DFW Music News

Get Ready to Sing Again At the Best New Karaoke Spots

The atmosphere at Charlie's Star Lounge was inspired by co-owner Corey Howe's garage house party-heavy childhood. Now they offer karaoke.
The atmosphere at Charlie's Star Lounge was inspired by co-owner Corey Howe's garage house party-heavy childhood. Now they offer karaoke. Charlie Binks
The past two years have been rough, even rougher than the sound of some us attempting to hit the high note in the final chorus of Prince’s “Kiss.” But whether you’re a vocal pro or a novice, the power of song can soothe almost any emotional ailment, even more so when you’re with friends and loved ones. As bars and lounges reopened this year once vaccines became more widely available, several spaces served as stages for us to sing our hearts out through the classic art form known as karaoke. Here were some of our favorites of the past year.

Charlie's Star Lounge
4319 Main St. (Old East Dallas)
For decades, the Starlight Lounge served as a dark, divey rock-themed bar for lovers of good music. This past May,  Allen Falkner and Corey Howe, owner and manager of The Nines, respectively, reopened the space as Charlie’s Star Lounge. Still as dark and divey, the bar now offers karaoke on weekends and a large space for dancing. Plus, resident bartender Big Fun is the ultimate hype man.

Casablanca
200 N. Bishop Ave. (Bishop Arts)
Over in Bishop Arts, Casablanca serves Asian-inspired light dishes and cocktails, but in the back they have a “singeasy” consisting of six intimate karaoke rooms available for rent. So be as sexy, loud and obnoxious as you want to be, because this is a private show.

Liquid Zoo
2506 Knight St. (Oak Lawn)
The star power can be felt throughout this queer- and trans-friendly dive bar, and even more so on Cher-aoke nights, which moved from Alexandre’s to Liquid Zoo earlier this year. Cher-aoke nights are hosted by drag performer Wayne Smith, who can embody Cher better than anyone in the city.

One Nostalgia Tavern
6521 Abrams Road (Lake Highlands)
One Nostalgia Tavern has served as one of Dallas’ most popular karaoke joints for nearly five decades. But after spending much time in isolation and watching movies like This World Won’t Break and shows like Cruel Summer — both of which filmed scenes in the tavern — we were reminded of how much we missed it.

Mac Karaoke
2525 Royal Lane, Suite 200 (Koreatown)
After visiting Nuri Grill, you’ll want to keep the festivities going throughout the night. Over at Mac Karaoke, an Asian-themed karaoke lounge, you and your closest friends can rent a private room and choose from a selection of thousands of songs: Today’s Top 40 hits, Korean and Japanese earworms and deep album cuts you won’t be able to sing along with anywhere else. If you’re too drunk to remember your performance, Mac Karaoke will send you home with an audio recording, so you’ll never forget it — or live it down.

The Round Up Bar and Saloon
3912 Cedar Springs Road (Oak Lawn)
The Round Up is a favorite of music icons Robyn, Charli XCX and Lady Gaga. And every night, beginning at 9 p.m., you too can feel like a legend, on the bar's karaoke stage. But you may want to wait until 10 or 11 p.m. to sign up — that’s around the time everyone starts feeling drunk enough to tip karaoke singers.

Twilite Lounge
2640 Elm St. (Deep Ellum)
This Deep Ellum venue offers a permanent stage for singers — those by trade or by acts of liquid courage. So grab a gin and tonic and pour your heart into that Amy Winehouse cover. Who knows? Dallas’ own loop daddy Marc Rebillet may stop by. He’s known for making an appearance at Twilite.

Uptown Pub
3605 McKinney Ave. (West Village)
Whether you're catching the big game or singing karaoke on the patio, Sundays are better at Uptown Pub. One of the last true dives in uptown, the Pub serves an eclectic mix of guests and an even more eclectic selection of song offerings. Their sound system is so loud, you can hear singers belting all the way from Whole Foods on McKinney. Talk about star power.

Single Wide
2110 Greenville Ave. (Lower Greenville)
Keep it trashy and just a little bit nasty at Single Wide, our favorite trailer-park themed bar on Lower Greenville. The energy from the crowd mimics that of the best rock concert you’ve ever been to.

Vetted Well
Various Locations
Located inside any Alamo Drafthouse location, Vetted Well offers a decent selection of beers, cocktails and bar food. But the private karaoke rooms are where the real party begins. You can catch the stars on-screen and then feel like a star off-screen.
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Alex Gonzalez has been a contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2018. He is a Dallas native whose work has appeared in Local Profile, MTV News and the Austin American-Statesman. He has eclectic taste in music and enjoys writing about art, food and culture.
Contact: Alex Gonzalez