Today it was announced that The Creek and the Cave, a staple of the New York alt scene for the past 14 years, will be closing down. Owner Rebecca Trent, who has built up a pretty big presence in the scene, released a pretty long statement today talking about the closing of the club and some of her favorite memories from it. You can read the statement in full below.
I wanted to wait until the election before I let you all officially know something that I’m sure most of you already know. The Creek & The Cave is not going to reopen. I simply wasn’t in a strong enough position going into the pandemic to sustain the Creek without going into insurmountable debt. (Most would say I’m already there.)
We had some interested investors, buyers, and ideas. But when it came down to it, the renovations would have been too expensive on a building that’s already crumbling.
The Creek has been my home for 14 years. More importantly, it’s been a home to so much creativity and laughter and ideas. Together, we helped shape the New York comedy scene and comedy as a whole for almost a decade and a half.
Kingdom of Heaven, The Eric Andre Show, Derek Comedy, Emergency Sketch Show, Jerk Practice, This Is NY, We’re All Friends Here, Froduce, Midnight Run, Cookies, Monsters, B Squad, Night Mic, Last Podcast on the Left, Black Metal Chvrch, The Dan Joe & Charles Show, Wildcats, Gentrification, Permission to Fail, Legion of Skanks, HLV, The Regulars, Savage Animal, Late Late Breakfast, Creek Cave Live, Week at the Creek, I Did It, Pig Pile, The Dump, Art School Acid Drop Out, Shoot the Shite, Skankfest, Petey’s World, High Five, Love, Poverty War, See You In Hell, Hardcore Comedy, Tip of the Tongue, Barely Making It, New York City Talent Show, Jackknife Comedy, Power Hour…too many to remember. So many shows…so many mics.
Colin Quinn chose the creek as his stage to develop a one man show. I was starstruck and was there every second he was on that stage. That one man show became Unconstitutional and I became the director in two off Broadway venues and even have a Times review.
I’ll never forget the spit take at the Creek Awards surrounded by Nick Turner, Jason Sáenz, Travis Irvine and Mark Normand and will be forever grateful that Evan wanted an awards show.
We did Thanksgivings together every year except 2008 and everyone came. My mom, Annie’s parents, Andy’s mom, Jessica’s Mom, Sean Patton’s parents, Brian MacKay’s entire family, Calise’s kiddo, Nick Turners whole fam, one or two grungy kids who had nowhere to go but looked hungry, and as many comics as wanted to be there…We started as just a handful of folks and eventually were cooking for 75.
We had crawfish boils, lobster bakes, pig roasts and cook offs. We feasted like royalty.
We had an incredible staff that made this all work. Victor, Aldo and Mariano were with me from the start. I watched Jessica T go from having her quinceanera to becoming a nurse. I saw Rojo go from behind the bar to on TV. My managers Joe Wize, Allen Arthur, Vance, Shanara, Peggy, Sherri, Vinny, Jamie all did the very best they could with the ceaselessly breaking dam that is the creek. Cassidy & Joseph Roberts met here and fell in love, James & Jaime Lyn were married here by Ed, Lupe found the love of his life. So many forevers were started here.
Vatterott’s giant set list might have made its debut on the Creek’s stage. Emily Heller’s birthday party was my favorite of all time. Mike Lawrence’s album release party and every time he was the consummate closer on Midnight Run. Ted Alexandro’s keynote speech at the Creek Awards. Kevin Barnett’s roast. Winter Camp. Jay Oakerson’s roast. Doug Stanhope in a pile of trash. So many of my forever memories happened here.
The moments we decided to go for it, to figure it out, to make it happen were and are my favorite memories.
So I ask that you keep making things happen. I ask that you decide to go for it every day. And make sure that Patrick & Gideon and Amy Shanker find a home. Don’t let Taj, Elgae, or Napoleon slip through the cracks. Chanel and Kenice are important voices – we need to keep shoving microphones in their faces. Maria and Ariel too. Make sure Lizzy, Tracy, Shane, Charlie, and Ben find a home. Alex, Aaron and Benel will need a place.
I know my time at the helm of the Creek wasn’t everyone’s favorite. There were times when I was too angry, too outspoken, too passionate, too much. I disappointed people, I know.
I also know that I tried my hardest to make sure we were all prepared for the world, the road and the weird clubs, the pitch decks and the generals, the late night tight fives and the first hour…and what to do when none of that feels like it’ll ever be on the horizon.
As Kat says, People Contain Multitudes. And while I may be as multitudinous as they come, I served this community as hard as I could. I took chances on people and offered stage time to everyone as fairly as I could. The Masters, The Proven, The Villains, The Dorks and The Yet to be Brilliant all graced that stage for 14 years. Because when someone has a stage it becomes their sacred duty to say yes to the artists that grace it, to give them time and space and permission to fail so that they can become great. That was my sacred duty for 14 years and I only wish it could have been 14 more.
So thank you all for bringing this stage to life. And making it feel like church. Thank you for making me feel like a part of the community. Thank you for your jokes and your tears. Thank you for the times. All the times. It meant the world to me.
For those interested in helping out Rebecca Trent, who was there to help out so many budding comics over the years, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help benefit her during this rough time. We highly encourage anyone to help if you can.
R.I.P. The Creek and the Cave.
After Trent posted the notice, comics and fans alike took to Twitter to pay tribute to the club, and share their own memories as well as what it meant to them.
The Creek and the Cave is gone. It was the totality of my New York. I washed up there ten years ago with nowhere else to go, like some idiot in a fairy tale. Rebecca fixed my wings and helped me fly again and crash again and soar through the crashes. pic.twitter.com/g5wi7ewzWD
— James Adomian (@JAdomian) November 12, 2020
The @creekandcave allowed comics to master their craft without spending money or bringing people to do so. It was a unique venue and remained true the vision of its owner @rebelcave. She backed comics even when it was unpopular to do so. Many of them didn’t return the favor.
— Tim Dillon (@TimJDillon) November 12, 2020
— Chris Distefano (@chrisdcomedy) November 12, 2020
— Andrew Fiori (@AndyFiori) November 12, 2020
This fucking sucks. The Creek is where I met all my friends, it’s where I hosted the Thursday mic forever, it’s where Gideon and I ran JACKKNIFE and it’s where I learned how to be the comic I always wanted to be. I’m really gonna miss killing upstairs and bombing in the basement. pic.twitter.com/dNSjlBZDIt
— Patrick Hastie (@PatrickHastie) November 12, 2020
This breaks my heart. 💔😢 The Creek was home to my @HardcoreComedy show for years. Rebecca gave me a huge opportunity like so many others to grow as comics. This hits the NYC comedy community really hard. No place is like it and I will miss it terribly. ❤️ https://t.co/8tC8go7Fn3
— Alia Janine (@TheAliaJanine) November 12, 2020
RIP @creekandcave, a place I’d regularly do mics with an insane woman whose act required the institution of a no-nudity rule (both on stage AND via cell phone footage). I’ll also miss staring at photographs of comics I fucked while using the bathroom.
— Pamela Ross (@PamNotAnderson) November 12, 2020
.@creekandcave is the most important club to my existence in the world of comedy. It allowed me to try and fail so much. The successes felt like not just a success for myself, but also for @rebelcave. This is heartbreaking not just for my nostalgia, but also for future https://t.co/eIeRG52oF7
— Sean O’Connor (@seanoconnz) November 12, 2020
This is devastating. To all the smug fucks your pretend this all has no consequences, good people like Rebecca have lost a part of themselves to it. Wear your mask but let’s get back to reality before everything we love is gone. https://t.co/emy9VpUPXR
— Rob Mailloux (@RobLovesArguing) November 12, 2020
One comedy club gave me a Thanksgiving to go to 2 years in a row, let me post up for an untold amount of hours while I wrote/ got work done (including the last paper I wrote for grad school), and where the owner babysat my snake for 2 months. Thank you @rebelcave / @creekandcave.
— Hannah Harkness (Checkers stan account) (@Hark_itsHannah) November 12, 2020
There was a time in my life when I went to @creekandcave every night and knew I’d always see friends there. I laughed for a million collective hours there and had conversations I’ll remember forever, and I’ll always be thankful to Rebecca for it. https://t.co/gxLXdVrJNz
— Molly Knefel (@mollyknefel) November 12, 2020
RIP creek and the cave, the only comedy club where u didn’t get heckled by audience members but by the comedians
— Darian Lusk (@eatpraylusk) November 12, 2020