Soon, those belly laughs will come with a full stomach.
Those looking for a laugh on the weekend will no longer have to leave Harrisburg Comedy Zone with empty stomachs.
The old Doc Holliday’s at 110 Limekiln Road in New Cumberland is now home to Boomerang Bar and Grill, a bar-style family restaurant.
The building has been undergoing renovations since the fall, which left hungry guests anxiously awaiting the soft opening set to take place in late February, says owner Nick Loxas.
The Greek native who grew up in Australia and moved to the United States in 1995 also owns Summit Family Restaurant in Lower Allen Township.
Loxas kept the business open through New Year’s Eve so customers could continue to frequent the Comedy Zone, which is in the same building. But once heavy construction started, he said, everyone had to be out.
“It was in really bad shape,” Loxas said of the restaurant, which sat empty for several years. “It was really dirty and some of the old wait staff who wanted to stay showed us that we could really save this place.”
Since Loxas took over, he said, customers were looking for something to munch on while watching their favorite local and touring comics.
For Earl David Reed, a favorite Central Pennsylvania comedian and a 10-year veteran of the Harrisburg Comedy Zone, the changes are welcome.
“I think the lack of a food menu kept people away,” Reed said in an email. “Most people love to have their dinner and entertainment in the same place.”
Keeping the food and fun in one location means people don’t have to rush through a meal to make sure they get to the venue on time, Reed said.
“I like the idea of being able to recommend the dinner and a show package,” Reed says.
Regular customers who have been keeping close tabs on the work are ready to get back to the laughs.
Jessica Spielman of Harrisburg works nearby and would often stop by the comedy club to mix up her routine.
“It was always a nice option because it was different than just going out to a bar,” she said. “I think it needed the physical update and I think being able to eat there is going to make it so much better. It’s just nice to have that option.”
Lewis Martin of Mechanicsburg is dreaming of warmer weather and the chance to enjoy a drink on the outdoor deck before heading inside for a show, he said. The updated location will have so many options – from a family-friendly restaurant to the comedy club – that he’s looking forward to frequenting it on a regular basis again.
“I think with all the changes it’s really going to bring new life into that place,” Martin said. “It was long overdue. I’m excited to see if it can draw the crowds that used to go there years ago.”
In addition to new flooring, a fresh coat of paint and an updated bar, Boomerang Bar and Grill is coming out with a classic menu. The restaurant will feature bar food favorites, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, catch-of-the-day specials on Fridays and deals on steak and prime rib each weekend.
A newly renovated deck will also be available for crowds who want to venture outside in warmer weather. Loxas also hopes to welcome larger groups for wedding receptions and corporate events.
Loxas plans to keep Harrisburg Comedy Zone up and running as long as the customers ask for it – and a lot of them have been, he said. Even though it was closed for less than two months, regulars missed coming out to leave their work weeks behind them and enjoy an evening of fun.
Even with the changes, he said, Harrisburg Comedy Zone will remain a staple. Former professional wrestling champion Mick Foley (aka Mankind in his WWE days) will perform standup on February 24.
When people step into the building, he hopes visitors experience a warm, welcoming feeling.
“It will be like sitting on a Greek island,” Loxas said. “I guess the only thing missing is the sea. But that’s how I want customers to feel each time they step in here – like the place is comfortable and friendly.
• 110 Limekiln Road; New Cumberland
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