DENVER-It’s no laughing matter.

The 35-year-old Improv Comedy Club plans to break ground on one of its million-dollar venues in downtown Denver. “Hopefully, we’ll break ground in the next month,” Tony Baldino, president of New Orleans-based Comedy Clubs Co. Inc., parent of the Improv, told “We anticipate opening in March or April.”

The Improv club will be built on the third floor of the Pavilions shopping and entertainment center at the upper end of the 16th Street Mall. The 7,500-sf, 350-seat club will neighbor the Pavilions’ United Artists theater.

Founded more than 30 years in Los Angeles, the Improv has helped hone and launch such comedians as Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Martin. Bette Midler had even been a waitress at the LA club.

The Denver club will hire 40 people, including aspiring comedians who will staff the bar and provide dinner service. Baldino says the Improv in Denver, above the Hard Rock Café, will generally do one show at 8 p.m. during the week and multiple shows on weekends. It offers a full-service restaurant and appetizers prior to shows, but is not open for lunch, he says. The Improv is owned by Al Copeland, founder of the Popeye’s fast food chain.

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