Union Comedy Booted Out of Bow Market Plans

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Bow Market developers have severed plans with Union Comedy to open a studio in the new complex, the comedy theater’s organizers said in a letter.

Union Comedy organizers said Bow Market was ending their agreement in favor of a “more well-known institution.”

“This abrupt change came despite receiving assurances and agreeing upon terms,” they wrote. “Needless to say we’re upset that things were handled in a dishonest manner.”

Matthew Boyes-Watson, a developer for Bow Market—the complex that plans to bring small retailers and restaurants to a former storage building in Union Square early next year—told Scout in an email that the two parties never signed an agreement.

“We’re disappointed they feel that way. We operated in good faith and have been honest about the plans and progress of the space with all interested parties,” he wrote. “Union Comedy aligns perfectly with our ethos of supporting new vendors pursuing unique concepts. However, in the case of the theatre and brewery, the market’s two marquee spaces, we have to consider their ability to support and drive traffic to the market as a whole. To a large extent, our smaller vendors rely on their draw.”

Union Comedy had planned to bring long-form improv to Somerville, offering a local alternative to standup spaces like the Rockwell or the Burren. The theater was slated to house about 100 seats and to open in early 2018.

“We knew a project this ambitious would have its setbacks along the way and while this is a major one we still think we have a lot to offer the comedy scene in this city,” Union Comedy organizers wrote. “While we’re going to have to head back to the drawing board in regards to a physical location we still have the resources and drive to make our vision a reality.”

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