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Monk’s Social Club opens to the public tonight at 504 W. College St.
SBJ photo by Wes Hamilton
Monk’s Social Club opens to the public tonight at 504 W. College St.

Skinny Improv returns via Monk’s Social Club

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Jeff Jenkins is bringing back his Skinny Improv show with the launch of a new downtown venture called Monk’s Social Club.

Jenkins, who owns the comedy club, music venue and bar with Kent Williams, said a jazz concert scheduled tonight is Monk’s first public event. A soft opening was held last night, he said.

“We have a philosophy in improv called ‘follow the fear,’ where if it scares you, do that,” Jenkins said of launching Monk’s.

Jenkins said Monk’s plans to host eight to 12 shows a week, including improv performances under his Skinny Improv brand. Skinny Improv’s last public show was in 2015. He said 20-25 performers are on board, and former Skinny Improv cast members will be invited to return for special appearances.

“We’re trying to launch pretty strong,” he said, pointing to improv shows, as well as sketches, standup and musical comedy. “We want to come out of the gate with versatility.

“I’m really excited about this new generation of cast members.”

Monk’s operates at 504 W. College St., the former home of College Street Barkade. Jenkins said Monk’s Social Club will operate on the first floor, while Gypsy Lounge will be housed upstairs in the two-story building.

He signed the lease for the property on Feb. 1 for undisclosed terms with building owner Bo Hagerman. Jenkins declined to disclose his investment in the venture.

Tonight’s event features Montage, a Springfield jazz band. Jenkins said Friday nights would be dedicated to jazz music, often with its house band called Tweedle and the Dee.

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