Dave and Colleen Specht met years ago in an improv troupe. Years later, the couple realized their dream of having their own space where they could bring their love of improv and performance to life.

In September 2014, the couple opened ImprovMania Comedy Club in downtown Chandler. They said they started small, continuously moving their sign around the streets of downtown closer to the restaurants to encourage people to come in; they said they were not getting much foot traffic before downtown turned into an entertainment district in the last couple of years.

“We have customers that have been with us since we had a little stage with a logo drawn on the back of the wall,” Dave said. “We didn’t have beer; we had soda and candy and comedy.”

Now, the business that started off “shoestring,” as Dave puts it, is expanding into the space next door. The new space features beers on tap, a bar seating area and space for open-mic events.

When the space next to their business became available, the couple knew they wanted to try and take it over almost immediately.

“We wanted to have more offerings for our customers when they came in like food and drafts, but no matter where we looked no place had downtown Chandler vibes to it. We decided it had to be here,” Colleen said. “We really enjoy having this space here.”

In addition to improv shows, Colleen and Dave offer classes for kids, teens and adults; corporate entertainment, team building and executive training; camps; “Kids on Camera” for children who are interested in acting; Chandler Youth Theater; and video production.

Dave said Chandler Youth Theater, a nonprofit corporation, was something he and his wife had wanted to do for a while. The theater does seven shows a year, Dave said.

The couples’ own kids have even gotten involved in the family business.

“We have two kids, 7 and 9, and they love it, too,” Colleen said. “It used to be something that would take us away from them, and now we all get to do it together.”

Colleen and Dave said the business has morphed into a tight-knit group, and they said they would not have it any other way.

“We are really a community,” Colleen said. “Improv is a community. When you walk in, we get to know you. That’s why we have so many customers that come back.”