Where to Explore Next: Karaoke barsAs a professional culinary evangelist, I shouldn’t reveal my karaoke habit to highbrow friends. But since I own a Bluetooth-enabled, two-microphone singing machine and featured karaoke at my wedding, there are some things I just can’t hide – or apparently don’t want to. Armed with liquid courage at a college dive bar, you may have dabbled in karaoke yourself or sat back listening to ringers at a bona fide karaoke establishment. Now check out the range available to St. Louis karaoke nerds.
Modern, immaculate and downright sexy, this place makes you want to sing and eat. There is no public karaoke, and room prices start at $30 per hour, so bring a crowd if you want to sing for cheap. The private rooms have modern leather couches and are lit like dance clubs. Select songs in one of four languages: Korean, Japanese, Chinese or English, which is limited to pop and jazz hits. Try the sushi and the avocado-crab salad (made with imitation crab) with your sake or beer.
17265 Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield, 636.778.3232, sushihousestl.com
Viviano’s Festa Italiana
Don’t let the grocery carts fool you. This St. Louis-style Italian market and cafe offers karaoke Fridays at 6 p.m. at the Chesterfield location and on the first and third Saturdays at the Fenton location. Pick up a bottle of Sangiovese for your party and enjoy some well-rehearsed crooners, occasionally in four-part harmony. Be sure to bring your A-game, as Viviano’s attracts accomplished singers of all ages – so many that you should make reservations. The appetizers and sandwiches are what you would expect from any decent Italian-American cafe in St. Louis – toasted ravioli, cheesy garlic bread and meatball and Italian sausage subs – so try not to coat your precious vocal chords in cheese.
62 Fenton Plaza, Fenton, 636.305.1474; 150 Four Seasons Plaza, Chesterfield, 314.878.1474; vivianosmarket.com
Double D Karaoke
If you ever lived in Brentwood Forest, you are undoubtedly familiar with the old DD. At its newer digs, you’ll still see owners Rick and Donna Wideman warmly greeting guests and selling jello shots. If you don’t mind the flirtatious crowd, this popular spot is great craic (Irish slang for fun). The chicken tender- and hot wing- laden menu is unequivocally pub-style, which shouldn’t disappoint if you’re game for the scene. Karaoke is Mondays and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Prepare to wait in a queue on weekends.
1740 S. Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood, 314.961.5646, doubledstl.com
McLain’s Corner Bar & Grill
Every Thursday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., head over to this cool little dive for cheap beer, 60-cent wings and karaoke. Dance in close quarters or play table games like shuffleboard, darts and pool that are packed into the small space. McClain’s has a smoker-friendly bar exemption, so be ready to smell like cigarettes and hydrate to save your voice for belting out your favorite song.
3516 S. Big Bend Blvd., St. Louis, 314.647.6531, mclainscorner.com
Tom’s Bar and Grill
This loud, lively crowd makes it easy to warm up your voice without being noticed before taking the stage. Karaoke starts at 9 p.m. Order a big pitcher of beer and some wings for your table, or the cooked-to-order truffle burger topped with a sunny-side-up egg for an outstanding late dinner. With no sound monitor allowing singers to hear themselves, most find it difficult to stay on pitch. But that doesn’t bother the young crowd, which sings along to every word of ubiquitous ’80s and country songs.
20 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.367.4900, tomsbarandgrill.com