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Comedy club remains up in air

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While new tenants and faces are moving forward with their center city plans, one downtown comedy club is up in the air.

In July, Nine of Clubs owner/developer Travis Dibben signed a multiyear lease on a 6,700-square-foot slice of the $12 million College Station development and had set a Dec. 2 opening date for the club.

Dibben was the first tenant to sign a lease at College Station since anchor Hollywood Theaters opened in fall 2008. On Oct. 26, Dibben pleaded not guilty to charges that he sold 2.52 grams of cocaine to an undercover cop in a South National Avenue Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy parking lot in March 2010.

Debby Suter, licensing supervisor for the city of Springfield, said Dibben withdrew his request for a liquor license Nov. 18. Dibben’s attorney, Stuart Huffman of Whiteaker & Wilson PC Huffman, said Dibben does not have a timeline in place for opening the club. He said Dibben withdrew the request for a liquor license so he could concentrate on fighting the charges he faces.

Calls to Dibben and College Station developer Scott Tillman, who was reported to be sharing costs with Dibben on development of the club, were not returned by press time.

James Medlock, co-owner of the Steak-Out on East Chestnut Expressway who was partnering with Dibben to run a full-service restaurant inside the club, said he is still waiting to move forward with plans.

“We’re still ready for the club to open in some form, we just don’t have any timeframe we’re working with,” Medlock said.

He said he has been in contact with Tillman, and talks periodically with Steak-Out’s corporate administrators in Georgia about ways in which the project could move forward.

“I’ve told several parties involved that we are still interested in doing the food under certain circumstances,” he said, adding that his participation would depend on whether he was working with Dibben or another party. “I’ve heard some ideas bounced around that sounded OK, but those aren’t anything definite at all.”[[In-content Ad]]

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