I love the smart, funny, kind women in my life, and any excuse to spend quality time with them is guaranteed to be a good time. I love the smart, funny, kind men and children in my life, too, but there’s something so liberating when you get just the girls together. There’s a sort of “we’re all in this together” mentality, a sisterhood. We’re more open and honest with one another, and the laughs seem to come more freely.
A few weeks ago it was all about the laughs when my mother-in-law, two sisters-in-law, and brother-in-law’s girlfriend went to Acme Comedy Club for dinner and a show. For $30 a pop, it was a great deal—a decent meal (up to a $16 value, then you pay the difference) plus the opportunity to see the emcee’s act, the feature, and the headliner over the course of the evening. You’d be hard-pressed to have that much fun—for that amount of money—anywhere else on a weekend evening in downtown Minneapolis.
After parking in the pay lot across the street (Acme is located in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis—there is some street parking, but we didn’t want to drive around looking. The lot was only $5), we entered the giant lobby and walked past the front desk to Sticks Restaurant. My sister-in-law April had made reservations for the 8 p.m. show, which meant dinner was served between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. We arrived close to 6:30 and were sat immediately. The restaurant had a very rustic ambiance, with exposed brick walls (real brick? Fake brick? Either way, it worked), giant wood beams, stick wall dividers, and dim lighting. The ambiance felt like we were in a cozy Colorado lodge.
April knew the drill after having gone to Acme once before and asked our server if we could have center seats for the comedy show. Our server didn’t promise us the seats we requested, but said she would do her best to let those in the ticketing office know about our preference. (Points for being assertive: They did honor our request. We had excellent seats.)
I ordered the salmon and thought it was very good, others at my table had the marinated chicken, mushroom ravioli, and steak—no complaints. My $8 margarita—served in a carafe— was worth every penny. Our server was rushed and understandably overwhelmed (it was busy in the restaurant), but she was always prompt and polite.
We saw (tall, dark, and handsome) local comedian/emcee Robert Baril, up-and-coming comedienne Miss Shannan Paul, and hilarious New York-based comedian Chris Gethard. We were laughing so hard our stomach muscles hurt. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect, but we definitely were not disappointed.
Good company, good food, good cocktails, lots of laughs (complete with a free stomach workout!), and a special memory of spending quality time together with the girls—doesn’t get much better than that.
• Make reservations in advance.
• You won’t be seated until your whole group has arrived. Either carpool or expect to wait in the bar for the rest of your group.
• Guests who buy dinner and a show are assigned seats first. After that, it’s first-claimed, first-assigned. Arrive early if you’re not having dinner beforehand. Good seats go fast.
• Speak up and specify your seating preference. It doesn’t hurt to at least try to request a specific location. (Some people want to be right up front, others definitely do not want to become part of the routine.)
• During your birthday month, you + 4 friends can attend a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday show free. There are also discounted tickets available to current students and recent grads.
• Mondays are free open-mic night, starting at 7:30, and it can get crowded so get there early. It’s a great way to see amateurs trying out new material. Most are very funny. (Hey, don’t complain. It’s free.)
• Just like when you’re at a movie theater, remember to turn your phone off before the show starts.
• Talking during the show is strongly discouraged. (You could even be asked to leave for disrupting the viewing experience of those around you.) This might not be the best activity for a group of previously-liquored-up bachelor/bachelorette party-goers.
• Bring cash if you want to order drinks during the show. (The servers come around on a regular basis; there are little side tables between the seats for you to set your drink.) If you do plan on drinking, know that there can be some insanely long bathroom lines right before and right after the show.
• Bring a sweater or scarf if you go when the weather is less-than-ideal. It can get pretty chilly being so close to the main door.
• If you get easily offended, Google the headlining comedian’s name before you buy tickets so you know what you’re getting into.
• Prepare to laugh. A lot.