‘Funny man’ opens club in borough

Dave Reilly, owner of the new Club Comedy on South Main Street in Naugatuck, welcomes the opening-night crowd Sept. 17. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
Dave Reilly, owner of the new Club Comedy on South Main Street in Naugatuck, welcomes the opening-night crowd Sept. 17. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — Dave Reilly was operating a comedy club in Plainville about 20 years ago when an opening act dropped out at the last minute.

The headliner urged Reilly to perform his first standup routine, saying Reilly was always funny with the crowd and that he’d do well.

Reilly said he was terrible.

“But then I offered everyone free drinks if they laughed, and I was an instant success,” he said.

Since then, the exuberant Reilly hasn’t left the stage.

He’s worked hard on his multiple acts, and he’s proud to say they have improved tremendously. Nowadays, the man who answers his phone as “funny guy” can’t get through half-hour interview — or even a recent land use application process at Town Hall — without making people laugh.

Reilly, a Waterbury native, hopes the laughs he has received will continue. He has opened a restaurant/bar and comedy club at 585 South Main St., Route 63, in the former Christopher Columbo Society building.

An opening performance, featuring six nationally known professional comedians and an illusionist, was held Sept. 17.

The restaurant, called Devour, will be open seven days a week serving “food truck inspired meals,” such as a hamburger served between two grilled cheese sandwiches and a baked potato loaded with steak tips. Reilly, who will offer a wide selection of craft beer, said the restaurant will also serve tapas, or smaller sharing plates that are designed to encourage conversation between patrons.

The comedy club will be called Club Comedy and will have a caveman theme in its logo; its design features a caveman club. It will have nationally known professional headliners every weekend. Reilly, who has performed nationally for 20 years, will also headline from time to time.

Reilly has performed more than 5,000 shows in five different countries and is a regular on the popular Chaz and A.J. morning show on the 99.1 FM station, WPLR.

He said he has connections in the comedy world nationwide, which has helped attract talent to perform that wouldn’t normally perform at a club the size of his Naugatuck, which can seat about 150 people.

“We will consistently have top professional acts,” he said.

While watching the show, people can order drinks and finger food appetizers. Just don’t plan on getting any silverware — it is a caveman theme after all.

“If you ask for a fork, we’re gonna’ tell you to, ‘get the fork outta here; no forkin’ way,” he quipped.