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Monday, April 26, 2010

The Grand Poobah speaks

I told you I'd get back to you. The always-charming Mark Breslin, the founder and CEO of Yuk Yuk's, answered my questions regarding today's press release (scroll down for previous entry). It turns out the four new lower mainland locations are neither as imminent as the press release implied nor (at least for one of the locations) as 'lower mainland' as it suggests. Highlights of his answers:
"You know, in Toronto we have five locations in the GTA. This should have been done a long time ago but we didn't have a franchisee interested in expanding the brand so now we're doing it ourselves. We've sought out new franchisees and we've got one certainly for downtown Vancouver and we're looking at others for suburban Vancouver. I can't reveal about the others yet. Because we're not closing down a club and opening up a new one [in these other locations], it's not as pressing to explain what we're doing quite yet. But the other thing [the new Vancouver location] is something that people are going to be wondering about what's happening."
The press release made it seem like all four locations would be opening this summer, but that's not the case.
"Our plan is to open up all the others. You know, licensing, all these different things come into play, but I'm hoping that within a reasonable amount of time that there'll be a circuit up and running of Yuk Yuk's in the Vancouver area."
He wouldn't reveal any of the other locations yet:
"Not yet. But soon. That's just a first press release. That's only meant to tickle your tongue."
But I managed to get one out of him when I asked about Victoria:
"Well, Victoria is actually what I consider to be another one of those in those four. If somebody used the term 'lower mainland' wrong then I guess they need to be slapped. But yeah, Victoria would be one of those locations, definitely."
When I mentioned the other club remaining open under another name, he informed me it won't be immediate:
"They have to close. Not forever, but they have to close down for a period of time. I don't have the legal thing in front of me; I don't know how long it is. But I guess you could find out from them. But it will not be a Yuk Yuk's with the traditional fun bells and whistles that Yuk Yuk's provides and the Yuk Yuk's talent that people like to see and the national vision that Yuk Yuk's has or any of those other things."
Is the summer 2010 timeline for sure?
"Is anything for sure in our world?, he said philosophically with a small Jewish lilt to his voice. Oy!"
Is it as for sure as things can be in this world?
"As sure as things can be in this world, yeah... It's not a hope, not a dream. We're actively involved in it but we haven't signed the other franchisees yet and they haven't found locations yet. Well, actually they have but they didn't work out. We've been working on this for quite a while, for at least the last two or three months. The downtown Vancouver franchise, that's real. There's a real person looking. There's an offer to lease already out. So that's why that one, I think end of summer, that's reasonable."
Final thoughts:
"Look, we're excited about the new challenge. I feel that it was never quite done exactly right with these other people but now we have a chance to do it closer to what we really see as the vision."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

NOBODY has scoops like this. Followup clarity from the horse's mouth; it really doesn't get any better.
Thanks for all your hard work documenting the Vancouver comedy scene for us, Guy.