Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Thompson. 

Hi Brian, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started at Side Splitters Comedy Club in 2007 as bartender not long after I moved here from Ohio. Within a few months, I was promoted to manager. I held the GM position here until June of 2019 when I purchased the club. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
A job like this with so many moving parts and so many people involved will always have its share of challenges. When Covid-19 hit that obviously brought its own set of obstacles. I’m not going to get into that as most people by now can imagine the challenges that come with it. Throughout it all, I try to stay the course, do what is right, and trust the process. In all my years here before I was owner, I had a vision and a plan for how I would run it if I got the opportunity. That of course did help as I transitioned from manager to owner. It was about as turn-key as possible.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
2022 will mark 30 years that Side Splitters has been in Tampa. Unfortunately, through the years we’ve seen so many clubs as well as bars and restaurants open and close in that time. It gets harder each year for a small privately-owned businesses to succeed as corporate chains seem to dominate most markets. I think what sets us apart is our personal touch. We have a great staff and put so much value on service. As more and more businesses get automated, cold, and impersonal. We try our best to still connect with customers and give actual service. Oh, and also, we have one of the best lineups of comedians of any club in the country! 

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Although we are in the business of making people laugh, we still take it very serious. I have a tremendous amount of pride in our club and never take shortcuts when making business decisions. What matters is that we stay true to what we do best, we do business the right way, and we bring happiness to a world that desperately needs it at times. 

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Image Credits
Helena Belle Photos

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