5 Must-Visit Karaoke Spots in Unexpected Places

From a historic bar in a tiny town in Idaho to a double-wide trailer in Music City, these aren't your standard karaoke spots.

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Whether you have pop star aspirations or just enjoy knocking back a few beers and testing the range of your vocal cords on stage, karaoke is one of the best ways to spend a Saturday night. And karaoke enthusiasts know there's nothing better than discovering a new place to belt out your favorite tunes, especially when it's a hidden gem in a totally unexpected place (like a strip mall in Santa Fe, NM). 

To assist you in your karaoke mission, we did the work for you and scouted out five bucket-list-worthy places to sing on stage — in places that might surprise you, from a tiny town in Idaho to a double-wide trailer in Nashville. 

1. The 219 Lounge in Sandpoint, Idaho

The 219 Lounge prides itself in being Sandpoint’s historic bar and for hosting fabulous themed nights. Its brick walls and artwork paying homage to the Pacific Northwest help set the scene for a relaxed atmosphere. This bar is a great place to interact with locals and get a strong sense of the community, too. Karaoke Tuesday is one of the most popular weekly events at the 219 Lounge. DJ Pat inspires guests to sing a wide range of songs from 9 p.m. to midnight. The friendly atmosphere emboldens people of all abilities to take to the stage, and it’s all in good fun whether the results are stunningly good or otherwise. And, when you’re in the mood to hear a tune by the original artists, you can enjoy the bar’s free jukebox.

2. Poor Richard’s Pub in Scranton, PA

Known for its numerous appearance on the beloved sitcom “The Office,” Poor Richard’s Pub in Scranton has weekly karaoke parties and touts itself as the “place for karaoke.” Held outdoors when the weather is great during the summer months, the bar’s karaoke parties take place on Friday and Saturday nights. Host DJ Honey-Do has a way of making all feel welcome. Also, since Poor Richard’s Pub is situated in the South Side Bowl, you can enjoy a night of performing and bowling rolled into one.

3. Santa’s Pub in Nashville, TN

Just the name Santa’s Pub is sure to bring a smile to one’s face as it inspires visions of Jolly Old Saint Nick with presents, reindeer and beer. In reality, Santa’s Pub is Nashville is even more quirky than its name. For starters, it’s located in a double-wide trailer. This cash-only bar (with an ATM outside) is designed to make visitors smile, and they can enjoy karaoke every night of the week. The sound is great, and since it’s located in Music City, the bar attracts some talented singers, earning Santa’s Pub a reputation as a place to experience something extremely rare: genuinely good karaoke music.

4. Cat’s Meow in New Orleans, LA

Anyone who’s been to New Orleans knows it has a lot of history, beauty and great food. What many people don’t know is that the Big Easy also has a thriving karaoke scene. The Cat’s Meow is one of the premiere places to sing karaoke in the city if you want to get on a big stage and feel like a star. It also has one of the most diverse selection of songs anywhere. You can sing everything from R & B to pop to classic country to old rock. It touts itself as being the best karaoke bar in the world for 25 years, and the jovial atmosphere doesn’t disappoint. It’s not all straight karaoke, either. Expect the DJ to play music between karaoke performances, which is a way to keep the energy up between warmly welcoming its karaoke singers to the stage.

5. Tiny’s in Santa Fe, NM

In an unassuming strip mall in Santa Fe, you’ll find the hidden-in-plain-sight gem that is Tiny’s Restaurant & Lounge. Open since 1950, Tiny’s is a restaurant by day, serving up green chili cheeseburgers and frito pie. By night, it transforms into a hoppin’ spot for live music, open mics and dancing. Every Saturday is Showcase Karaoke night, and a rollicking group of locals gather here to belt out everything from old school country to heavy metal and everything in between. The crowd is a perfect reflection of the culture in Santa Fe: supportive, fun and not at all uptight. Doing karaoke here is truly a blast.   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robin Raven is a travel journalist and author. She has written for many publications including Paste Magazine, Grok Nation, The Malibu Times, Plant Based News, VegNews and USAToday... more

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Mon, 08/20/2018 - 11:22