When it's Tuesday night and you're itching to sing a little Garth Brooks or TLC, where do you go? We've rounded up the top spots to karaoke around D-FW every night of the week, so you're never without a place to channel your inner rockstar.
Ease out of your weekend with a laidback karaoke night at Dallas Woody’s on Cedar Springs Road in Dallas. Spencer West, the host and member of local band So Strung Out, sets the chill vibe, and the special $3.25 well drinks don’t hurt, either.
The ambiance on Sunday nights is a more classic, pop-song-filled environment than the Wednesday night karaoke, when the theater crowd comes out to play, says manager Chris Weinfurter. Wednesday nights offer a more showtune-heavy night hosted by local actor Walter Lee.
- Where: Dallas Woody's, 4011 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas.
- When to karaoke: Sunday and Wednesday, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
A sports bar tucked into a strip mall, O’Riley’s Pub offers a more rockstar karaoke experience than you might expect. Outfitted with a stage for weekend band performances, karaoke host Rick Stephens operates the full sound system and lighting on karaoke night to make each singer feel like a superstar.
You’ll find an eclectic crowd here : “It’s like an airport,” says Stephens, “You never know who’s going to show up.” A small crowd of regulars will show up and sing a few songs in the first couple hours, but the rush tends to flow in around 10:30 or 11 p.m.
Similarly, favorite songs here run the gamut from Johnny Cash to “Despacito.” And if you’re feeling less than confident, Stephens will step in and sing along. In his earlier years, he was in a band; he now channels that musical energy into hosting six karaoke nights a week and running sing-a-longs at senior care centers by day.
- Where: O'Riley's Pub, 8989 Forest Lane, Dallas.
- When to karaoke: Monday, 9:00 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Tuesday: Shuck N Jive
For outdoor karaoke with a side of oyster shots, head to Shuck N Jive on Tuesday nights. The atmosphere on the patio is convivial and supportive, and host David Coke makes sure to keep the newest songs available.
Rushes ebb and flow through the night as regulars fade out and service industry folks come in, but at any point you can expect a wait averaging around 30 minutes to sing your song. Songs and skill levels vary from jazz to rap and first-timers to professional singers.
- Where: Shuck N Jive, 5315 Greenville Ave, Dallas.
- When to karaoke: Tuesday, 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Wednesday: Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub
Kick your karaoke up a notch with a live band. At British-themed Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub in Addison, Wednesday nights are for singing along with the band Time Machine.
The band itself is enough of a draw to pull in a sizable crowd, and sassy host Donovan Marcelle keeps singers in check if they request a song the band doesn’t do. Not to worry, though; they cover most of the hits.
The walls are hung with the Union Jack and Andy Warhol prints, and some enthusiastic folks dance in front of the stage while jamming to songs like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”
- Where: Sherlock's Baker St. Pub, 5100 Belt Line Rd, Addison.
- When to karaoke: Wednesday, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Thursday: Twilite Lounge
Deep Ellum: where karaoke gets weird. In the best way. Good Luck Karaoke is a two-man karaoke show with weekly themes like Summer Bummer and Vampire Beach Party. Originated by Josh “DJ Hammertimez” Robertson and famed tattoo artist Oliver Peck, George Quartz now fills in while Peck films as a judge on Ink Masters.
Each week at Twilite Lounge brings a different theme, which the two complete with full-on costumes, makeup and sets. “It’s like Halloween 52 weeks out of the year,” says Robertson. They don’t break character through the night, which has led to wacky personas like beekeepers speaking only in solemn NPR-esque tones.
As far as the actual karaoke goes, it’s an intimate crowd singing a lot of rock ‘n' roll, and accompanied by Robertson and Quartz on air or toy instruments. “He’s the best air bassist,” Robertson says of Quartz. Even if you don’t want to sing, it’s worth going for the show. Expect the place to get crowded around midnight.
- Where: Twilite Lounge, 2640 Elm St, Dallas.
- When to karaoke: Thursday, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Friday: San Francisco Rose
Your classic Greenville dive bar, the San Francisco Rose is a karaoke institution. Singers take the “stage” in a corner of the bar while onlookers often sing along to standbys like Queen and the Killers.
Host Nolan Bradberry describes the bar as “the Cheers of Greenville,” a sentiment echoed by his brother Boo Bradberry, the bar’s owner. The family friendliness extends throughout the bar, as Nolan makes sure newcomers feel just as welcome as regulars and there’s no boo-ing, no matter how rusty your pipes.
You’ll have about a 15 minute wait to sing from 9 p.m. to midnight. Once the clock strikes 12, though, many other area bars close and would-be singers rush to the Rose. Get there early to get your name on the song list.
- Where: San Francisco Rose, 3024 Greenville Ave, Dallas.
- When to karaoke: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Saturday: McKinney Avenue Tavern
A mix of locals and out-of-towners make up the melting pot at Big Al's McKinney Avenue Tavern on karaoke nights, says host Tim “DJ BMW” Walker. The vibe is classic, old-school karaoke with a rotating crowd of Uptown foot traffic and regulars and favorite songs from country to hip-hop -- and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” of course.
In addition to the standard karaoke-goers, Walker says celebrities tend to gravitate to McKinney Avenue Tavern, too. Vanilla Ice has taken the mike with “Ice Ice Baby,” and Tracy Morgan once performed “Let’s Get It On,” -- “the dirtiest, raunchiest version you’ve ever wanted to hear,” Walker says. Plus, Jerry Springer stops by once a year and does Elvis impressions.
Whether you happen upon a celebrity sighting or not, this karaoke mainstay is a good bet for karaoke from Thursday through Saturday.
- Where: Big Al's McKinney Avenue Tavern, 2822 Mc Kinney Ave, Dallas.
- When to karaoke: Thursday, 8 p.m. - 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.