After less that two months away, The Lincoln Lodge has found a new home in the downstairs lounge of Wicker Park concert venue Subterranean. The Lodge's regular Friday night comedy showcases will return Friday, February 28th, with its sister show, The Blackout Diaries, relaunching on Saturday, March 1st.
Few details beyond than the location have changed concerning the Lodge's setup, with tickets remaining $10 and full food and drink service offered throughout the show. Subterranean's centralized location in heart/The Crotch of Wicker Park, along with outpouring of support the Lodge received after the sudden shuttering of its home for 14 years, could make for a huge uptick in ticket sales and continued notoriety amongst Chicago's always growing base of comedy fans.
I talked about the move with Lincoln Lodge cast member Ricky Gonzalez, who has worked tirelessly on finding the show a new home over the past seven weeks, check out the text of that interview below. Tickets for the return of The Lincoln Lodge and Blackout Diaries can be purchased on The Lincoln Lodge's website. Welcome back, The Lincoln Lodge!
The Steamroller: How has the search for a new venue been? Did anyone approach you after word got out on the Lincoln Restaurant's closing?
Ricky Gonzalez: The search has definitely been challenging. It was tough because there are so many things we need a venue to give us and be flexible with in order to produce our shows up to our standards. We are essentially asking them to let us take over part of their venue every Friday and Saturday night; which is asking a lot.
The good news was, our final shows and the closing of the Lincoln Restaurant, got a lot of good press in many publications. We were contacted by a lot of venues who were very excited about talking to us about potentially moving our shows to their venue. Once we saw how many people were reaching out, we were able to relax a little bit and focus on the search.
TS: Did you see this as a sign to change things or reorient your priorities with what the Lodge is/does, or were you just anxious to get back to doing what you've been doing successfully all these years?
Ricky: One thing many people failed to understand is that The Lincoln Restaurant and our comedy shows were two entirely different entities. The closing of the Lincoln Restaurant, while very unfortunate, had nothing to do with us. We simply rented out their backroom for our shows.
So, to answer your question... we are not changing anything about the production of our shows. We are attempting to keep everything as close to the same as possible; just at a different venue. We are very excited and anxious to get back to putting on great shows; especially in a new part of Chicago and hopefully for more and new fans.
TS: What were you looking for during your search? How did you decide on Subterranean?
Ricky: Subterranean was very excited about having us. They were incredibly flexible with our production requests. Our meetings and conversations went well with Subterranean management. We were clearly on the same page and it appears a great relationship is starting that will benefit both The Lincoln Lodge and Subterranean; we hope for a long time.
TS: Any other big plans for the coming months you'd care to tease?
Ricky: Subterranean has two rooms. We will hold our shows in their smaller room on the first floor that holds 90-100 audience. We have discussed using their main venue, upstairs, that seats over 300 for some special events. Those details are still in the works. And we are definitely working hard to land some special event show as soon as possible.