Jerry Farber loves to try new things.
The veteran Atlanta comedian has tried to bring something new to the city’s scene with his Buckhead club, Jerry Farber’s Side Door.
“There are 168 nightclubs in Atlanta. I was trying to not be just the same old thing. It’s music and comedy,” Farber said. “None of them combine the music and the comedy. That’s what Farber’s is. We encourage acts, at the beginning, middle and end of their careers.”
The club, located at the Landmark Diner on Roswell Road, opened its doors at the beginning of the year.
Farber said he enjoys providing a space for young musicians and comedians to play in front of an audience. He said when he was first starting in comedy, it was hard to find a place to perform, so he practiced a lot in front of the mirror and for friends.
“None of that prepares you for dealing with strangers who pay a cover charge to see a polished act,” Farber said.
He said the variety of performers showcases a lot of creativity.
“I’d rather fail doing something relatively unsafe than to succeed doing the same old stuff,” Farber said. “My favorite acts are jazz. It’s more open, freer, and not stuck in doing other people’s stuff.”
Jerry Farber’s Side Door
3652 Roswell Rd. NW
Open: Wednesday through Sunday, doors usually open at 7:30 p.m.
Usual cover: $5 to $10
For more information: jerryfarberssidedoor.com or 770-738-3000
The club is open Wednesday through Sunday, and is available for private events on Mondays and Tuesdays. Farber said Saturdays are typically the busiest nights of the week and feature more established acts.
The club is set in a cozy space behind the Landmark Diner. Despite the large bar area and stage in the corner, the warm, but dimly lit club has the comfortable feeling of a living room at times. Farber knows how to work the space, gliding between tables, introducing them to one another as though it’s a dinner party at his house.
“This is like family here tonight,” said Farber from the stage on a recent Wednesday night, as he interacted with the people in the audience.
As a fixture of Atlanta’s comedy scene, Farber is no stranger to Buckhead. He ran a successful comedy club of the same name on Pharr Road in the 1980s.
The club hosted several young performers at the time, including Jeff Foxworthy and the Indigo Girls, who went on to successful careers.
“We gave these young people a platform to become what they were,” Farber said. “Everybody got their 10 minutes of fame at the club.”
Farber said while times have changed a lot since that first comedy club, he still gets the same joy out of watching people laugh.
“I love to see a crowd in a little club,” Farber said. “People need to go out now more than ever because of the hard times people are having. People tell me quite often, ‘I haven’t laughed for six months and this was really great.’”