Though the '80s album covers lining the rustic, wooden walls of Mo's Bar beckon guests down memory lane, the aroma of Southern-inspired cuisine and the revelry of weekly events keep patrons affixed to the present. Candlelight illuminates the two-level establishment as patrons feast upon shrimp po’boys with original sauce, handmade corn chips, and beef burgers infused with blue cheese. Over the weekend, Mo’s culinary team adds its own spin to brunch with entrees such as organic eggs and french toast topped with caramelized banana.
In between bites, visitors can monitor the latest sports scores that flash across four large-screen televisions throughout the bar. Mo’s also hosts numerous events, including DJ nights, karaoke, a monthly burlesque show, and open-mic nights, during which engineers break open a microphone and explain all its parts.
Since most people never experience the rush of belting beloved tunes in front of thousands of adoring fans, there are places like 5 Bar Karaoke Lounge to provide the next best thing. Spotlights, disco balls, and black lights illuminate amateur chanteuses as they take the stage in private rooms that hold groups of up to 18. A savory selection of small plates and platters such as edamame, seafood rice cakes, and chicken wings keep power-ballad singers fueled for their next heartfelt rendition, while draft beers heighten the feel-good atmosphere and placate friends who’ve lost their voice.
Washed ashore along the famed Bleecker Street, Wicked Willy?s welcomes visitors to its Caribbean-themed retreat rife with pirates, palm trees, food, and drink specials. Instead of hiring actual pirates to come in and perform stand-up routines, the tropical stop keeps guests entertained with a combination of live music and karaoke every week. Amid the tunes, patrons bite into wings, wraps, and specialty burgers. Wicked Willy?s makes sure to ward off thirst, too, with a drink selection that ranges from margaritas to mixed concoctions and pitchers of beer.
The sounds of the Pacific Ocean’s waves crashing can’t be heard in Sabor Latino’s kitchen, unlike on the shores of Ecuador, but the eatery’s chefs don’t seem to notice. They continue to prepare and plate Ecuadorian dishes as if they were in Ecuador, whether cooking bowls of hen soup, black-clam ceviche, slow-roasted pig, or stew with tripe, rice, fried plantains, and avocado. Specialty drinks and rich desserts round out the menu, with sweets such as flan or figs served with cheese.
A hangover from the days when Inwood was a largely Irish neighborhood, Piper’s Kilt is a classic Irish drinker. The bar opens at 11 a.m. and serves casual pub fare and predictable pints of Guinness all day. One of the hefty Kilt Burgers are a popular bet for soaking up the night’s booze supply, though less heavy salads and pastas make for workable alternatives. Wines can be ordered by the glass, and draft beers span local, regional and international influences. Vintage black and white sports photography hangs on the green walls near most of the wide booths, while the bar itself is long and worn after more than two decades of service. You don’t have to be Irish to hang out here, but the bartender certainly is; just show up any night, particularly on Saturdays evenings when live music takes over part of the space.