Though it’s definitely been growing over the past few years, the going has been a bit tough over the past year for the crew at Coffee Phix Café.
Construction of a new business development and the corresponding demolition and road work on the building, which will include a sprawling new Marc’s and plenty of parking, has put a wrinkle in the South Euclid café’s growth as would-be customers have passed the business thinking it’s closed at its current address, 4485 Mayfield Road, and cutting down on foot traffic
So, to show their thanks to the Phix and its owner, Jackie Larkins, for giving them a home, the people behind the Cleveland Improv Jam are holding “Improv Among the Ruins,” a ‘cash mob’ event this Sunday, Aug. 6, from 3 p.m to 6 p.m.
And, to close the show out, the stage will be opened up for anyone else who wants to join in the improv comedy acrobatics.
The hope: to bring more customers in to the Phix and help spread the word that the Phix is most definitely open for business.
Marjorie Preston, of the Angry Ladies of Improv, one of the groups behind the event, told Scene how the Phix came to be so important for them. In November 2015, when the group lost their slot at Sachsenheim Hall, they found a new home at the Phix.
“I had just gone to Coffee Phix because I lived there, in South Euclid, and that’s the first place that popped into my head,” said Preston. The topic of hosting improv events at the Phix had come up between her and Larkins before and, when Preston brought it up again, everything fell into place.
“We’ve found a soul in Jackie who’s capable and generous and enjoys our humor that we bring every week,” said Preston of Larkins.
Noting the way Larkins has always packed the Phix’s calendar with arts-friendly events, Preston says, “She’s been supportive of us so when she’s having some tough times – she had just started to break even – we wanted to make sure that she continues to be around and succeed.”
And giving the weekly Improv Jam a home has only helped it grow, says Preston. “The jam has been the catalyst for these groups. The reason these improv groups exist is because the weekly jam brings people together who gel together and they end up making troupes and go off and make art.”
Cash mobs are a decidedly Cleveland affair as the idea is a Cleveland original, a product of the creative thinking of Andrew Samtoy, who was looking for a positive way to directly support local businesses who were important parts of communities.
And if that event can bring laughs, everybody wins.
Cleveland Improv Jam’s “Improv Among the Ruins”
Sunday, Aug. 6
3pm to 6pm
4485 Mayfield Road