The Seven Best Places for Karaoke in St. Louis

Categories: Best Of

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Jennifer Silverberg
John G at Mike Talayna's.
Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2011 was no picnic. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this RFT Music series, we're beeboping and scattin' our way through notable runners up in a number of categories. This week: The best karaoke bars in St. Louis.

See also:
The Ten Best Gay Bars in St. Louis
The Ten Best 3 a.m. bars in St. Louis.
The Ten Best Neighborhood Bars in St. Louis
The Ten Best Sports Bars in St. Louis
The Ten Best Juke Boxes in St. Louis
The Nine Best Blues Clubs in St. Louis

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One-Nite Stand
From the outside this south-city dive may not look like the typical karaoke joint. Standing alone at the corner of Ohio and Gravois avenues, the bar's hard brick exterior may make you question if you've made the right choice in coming here. But One Nite Stand is the perfect place to get your groove on, whether you're a neighbor, a newbie or just getting your feet wet. Known for its often raucous karaoke sessions, One Nite Stand has quickly become a mainstay for hipsters, Juggalos and hoodrats itching for the mic. No one is safe from the infectious fun. Featuring a massive song selection ranging from the top of the pops to the obscure, you may find yourself giving your best rendition of Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative" or Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle." Cheap drinks and good company make the night, allowing your vocal chords to ease up before you shout it out loud.

Carson's Sports Bar
Located in the heart of Soulard, Carson's is known mainly as a go-to karaoke stop on weekend nights. The cozy atmosphere and laid-back crowd make it an easy place to grab the mic and cut loose on the small stage. When the off-tune crooning becomes unbearable, make your way to the large patio to sip that Bud Select alfresco. But this delightful dive offers great prices on cold brews all week long making it a great happy-hour spot as well.

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DD's Irish Pub and Karaoke
You'll want to check your inhibitions and pretensions at the door of DD's Irish Pub & Karaoke (formerly the Double D Lounge), but don't be surprised that this mid-county karaoke haven ain't the dive it used to be. After moving down Brentwood Boulevard into a bigger, brighter space with a scenic view of Whole Foods, it's not a complete smoke bomb anymore, and (fast-moving) entry lines form on weekend nights. DD's still entertains a mixed-age, casual crowd, which means sorority girls and cougars alike tongue the mic and their $1 Jell-O shots.

Johnny Gitto's
It's not as if St. Louis is short on Italian restaurants - even outside of the Provel bloc of the Hill, there are too many pasta purveyors to visit in a single calendar year. Johnny Gitto's is one such place, an eatery located on the banks of River Des Peres at the foot of St. Louis Hills. The food is fine, but Johnny G's picks up when the tablecloths and pepper mills are put away. The bar is open till 3 a.m. on weekends, and on these nights the karaoke flows like rail whiskey. It's a perfect marriage of old-school St. Louis class and late-night revelry -- just imagine singing "That's Amore" on the table of Cunnetto's or some other Hill landmark; you'd be shown the door before the second verse. That's why Johnny Gitto's stands alone.


Location Info

Map

One-Nite Stand

2800 Ohio Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

DD's Irish Pub & Karaoke

1740 S. Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood, MO

Category: Music

Johnny Gitto's

6997 Chippewa St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Keeton's Double Play

4944 Christy Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Mike Talayna's Juke Box Restaurant

1115 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Rockin' Gators

9538 Gravois, Saint Louis, MO

Category: Music

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22 comments
syice
syice

Coming from south side of Indianapolis next week. Will have to check out this place! One my best buds is a KJ ( skyler Neal) So far he has the best show and system I seen and not saying that because he my bud lol Can't wait to see how yours compares and sing in front of some new faces. Yakman coming to st. louis :-)

mmemotc
mmemotc

Well, well, well, I guess I need to put in my thoughts on this matter, #1, IT'S NOT THE EQUIPMENT that matters, I'm willing to put my entire rig of missed matched speakers, partially outdated gear & NON led lighting, against anyone in the karaoke field because it's not about the gear, it's about whether or not the person running it knows what the hell their doing. #2, It IS about selection of songs, #3, screw ALL of your egos, it's not about you, it's about the customers & the singers, not your over flowing ego & "WHO YOU ARE", "I'm this person, I'm that person", WHO GIVES A S**T, I sure don't.

The point I'm trying to make is... every last one of you must think your "THE S**T", just because you've been in the business for "X" amount of years, get a clue.

written by: Dennis Carter  owner/operator Motley's Musical Expressions (Express Your Occasion Through Music)

Tim James Gerber
Tim James Gerber

 I agree, River City Pub deserves a mention.  Rock on!

Tim James Gerber
Tim James Gerber

 I also have to address this comment because I would like you to not belittle a customer of mine.  He obviously enjoys the show he comes to & you enjoy whatever show you go to.  By all means, you can downgrade me as much as you want, but please, don't resort to name-calling & such, it is very childish.  And by the way, Pancakes is a great guy & he does appreciate a quality show & he gets one every time he comes to Rockin' Gators.  And again GatorHeads, ROCK ON!

Tim James Gerber
Tim James Gerber

 Please tell us what displeased you about your experience at Rockin' Gators?  I will address any issues you have.

Tim James Gerber
Tim James Gerber

 If anyone were to ever come up & ask me how I run the rotation, I have gladly shown them.  I keep a hand-written list of all singers at the show & add new singers in when the complete rotation has finished.  Each singer gets ONE song & only ONE song in every rotation.  If a duet comes up, that counts toward one of the two singers turns.  I have always run my show this way in the entire 12 years I've been doing it.

Tim James Gerber
Tim James Gerber

Alright, where to begin?  Hello STLKaraokeKing, my name is DJ Tim J & I am the host of Boomtown Karaoke at Rockin' Gators.  I have been there for 4 years & I've been in the karaoke business for more than 12 years.  Honestly I have never had any direct complaints to myself until now, so I have to address each of your concerns, I will do this one at a time.  1) You say I have mismatched speakers.  They may look different, but actually they are the same models of Peavey speakers I have been using for years, the same wattage, the same everything, it's just one happens to be in a wooden case & one is in a more modern plastic one.  They stopped making the wooden cases, so I had to move onto a plastic one.  I'm not going to throw out a perfectly good speaker (the other wooden one blew last year) simply to make things look cosmetically the same, no one would, including you. 2) You say I am too busy worrying about a game than my show.  Yes, I do occasionally play a game to please my customers who would like me to join in, but this only happens maybe 5 times in an entire year.  As for not paying attention to customers & running my show, this has never happened in the entire career I've had in this business.  If even the slightest bit of feedback were to come on, I would immediately leave the game & wouldn't come back, ask anyone there to verify that.  Frankly, I have been to hundreds of shows in this city & I have seen the absolute worst jobs of not paying attention to customers elsewhere.  I pride myself on being more attentive than any of the others out there.  3) You say I favor regulars.  If anyone were to ever come up & ask me how I run the rotation, I have gladly shown them.  I keep a hand-written list of all singers at the show & add new singers in when the complete rotation has finished.  Each singer gets ONE song & only ONE song in every rotation.  If a duet comes up, that counts toward one of the two singers turns.  I have always run my show this way in the entire 12 years I've been doing it.  4) Your question said Who cares about all the songs by Roxette & Milli Vanilli?  The answer is, just about everybody.  The biggest compliment I get, and believe me, I get it a LOT, at least 9 or 10 times a night, is that I have the biggest selection of any karaoke DJ around.  While you may not be interested in diversity, true karaoke enthusiasts are.  They love the selection & keep coming back for more.  Karaoke is supposed to be about the widest variety possible.  The reason people stop going to other peoples' shows is because they're tired of hearing the same songs, night after night, over & over again, to the point that they just can't stand them anymore.  (i.e. By popular demand, on a poll I personally took from hundreds of people, I have removed the song Picture from my lineup completely. :-)) In conclusion, I have addressed each of your opinions in a fashionable manner, but I suppose I cannot please one who isn't willing to give our quaint little bar another try.  We are like a family here & the hundreds that keep coming back will continue to do so because I treat each & every one of my customers with the utmost respect & dignity.  To all the many GatorHeads out there, ROCK ON!

Jan Nummelin
Jan Nummelin

Great information,Karaoke is one of my favorite hobby looking for the best place is quite hard,when i was in Finland country i own 1 karaoke which is i use when i want to sing and when we have a party.Well keep posting a informative things like this.:)

jw5834
jw5834

Do you frequent in the south county area?  I'm looking for some places in South County area that does karaoke during the week  (Monday- Thursday).  I understand why some people look down on karaoke but that is due to the people who run the show (song selection, sound, rotation).  Let me know.

Astra1
Astra1

I wish I could find a list of karaoke bars listed by day Mon- Tue etc with beginning time address and phone number, and also by area, example south St. Louis, South County,etc. Also would like ranking number 1-5, 5 being best, and few words for ranking comment from list. I have been to a lot of Karaoke bars, and Keetons is one of the best when Bob hosts. Cheap alchol prices,good food, good system, hetro sexual bar, few shit kickers(fighters),several displays, friendly crowd, and most of the time cares if you do a good job singing. 

Matt Harnish
Matt Harnish

 Yeah! If you're having fun doing something than you are clearly doing it wrong!

Dean Stanley
Dean Stanley

How is it even remotely possible that Novak's didn't make the list???

Daniel
Daniel

The verdict is in. Karaoke : SRS BSNSS

STLKaraokeKing
STLKaraokeKing

"Just karaoke"... No wonder you like Rockin Gators.   I would LOVE to have you come out to a great karaoke night with "The Crew" on night. but unlike some of us, who prefer to actually sound good when going out, you're most likely one of those singers who only does it when they are hammer wasted "for fun"  We on the other hand like a good selection, quality gear, a knowledge of how to use it, and a KJ who pays attention to the singers, rather than their high score on Golden Tee. Last I checked, Tim your karaoke God was being paid to host a show, not to keep trying for that birdie on hole 15.   You're like that Natty Lite drinker that can't stomach a Guinness, or a Belgian Trappist because you've never ventured past Bud Light. "Oh I don't like those dark beers, they have too much of that...uhhhh..."   "Flavor?"   "Yeah...I guess that's it"  Stick to your watered down piss version of karaoke, the rest of us like full head on bad ass karaoke. This article is a joke, the author has not even begun to do his/her homework, and Pancake Master is nothing but a fanboy. 

STLKaraokeKing
STLKaraokeKing

please let us know where/who the VERY BEST KJ is so that I can hire them.

Mark Farace
Mark Farace

Some people take karaoke very seriously (you can be harmed/killed in the orient for butchering Sinatra) but others provide it as an occupation. It's possible this poster could be making a living providing karaoke or know some people who do so.  For all we know,  they could have 2 kids at home and a mortgage, so calling it "just karaoke" might be offensive. I've left bars because the sound was crappy or because the jock was doing it as a hobby and had inferior equipment and boot leg music.  Nice to see people with varying opinions speaking up and not just trashing karaoke altogether.

Pancake Master
Pancake Master

 They also are not (or were not, for a long time) even open on Mondays at all, let alone doing karaoke 'til 3AM that day (and indeed, I have never seen them go all the way to 3AM, even 3AM "bar-time").  The "karaoke 'til 3AM seven nights a week" sign they have is pretty distant from the truth.

Pancake Master
Pancake Master

 Way not to know what an "example" is, Your Majesty!  I certainly don't specifically care about a page of Roxette songs, nor do I know anyone who necessarily would.  It's just a symptom of the greater beauty that is Rockin' Gators karaoke (of additional note is the frequency with which Tim updates his books, since you seem to be so into the big hits!).  Also: Wow, you dissected sound quality and used the word "educated" in an internet comment on an online article about karaoke bars.  I'm flabbergasted, but not nearly trashy enough to wish bodily harm to you.  I genuinely hope that doing so yourself, to a stranger on the world wide web-u-net, no less, made you feel better!  It's just karaoke, My Liege!

Pancake Master
Pancake Master

 I guess I am trying to say, I have never viewed it as that bad of a problem at Rockin' Gators!  I am genuinely sorry to hear you had a different experience, Mark!

Tim James Gerber
Tim James Gerber

 Rockin' Gators Bar & Grill has karaoke every Thursday, Friday, & Saturday night.

mmemotc
mmemotc

@STLKaraokeKing I'm sitting @ home

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