Pasadena’s legendary Ice House has been closed for renovations since the end of 2019, when Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Johnny Buss bought the club for an undisclosed amount from longtime owner Bob Fisher. Since then, comedy fans have been waiting in anticipation for the legendary club to reopen, but according to the club’s PR team, they’ll have to cool their heels a little bit longer.
“Right now we are still under renovations,” according to a text sent exclusively to Pasadena Now. “We don’t have an exact re-opening date just yet but we are shooting to be open at the end of the summer.”
Buss has had a long and distinguished career in professional sports, serving as president of the Los Angeles Sparks, the team that won back-to-back WNBA Championships. He was also president of Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League, and hopes to bring his decades of business experience to America’s longest-running comedy club with the intention of giving it another 60 vibrant years of life.
The renovations of the club are ambitious. The team has created a new tunnel for patrons to enter the club, replacing the past experience of walking through a nearby alley and lining up in the front parking lot. That approach added a touch of mystery to a night at the Ice House, but Buss and company are going for an upscale vibe across the board.
The club’s spiffed-up site (icehousecomedy.com) offers images of how the main showroom will appear, with individualized seating and carpeted floors replacing the wood floors and seating along long, continuous rails. All seating will now be reserved, with bottle service and an expanded, higher-end menu adding to the experience.
The site’s “Now Hiring” page reveals openings in traditional areas including wait staff and line cooks but also features calls for an executive chef, sous chef and VIP coordinator. The club will feature a new VIP Lounge capable of seating up to 30 people in a private setting that includes its own self-serve bar, and a room-assigned food and cocktail server. A giant privacy glass window will allow VIP patrons to see the stage but prevent the general showroom seating from seeing into the lounge.
Finally, the club is marketing itself as a venue for company parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, movie premiere screenings, record release parties, conferences and presentations, and fundraiser events. And by mentioning that the club is a drivable distance from LAX and the Orange County airport, they are attempting to draw attendees on a national basis.
Altogether, it appears to be a nightlife and comedy experience that is well worth the wait.