Neon lights dart across the Cali Red Lounge to decorate the stone and tile walls with luminous graffiti. These rays of indigo and green provide a backdrop that complements colorful signature cocktails such as the refreshing Sunflower made with peach schnapps and Midori, the pucker-inducing appletini, and the all-ages water on the rocks. The expansive space fits a variety of moods with beer-pong tables, flat-screen TVs for sports, and a network of private Japanese-style karaoke rooms. As disco lights splash banquettes with glowing confetti, patrons can croon a beloved ballad and munch on Cali Red's savory snacks including wine-flavored edamame beans, onion rings, and popcorn chicken.
Settle into one of many urbanized nooks in the expansive reaches of Karaoke Boho, where private brick-lined lounge rooms come fully furnished with top-quality speaker boxes and crisp flatscreens. This generously sectioned-off space provides you and your backup singers the freedom to let loose on the mics with the safety of a buffer between you and crooning karaoke strangers. To loosen up the vocal chords, order some courage-boosting liquid concoctions such as melon balls, martinis, Long Islands, and other fine spirits ($7–$12 each).
Rihanna, Shania Twain, Mumford & Sons, and Elton John. That's not from the playlist of an indecisive radio DJ—it's from the song list at Radio Star Karaoke, which boasts more than 28,000 English and Spanish tunes. Visitors belt out melodies from nine private rooms, the biggest of which can fit up to 40 singers. Bolder singers exercise their pipes on the stage of the ultra-modern bar area, decked out with translucent plastic chairs illuminated by multicolored, club-style lighting. Dots of laser light flit across the entire space, framing wrap-around couches and flat-screen TVs. In the front hallway, a museum of vintage microphones and RCA Victor radios is on display to inspire singers. Fueling the festivities, which on some nights can last until 4 a.m., is a menu of spirited beverages and sharable appetizers that have all been stolen from Prince’s kitchen.
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.
From the steamy dry ice-like fountain that greets customers at the entrance to the cavernous interior beyond, this pan-Asian restaurant in Greenwich Village oozes a pleasant gaudiness. Decked out with red velvet curtains, red paper lanterns, a back-lit dragon’s head, glowing blue Japanese-style walls and a curved piano-shaped bar, Apple Restaurant and Bom Bar creates a fun, warm ambiance appreciated by the many NYU students who often fill the tables. The menu is also an attraction, including a wide range of Asian dishes like tuna mango spring rolls, fried Vietnamese dumplings, beef sate and sautéed lemongrass with shrimp, while many vegetarian dishes are also available. The private room in the back, the Red Den, is fully equipped for private karaoke sessions.
Amateur singers of all skill levels grab microphones and belt out show-stopping tunes on the stage at Keats, entertaining friends and bar patrons alike. A line of performers forms seven nights each week, and, according to staff, it has sometimes included celebrities such as Vanessa Carlton and Nick Lachey as well as cocker spaniels dressed in trench coats. At the bar, the sounds of live karaoke mingle with the clinking of pint glasses as servers arrive with plates of fish 'n' chips, burgers, and spicy buffalo wings.