John Gibson at Red Door Tavern
Photo by Christian Barker
Name: John Gibson
Setting: Red Door Tavern (134 State St.)
How did you come about owning a place like this?
I used to bartend in Columbia before I moved away to work for Red Bull. When I came back, my best friend and I took a leap and decided to open up a bar.
What makes this place special to you?
We have really focused on making this the premier comedy venue.
How do you feel about the Comedy Zone shutting down?
It’s really sad, man. We need places like that to help make Columbia a place people want to come and visit. We have been getting a bunch of comics from all over the place, from New York to L.A., but there are also a lot of touring acts that still pass Columbia over for Charleston.
You all seem to be doing well. Who would you say is your regular clientele?
We do get some students, but it’s mostly artists, musicians and comics. It’s kind of like our little club house. We feature local artists every month, and the artsy crowd really enjoys coming for that.
How did you go about making a name as a comedy club?
We really built it up from nothing with the help of local comics. Jenn Snyder has seriously been such a major part of this effort. I really can’t thank her or mention her name enough.
How can people get more involved with the comedy scene in Columbia?
We have a bunch of great comics here. Check out Soda City Stand Up on Facebook to stay up to date with all our local comics. We are also making a webisode series called “Cocktails and Comics.”