast studio! Great guy great comedy club and a warm welcome to this neiborhood as the proprietors that occupied the location before left a bad taste. Congrats to you Jack! I will be visiting often!
Ryan Sanson April 25, 2013 at 10:09 PM
I live right next to the new HaHa Cafe. Blue Moon has caused such a ruckus in our neighborhood that its left such a residual, sour taste in everyone's mouths. Will a comedy club be that much different? I will tell you my thoughts. The alley behind the building has a dumpster for neighboring business that is constantly overflowing with trash and cardboard. I have seen the owner of HaHa multiple times in the past few months cleaning it up himself. I walked down one day to meet the owner, who introduced himself as Jack. Very nice and respectable guy. He gave me a tour of the building and it has come a long way. It's clean and seems to have great intentions. I have seen Jack since going out of his way to insure cleanliness and order around the property. It's nice having a cleaner alley as this is the walk I take to enter my building. So if you were to ask me if I think a comedy club will be different than Blue Moon I would say yes under the ownership of Jack! I am excited to see what is to come for the cafe. The new sign out front looks great. Jack even replaced the dead palms out front with new, lush ficus trees.
Ronda Jordan June 13, 2013 at 01:05 AM
I also live just behind the new HaHa Cafe, and agree with Ryan that this neighborhood, particularly the apartments/homes on the two side streets on either side of the club, has PTSD from what we endured with Blue Moon. I'm not interested in holding HaHa's owner responsible for the sins of its former managers, but I do ask Jack (whom I have not met) to keep in mind what the residents close to his business have been through the past few years (some longer). Crazy patrons, parking nightmares, violence, NOISE NOISE NOISE until well after sunrise on the weekends... We are working people who just want to come home in the evenings to a quiet space, and be able to go to bed at normal, working people hours. I truly wish HaHa all the best luck. I have a good friend who's a very successful stand up comic, I wish these clubs nothing but the best, and I hope to become a patron of the new spot. I would like to take this opportunity to mention, should Jack be reading!, one particular problem for the residents directly behind the establishment. If a DJ will be operating inside HaHa Cafe (and I have no idea whether or not one does), please know that if you plan to use the outdoor area for seating/smoking, etc... we can literally feel the beat pulsing through our buildings every time that side/back door is opened. I moved here just over two years ago, and it took me months to figure out from where this was coming, and why the noise only happened sporadically, and until the wee hours of the morning. I eventually exchanged emails with the club's manager as well as some kind of soundproofing guy they brought in to see if there was some way to replace the door and improve the situation. But when they realized it was just a matter of keeping that door closed when music was being played, which they had no intention of doing, they stopped communicating, and just did whatever the hell they wanted, despite the fact that the manager admitted to me that he'd had numerous complaints similar to mine. The bottom line is that the neighbors on Blix and Kling now have an extremely low tolerance for shenanigans that keep us awake or inconvenience us. One business should never be allowed to that to us. So... I think I speak for most of us when I say, we hope you are a big success, we hope to enjoy the benefits of your cafe ourselves, we look forward to spending money at the cafe, BUT know that we are on a hair-trigger where nuisances are concerned. It's because of our involvement with city officials/city council that Blue Moon was run out of here, and I'm certain if there's any trouble, we will all be on the warpath again. But as I said, we are all pulling for HaHa to do well, and be fabulous new neighbors. Best of luck to us all!
Tommy Mack December 14, 2013 at 10:15 PM
I live on Kling street, and I had a long conversation with Jack (the new owner of HaHa's), and I can emphatically say he is more concerned with the "neighborhood" and how people feel than probably any other business on the block. He's gone out of his way to make sure parking is taken care of (by arranging agreements with other local businesses), he's been proactively taking on gentrification projects that should be the city's responsibility (painting away graffiti on sidewalk objects), and the bottom line is: he's opening a business that is basically a THEATRE. Yes, it's comedy, but the business model is THEATRE…. NOT a dance club. It's night and day, folks. And for the people who say this isn't in the NOHO Arts District… really?!? Do you really think a metal sign above a road designates it.. or is it the local vibe that means more to the residents and visitors?


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