QUEENS, N.Y. - Napolean Emill is one the many comedians who will miss nights performing at The Creek & The Cave.
“We had a time there, it was a one stop for broke comedians to hang out," Emill told NY1.
Owner Rebecca Trent announced Thursday the iconic Long Island City venue is closing after nearly two decades.
She says she was struggling before the pandemic, but current COVID-19 restrictions have made it impossible to survive.
"We're just not being taken seriously and the real shame of that is that the cultures of New York is what New York is, it's why people come here,” Trent said.
The club is best known for its laid back atmosphere and giving comedians free reign to hone their craft.
Trent says she never charged artists for stage time and rarely charged for tickets. She made her income on food and beverage, and while she did try offering takeout, it was not enough.
"We can't keep expecting these businesses to continue, if we have a stage freeze for a year and a half what stages are still going to be open?" she said.
Trent says the club has welcomed comedians such as Michelle Wolf and the Lucas Brothers.
Colin Quinn even developed his one-man-show "Unconstitutional" there.
Emill says no matter who was behind the mic, they had full creative control.
“It was a stage that I could fail on. Like I could go and have and have a bad set, and I knew that it wouldn’t stop them from having me back,” he said.
Trent just hopes she can figure out a way to continue to support artists.
“I don't want to live in a world where we are forcing people to choose between a day job and being able to fulfill their dreams,” she said.
Trent is one of many comedy club owners calling on the governor to support venues before more shut down.
Just last month, the iconic.