PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Harvey’s Comedy Club gave visitors one final laugh Saturday night as owner Barry Kolin closed the doors following his recent health problems.
The longest-running night club in Portland opened up in 1992 and has provided visitors with plenty of laughs and memories over the years.
Kolin told KOIN 6 News about how he’s flooded with memories every time he walks into the club.
“When I first opened, I was doing clean comedy,” Kolin said of his time performing one-man shows.
Kolin named the club after his friend and mentor, Harvey Dick.
The club quickly became a smash hit for the Pacific Northwest and attracted notable comics including Amy Schumer and Louis C.K.
“The thing about live comedy that people don’t understand that it’s just like anything else when it’s live, anything can happen, anything goes,” Kolin said.
Aside from shows, the club was also a community space.
Kolin gave students and young athletes access to the club and offered to give special tours as the building is part of what was once known as the Shanghai Tunnels.
“I’d take these kids, I’d tell them the ghost stories down there and take them down to the basement and give them the tours and they loved it.”
Unfortunately, Kolin suffered a heart attack just 3 weeks ago, which is why he chose to shut the club’s doors.
Kolin said, “My heart and my mind tell me keep going, keep going, keep going, but my body says it’s time to slow down and go down a different path.”
Kolin’s plan now is to focus on his health and said he owes his success to his family and friends. Despite Kolin drawing the curtains on Harvey’s Comedy Club, he remains optimistic for its future.
“It’s time to pass the baton to some young people,” Kolin said. “They can come in with some different ideas maybe, but keep the core of what Harvey’s is about the same.”