In another sign that Plano represents the next frontier for dining and entertainment, a Hyena's Comedy Club will open there this summer, at 1941 Preston Rd., at the southwest corner of Park Boulevard.
This will be the third branch of Hyena's. Brothers Randy and Jim Butler opened the original in Fort Worth in 1993; seven years ago, they opened a second branch in Dallas at Mockingbird Station.
Plano, which is being built from scratch, will feature an expansion in an important area: the menu.
"We'll run it the same way we run the other two branches, but this will have an enhanced menu, which is a requirement in Plano," Jim says. "The other two feature mostly appetizers and pub grub like wings and cheese sticks. But in Plano, your sales have to be 50 percent food and 50 percent alcohol, so we'll have eight entrées on the menu and a Vent-a-Hood."
The 50-50 requirement might seem like a burden, but the Butlers view it as a positive.
"There are no full-on bars in Plano, so that represents less competition," he says. "The opportunity to see a comedy show and have a nice meal makes us unique."
Plano is close enough to be woven into their current booking program, yet far enough away to represent an untapped market.
"Plano doesn't have anything like us yet," Butler says. "We'll do whatever makes sense. Sometimes we'll have a comedian come in and play at one venue on Friday and another venue on Saturday. Sometimes an act will stay at one club for the weekend."
Other comedy entertainment options include the veteran Improv in Addison; the Dallas Comedy House in Deep Ellum, which is moving to a larger space at 3025 Main St.; and the Backdoor Comedy Club, located inside the Doubletree Hotel off 75 and Northwest Highway.
"Compared to seeing a band, where the showtime says 9 pm but the band doesn't start until 11 pm, comedy has a better format," he says. "The show runs an hour and a half, and if you go to the early show, you're home in time to watch the news. If you come to the late show, you can stay and relax in the lounge."