Bay Ridge

Greenhouse Cafe takes a hint from the Book of Proverbs and brings back its comedy night

June 24, 2024 Wayne Daren Schneiderman
Tom Mongelli performing at the revived Comedy Night. Brooklyn Eagle photos by Wayne Daren Schneiderman
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BAY RIDGE — According to one translation of the Book of Proverbs, “a cheerful heart is good medicine…” That means laughter. When you add a good meal, as they’re trying to do at Greenhouse Cafe, it also means comedy night is back.

Much to the delight of Bay Ridge residents and the surrounding community, the restaurant on 7717 Third Avenue has reinstated its Comedy Night after a two-year hiatus. 

From left: Wilshire Comedy Group’s Alan Streisfeld and comedians Jane Joan, Tom Mongelli and Rich Carucci.
From left: Wilshire Comedy Group’s Alan Streisfeld and comedians Jane Joan, Tom Mongelli and Rich Carucci.

For $65, the evening features a four-course dinner and a three-person lineup for the stand-up comedy show. 

The Brooklyn Eagle previewed Comedy Night’s official return to the neighborhood last month, along with an intimate crowd, in Greenhouse’s Party Room. 

Dinner began around 7 p.m., and the comedians took the stage at 8:30 p.m.. Each comic performed a 20-minute set.

Comedians Jane Joan, Tom Mongelli and headliner Rich Carucci each delivered their brand of New York-based humor, often involving the audience in their banter much to their delight (judging from the crowd’s infectious laughter).

Greenhouse co-owner Bobby Daquara told the Eagle that the establishment aims to have one Comedy Night every two to three months.

Headliner Rich Carucci entertaining the crowd.
Headliner Rich Carucci entertaining the crowd.

“When we last did this two years ago, it was popular but ultimately we put it to the side,” said Daquara. “Sometimes when you put things to the side you realize that people still want it. They have been asking about it a lot lately; hence Comedy Night’s return.”

Unlike clubs devoted to comedy where the business is based around the bar, Greenhouse adds the comedy around dining.

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“There are other spots in the area that also do comedy, and a lot of comedy clubs that do drinks only, with the comedians performing two sets: one early, and one later. But we do this as a dinner show,” said Daquara. “When you consider what you are getting — a comedy show and a four-course dinner for $65 — we believe it’s a super deal.” 

Greenhouse can accommodate about 50 people in its Party Room. 

Greenhouse Café owners Bobby Daquara and John Keegan.
Greenhouse Café owners Bobby Daquara and John Keegan.

So far, the reaction from folks in the community has been great, Daquara noted. 

“People need something to laugh about nowadays,” he said. 

Daquara and co-owner John Keegan have been a part of the Greenhouse Café for decades. Both men began as employees of the establishment when it initially opened nearly 45 years ago.

“John started in October 1979, and I joined a little later,” Daquara said. “Ultimately, we ended up taking it over in 1990.”

Daquara pointed out that in nearly 50 years, the neighborhood has changed in some ways, but in others, it has remained the same. 

“The faces are different, but people are people. They still want to raise their families, school their kids, eat, drink, have a good time, live their lives and, of course, laugh,” Daquara said.

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