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
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.
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.