Harvey's Comedy Club436 NW 6th Ave Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 241.0338
Located in: Northwest Portland - Visit Website
BarFly's Review of Harvey's Comedy Club
Should you choose to attend Portland's only full-time comedy club ... well, you'd likely be illiterate, so, instead, let's address those suckered inside by suburban acquaintances, free-ticket-scams or sure-to-be-disastrous blind dates.
Expect overpriced and watered-down cocktails, Holiday Inn aesthetics, touring entertainers stringing together local touchstones ('Hey, how about those Oregon State grads?') memorized over the morning's Greyhound ride, and countless excuses to flee after the first set break.
I can see that their havent been any recent posts regarding Harvey's. It seems all the negative comments of years past need an update.I have been to Harvey's several times in the last 6 months and can say it was a blast. Great burger, on my last visit I had the avacado cheddar bacon, hand formed,juicy, satisfying YYYUUMMMM.My friend had the mushroom swiss burger and was VERY happy. The service was wonderful, our waitress came by several times and kept our whistles wet and happy. The comedians were good, the first one was o.k, but the last guy had everyone rolling! If you havent been there in awhile you should really give it another shot. I've certainly always had great experiences.
I am not sure what everyones problem is! We have enjoyed Harvey's many times...great Comics, good prices, clean place. If u want fancier than go some where else.
Basically, the reality is there was a competitor that could have taken the reigns, but no one would support them or drive 10 minutes across the river for "REAL" comedy. So of course (after dark/Laughs & Lyrics) went under.. complain all you want but when you continue to support the crap.. they will be crap.. like comcast or ANY company that knows ya cant get the goods elsewhere, they have no real reason to give a crap to your needs. it is about numbers, period.. So maybe, the bar from across the river should open one and Portland, OR and really pu the pressure on such an a-hole owner ;)
I've been to comedy clubs all over North America, and this one is by far the worst one I have ever been to. I've seen customers leave during a comedians set, not because they didn't like the comedian, but because when they wanted to get a drink they couldn't find a bartender or a waitress. So they get up and leave during the comics set, distracting the person on stage. I've had a waitress at this club spike my coca-cola with some type of hallucinogenic drug, and I am completely serious. Comedians water down their act when they perform at Harvey's because they aren't allowed to be "dirty" here, but money is money so they say "crap" instead of "Shit" They currently don't have an open mic, which is unacceptable for a comedy club. They used to have an open mic, but instead of them letting the new jacks perform on the main stage, they have them perform in a lounge which isn't conducive to performing a good show at all. The staff there acts a fool during the show, you want to complain about people being loud and obnoxious, but you find out that these loud obnoxious people work there. The waitresses seem to be groupies. They hire alot of hacky comedians, and sometimes they hire people who aren't comedians at all. Rowdy Roddy Piper the wrestler did an unfunny show there because he's friends with the owner Barry, some Police officer did a show there which wasn't funny. Honestly the best comedy in Portland can be found elsewhere, even though this is the only comedy club in the city. Independent comedians put on their own shows, where free speech is encouraged, and they are alot better than anything I have seen at Harveys. This place is a disgrace to its profession. If you want to find good comedy clubs try the Comedy Underground in Seattle, and there are a number of great clubs in California especially the Bay Area. If I was a comedian in Portland, I'd get the hell out ASAP.
So I got invited by several friends down to Harveys last Friday night. We went to the 'late show'. The lines were ok - it was busy, but by the time we made it into the show room, my group noticed that there was a lot of pretty drunk people around us. The woman manager seating the room wasn't concerned at all even though there were several really rowdy groups in the place even before the show started. As soon as the show got going, things turned even worse. It seemed like everyone in the place was talking so hearing the show was pretty much impossible. The manager still wasn't doing anything to take control of the room until a few parties were really drunk, obnoxious and got into it with each other. She finally stepped in but by this time the crowd was completely out of hand. Several arguments broke out amongst the customers and then the manager and a few of the staff finally started kicking people out. A few girls were spitting on each other and some guests even had to step in physically to help because the manager and bartender had totally lost control of the place. It seemed like there were about 3 different fights going on inside the room and several arguments were carried on outside. I was actually scared for my group and am just glad that at least we made it out safely. Drunk People + Complete Ignorance by Management and No Control Whatsoever = a horrible Friday Night Experience. Thanks Harveys.
I'm a comic from the east coast. I was in Portland on vacation, and wanted to test my material on a different crowd, so I googled open mics and found Harvey's. From the comic's perspective, the crowd was great. They were really into the material, and I got an amazing response. Thanks Portland. Now from the business perspective, I'm surprised this place is still open. I saw a manager arguing with a customer IN THE SHOWROOM!!! over a $10 discrepancy, wait staff treating customers like 2nd rate garbage, and the dirtiest kitchen I've seen in my life. To top it off, I was treated like shit by the owner, even after I killed his room. Again, the crowd was wonderful, and I thank Portland for the love, but I'll be damned before I perform at Harvey's ever again.
Erin the owners name that took your money is Barry Kolin
I went Harvey's the other night for the first time in 2 years.
Yep, just as I remembered it. Nothing has change. Thanks Mustard Man for a forgettable performance this guy hasn't changed his sorry act ever. Just like I said the owner pays the these worthless hacks just enough to ensure low level entertainment.
As far as the drinks being watered down I could care a less too. However, I just what to make sure that I get what I freaking pay for. Is that asking to much from a business?
Erin if you don't mind getting watered down drinks and food that a dog would pass on then that's your problem but don't fault the rest of these people for just wanting to be treated fairly.
Maybe if the owner would spring for some new talent perhaps people would support them with CD and t-shirt purchases. I don't feel like supporting these same old clowns drug additions by buying their tired CD's and low grade apparel
That's all and Barry son't expect my business evr again.
I went to Harveys for my sister's birthday with the whole family and I had a blast. The opening comedian was certainly cliche, but the following acts were quite funny! I could care less about a two drink minimum, or whether or not the drinks are watered down - I'm not a broke alcoholic. As far as the owner is concerned, I never saw or met the guy, and while I am concerned over these "he said/ she said" comments about his treatment of customers and employees, I support stand up comedians (more so than the two drink minimum). If you think the comedian of the night was underpaid (which is a problem across the board in every city, mind you), then tip him or her or buy a CD or T-Shirt you cheapskates. Jesus Christ.
I went to Harveys for the first time last night (Saturday) and found both the acts to be good but was utterly shocked (as was the rest of the patrons) at the juvenile way a bachelorette party was acting. I know this should not be a shock to anyone, but they were the only ones heckling and finally everyone else had enough of them. They started talking to themselves loudly and facing the other direction just to piss off the preformer. The guy was actually pretty good but because he wouldnt take any of their crap they decided that he was going to take all their rage for the evening. What shocked me the most is that Harveys continued to serve them drinks even after they started throwing food at him! When they finally left on their OWN the whole crowd went up in applause. after the show all people could talk about was how much it sucked and how Harveys did nothing to quiet the skanky white trash bitchelorette party. Well as it turns out i overheard later that they were "friends" of the owner. This is just total bull. i will never go there again!
So as a comedian i have to say this. Harvey's has now banned any comedian to work at there club if they work for there competitor over the bridge. All i have to say is class act....wow , not only taking away jobs , but taking comedians away from customers cause they want to work.. unreal... keep it up guys.. your on a roll!
There is an alternative to this place. its on Main st and 7th in Downtown Vancouver, WA called Laughs and Lyrics. Better comedians, Better Drinks, Better Food for HALF the price... Nuff Said... its worth the extra few miles.
Hey there is another comedy club now called After Dark in Vancouver, WA there a little more raw in comedy and only do it Monday/Tuesdays but its an alternative if you dont like Harvey's
I've been to Harvey's three times. The first time I paid the outrageous $15 cover. After that, I've gotten in via free tickets. Last night some friends and I went and the service was good, as usual, but the comedians sucked ass, barely garnering a giggle from the whole audience, and I ordered 3 IPAs, a gin and tonic, a whiskey sour, and an AMF, only to have a buzz. The drinks are weak and expensive. Like the subject line says, Harvey's is a mediocre distraction at best.
Saw the show this week...comedians were really strong. Had no lines, and the service was fine. Prices are a bit high, but overall satisfied. Would go again.
Lets just get down to it: the manager is a complete ass, the food is terrible and overprices, the booze tastes suspiciously like water (and is also WAY overprices), and they actually harass you to give you free tickets... so you're forced to buy your two drink min. It's completely insane. The comedians are decent depending who you see. Its a shame that i'm never going to see them again because i'll NEVER go back.
Last post smacks of a contrieved reponse from the owner. Sorry Barry if the wonderful people of Portland knew what kind of business you actually ran and how you feel about them in general your club would be a ghost town.
Kind people he would serve cheese covered wood chips and styro-foam and water down the drinks if he knew he could get away with it. And yes he does pay the comics the absolute minimum industry standard. There is better talent out there and Sharon the reason he can do this is because he is the only game in town.
As I came in at about 7:30, I did not experience any lines and a few chairs were still available for seating. I had a drink but no food so cannot judge that. The three shows were good, starting from "decent and a bit cliched" to hilarious--getting better as the evening progressed. The people I sat with and one I spoke with in the parking lot enjoyed it and went home with a good feeling of an evening well-spent.
As a new comedian who works at Harvey's on a regular basis, I have a few comments to make regarding a couple things said by previous reviewers:
* Regarding the cleanliness of the kitchen, of course, during the height of each show's busy time, it will look like any other busy restaurant kitchen. But without fail, that kitchen is cleaned thoroughly, top to bottom at the end of each final show every night.
* A few of the wait staff have worked there for years, but many of the staff are brand new. If they didn't serve you perfectly, it could be that they were still new to the job. I never see ANY of the staff just standing around with nothing to do, ignoring their customers. They are constantly running, trying to get those orders taken and the food out there as quickly as possible. If they didn't check back with you repeatedly, it could be because they were extremely busy, and also because they didn't want to obstruct the vision/show for all of the people sitting near you, without reason. They also have a brand new computerized system for inputting orders. Anyone learning a new system may make a mistake.
* Customers and comedians alike appreciate the fact that Harvey's is a non-smoking environment.
* Harvey's is the only major comedy club in Portland, and as a performer, I truly appreciate the opportunity to work there. The owner pays a competitive wage to his talent, which speaks well of him given he has a corner on the market. Expecting you to buy a couple drinks is only fair, even more so if you're the recipient of free tickets.
* The only thing we comedians care about is that you laugh and have a good time. If you've had a bad experience for any reason, I'm sorry. I hope you'll come back and give Harvey's another try. We all can use a lot more laughter in our lives!
Seen more shows at Hareys then anybody in Portland I promise you. I know the owner and I know how he runs his business and it is pathetic. He cares nothing about the staff or his customers. He is strickly a bottom line guy and if he can find a way to cut service or quaility to save a buck he would and he has. If you could see the kitchen and the appalling conditions(in my opinion) you would never eat there. The quality of the food is low grade at best and you can find droppings on all exposed plates. No kidding.
As far as the talent there are far better comedians that would be willing to play there but the owner knows he can keep getting the same old hacks month after month because he knows they will work for pennys and the public doesn't know any better.
Plus he over books the place on a nightly basis. God fobid there was ever an emergency where people needed to get out in a hurry there would be major proplems.
Not a disgrutled employee just thought I would share my experiences.
I've seen some great stand up acts and some where the audience started to leave half way through. Usually it's possible to get a few laughs out of the night. However, be prepared for poor service & high prices. Just recently were we charged for food that did not arrive - instead of an apology and a simple refund for the $13.50 plate of food, we were argued with, one of the members of our party was elbowed in the ribs by a mouthy waitress and top things off, the manager (Jeremy Patrick) couldn't give us a reciept showing he credited our Visa before forcing us to sign a new reciept for $175. We were offered comp tickets to get in as an apology - who goes to this place WITHOUT comp tickets? This place survives because they call any who has filled out a comment card and offers them 16 tickets to bring all their friends with (that's how I've gotten tickets for the last 4 shows I've seen). $4.75 for a good beer, $8.50+ for a burger, $13.50 for fish & chips, 2 drink minimum, you'll get lucky if your waitress checks on you twice during the hour and a half show.
I've been to the club over twenty times and never witnessed any bruetality there or heard any thing of the sort.Every time I go I have a blast the drinks are good and so is the grande nachos yes its high priced but it will feed two.The comedians are always the best I have never been there when it wasnt a funny night.stop knocking the club you haters.
I was there and seen a very funny show with a comedian from "Last Comic Standing" It was the best time i have had in a long time I here They have a new lounge and new showroom managment I had no Bad expierence and can't wait to go again
I love this club~ It was absolutly funny~ I laugh each time I go I laugh so hard I cry~ I bring people each time I go and they love it~ I won free tickets and it is always a blast~ I totally recommend it~
I have been twice, took my mom the first time ( she laughed so had she looked like she was going to start changing colors ) Took my husband the second time and as I remember him saying that he may not laugh, because it was "stand up comedy" ( to be quiet honest I think that he laughed harder than I did both times put together ). So ever all I have had two great times. Food was ok but the comedy acts were kick ass!!!!!!
I recently witnessed a patron of Harvey's attacked by the Harvey's "manager" and other customers after a misunderstanding about free tickets. Harvey’s employs a bait and switch scheme where they lured a group of 10 people to the show which then "sold out" and the people that were lured were left out in the cold - literally. The customer went to speak to a manager to get an explanation and the manager was extremely hostile. This was the most unprofessional handling of a situation by a business I have ever seen. The manager actually said "If you swing I will kill you" to the customer. I have been to Harvey's about 10 times and the service has always been poor, but the comedy was decent. I will not give my business to an establishment with this type of customer service and I suggest you do not either.
Harvey's called me repeatedly and offered me free tickets. My wife invited a bunch of friends and drove an hour and a half, paid for parking, and waited in line for 30 minutes after following all the requirements (she called to confirm she was coming and was there during the required window of time to pick them up). When she got to the window to check in, they told her they were sold out!!! She was embarrassed, frustrated, and wasted her whole evening and the evenings of all her friends after Harvey's started the whole thing. I will never go back there and tell all my friends.
I have been to Harvey's several times and although some nights are better than others I have NEVER had a bad time.
I expected a lot when I went, and I was pleasantly surprised. The food was overpriced, but 2 out of 3 of the comics were truly talented at their craft. Definitely recommend for a date night.
I've been here only 1 time,.. and it was SO FUNNY.. i'm wanting to go again for my b-day (oct. 29th) and i want to get ahold of FREE tickets (that everyeone is talking about) If anyone knows how, or DOES have tickets let me know... firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks.. or re-post with who to call or what ever. THANK YOU.. Kim
This club is a joke. This owner "Barry" what a bigger joke. This fool gives away free tickets! What is that crap, he can't even sale out his house, LOSER
Look at all these negative goth-hater-tribe loosers knocking Portlands only comedy club. I went for the first time, laughed my ass off and had a few stiff drinks, and had a great time! Don't hate! Its cool to laugh you fucking idiots!
I know that the business is there to make money so if you're looking for a cheap show with cheap food, this is not the place for you. However, if you're looking for a blast of a party with a mound of nachos at your disposal and drink specials with no minimum, this is the place for you...I had a great time with 6 of my closest friends and we laughed so hard we were still laughing the next day!
The food and drinks are VERY overpriced and not the highest quality, but no one goes to harveys for the food and drink. You go for the show, which is awesome on a good night. It's the best local place to hear comedy. They sometimes tell you they require you to by 2 drinks, but management has told me there is no minimum. The way it works is you get comp tickets over the phone, show up and get your entry pass, then you wait in line for a LONG time to be seated. No reserved seats and you do not get to choose your seats- even if you paid to get in. That part sucks.