Leases  ·  Retail

The Second City Opening Up Shop, and Laughs, in Williamsburg


The Second City is making like its talent pool and embarking on the inevitable move to New York City.

Improvisational comedy stage Second City — which counts Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Stephen Colbert among its alums — will open up its first-ever New York City outpost at 64 North Ninth Street in Williamsburg next summer, according to a representative for the firm. Cue laugh track.

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Outfitted with a mainstage theater, seven classrooms and a full-service restaurant and bar, its new space between Kent and Wythe avenues promises to bring polite Midwestern laughs to New York’s cold, dead heart. Previous reports have pegged the square-footage at 11,900. 

“New York City is a renowned hub for talent and culture,” Ed Wells, Second City CEO, said in a statement announcing the opening, though he did not disclose the address at the time and it was not previously reported. “We could not be more thrilled to bring The Second City’s unique brand of improv-based entertainment and education to the city as we continue to foster the next generation of comedy.”

Second City’s new single-story outpost formerly belonged to the warehouse-size record store and music venue Rough Trade NYC up until January 2021, when the pandemic forced the retailer to pick up shop and move to new digs at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

New York City represents Second City’s fourth venue — the improv comedy venue has one location in Toronto, another in Hollywood, and its main outpost in Chicago, don’t cha know. The 63-year-old troupe’s spots in Detroit and Las Vegas, however, have closed, The New York Times reported.

It was not immediately clear who brokered the deal. Representatives for Second City and its landlord, Wythe Avenue Properties, did not immediately respond to questions on the terms of the lease. 

Celia Young can be reached at