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Whether you’re in the market for a good laugh, dance lessons, a new house, or a Slurpee, you’ll find familiar names that provide those goods and services in new locations in the coming months across Santa Clarita.

J.R.’s Comedy Club heading to J.J.’s Bar and Grill

After 19 years at Marie Callender’s Restaurant and Bakery on The Old Road, J.R.’s Comedy Club will be based starting Jan. 6 at J.J.’s Bar and Grill at 25848 Tournament Road in Santa Clarita, formerly the site of Mulligan’s. The deal was completed yesterday.

Club owner Randy Lubas had to scramble after being told three weeks ago that he would need to find new quarters by the end of the month. “Marie Callender’s regional manager said the company didn’t want the liability worries anymore,” Lubas said, adding that he found that surprising given the club’s long tenure in the building.

Many nationally known headliners have performed at J.R.’s Comedy Club over the years, including Tom Dreeson, Dana Carvey, Shawn Wayans, Emo Philips, Craig Shoemaker “The Lovemaster,” Larry Miller, Tom Green, Judy Tenuta, and Carol Leifer.

For one night only, New Year’s Eve, the club will hold its shows at the Embassy Suites on Westinghouse Place. In the meantime, J.R.’s home stretch in its longtime venue continues tonight, featuring Al Ducharme and Bernadette Pauley, and next Friday and Saturday (Dec. 16 and 17) with Willie Barcena and Nick Cobb. Perhaps fittingly, the final show at Marie Callender’s, on Dec. 23 at 9 p.m., will be the club’s 19th anniversary celebration.

“We think it’s great that we’re going to have some new blood here,” said Jeff Berry, J.J.’s owner. Berry and Lubas were brought together by Larry Barbro of HotSpot SCV, a local web design and marketing firm. “People can come in for the comedy, and stay and enjoy a couple of beverages.” The bar, open for two years, can hold 151 people in several rooms and features what Berry says is the best patio in Santa Clarita. The comedy club will be in the main dining room.

Marie Callender’s would not confirm reports that the restaurant was closing. It opened in 1983, the first outlet on Valencia Restaurant Row, on the former site of Tip’s Coffee Shop, then J’s Coffee Shop.

Arthur Murray’s dance studio opens this weekend

Arthur Murray's Dance Studio on Magic Mountain Parkway
Arthur Murray’s Dance Studio on Magic Mountain Parkway

Jean Dobre and Wendy Yamada are celebrating the grand opening of their new Arthur Murray Valencia Dance Studio this weekend.

The ribbon was cut last evening in a ceremony held with the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce. A party planned for today from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. features refreshments, free group classes open to the public and will be capped off with a dance performance.

Dobre, a native of Bucharest, Romania, is a champion dance instructor, competitor, and performer who has won several titles as a professional dancer. He’s been a ballroom dancer since age nine.

Yamada began dancing at the early age of five, studying ballet and tap in her hometown of Downey, Calif. She has been with Arthur Murray since 2010 and has competed in the professional American Rhythm category for the last 4 years and holds the 2015 Canadian Salsa champion title.

At its peak, Arthur Murray Dance Studios, founded in 1946, had more than 3,500 locations around the world. Today there are 260 locations in 21 countries. The Valencia studio is offering a new student special where anyone can try their first introductory lesson for free. Singles and couples are welcome and no experience is necessary.

WinTrust Mortgages moving to Town Center Road

1210_biz_wintrust

The Valencia office of WinTrust Mortgages will move over the holidays to new more centrally located offices. Currently on Tourney Road, the mortgage lender will open its new offices Jan. 1 at 24510 Town Center Road, Suite 200, above Apollo’s Barber Shop.

“It’s almost identical in terms of square feet, but it’s a marquee space, and we feel we’re planting our flag and letting the community know we’re here to serve them,” said branch manager Jason Renno. The branch is one of six WinTrust offices in Southern California.

7-Eleven Leases Space on Soledad Canyon Rd.

Future site of 7-Eleven on Soledad Canyon Road
Future site of 7-Eleven on Soledad Canyon Road

7-Eleven Inc. has signed a long-term lease for 3,153 square feet of space formerly occupied by Hobby People at 20655 Soledad Canyon Rd. at the corner of Ruether Ave. in Santa Clarita.

Hobby People, founded in 1972, had been in business in Santa Clarita for more than a decade. It closed the Soledad Canyon Rd. store last winter, leaving the Southern California chain with eight locations.

“This is a great deal for the Soledad Plaza shopping center, as they were looking for more of a corporate presence,” said Yair Haimoff of NAI Capital, who was broker on the deal. “It will definitely bring more traffic to the space.” No opening date has been set for the store, according to a spokesperson for 7-Eleven Inc.

The company operates, licenses, and franchises more than 56,000 stores in 21 countries. The chain currently has 11 stores in the Santa Clarita Valley, including three in Canyon Country, two in Newhall, two in Saugus, and one in Castaic.

 

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Patrick Mullen
Patrick Mullen grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., and moved to Santa Clarita from Cleveland in 2016. He covered the business side of health care for 15 years. A Mets fan, he would be OK with a Dodgers-Cleveland World Series in 2017.
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