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Denver's ten best karaoke bars

The scene at Ogden Street South.
The scene at Ogden Street South.
All photos by Chris Morgan for Westword

See Also: - Meet Dave Staff, Denver's seventy-year-old karaoke king - Boulder's five biggest hipster bars - Denver's biggest hipster bars - Five best midsize venues in LoDo and Ballpark - Denver's ten best dance clubs - Denver's ten best jukeboxes - Five best places to buy vinyl

While there are a countless number of places to do karaoke around town, we've picked the ten best spots to conjure your inner crooner. Some of these places cater to singers every night of the week, while others only do karaoke on specific nights. Page down to see which spots made the list. Did your favorite make the cut? Did we leave out your favorite haunt? Let us know.

Karaoke gets going on Friday and Saturday nights at El Charrito in Denver.
Karaoke gets going on Friday and Saturday nights at El Charrito in Denver.

10. El Charrito (2100 Larimer Street)

While El Charrito has been one of downtown's classic dives since it opened five decades ago, the spot made a comeback a few years ago with new owners. Sure, it's a great bar for cheap drinks, but it's also one of the few places you'll find karaoke on the weekends in the Ballpark Neighborhood. Fridays and Saturday nights usually start off fairly tame, but by 11 p.m. or so, the place is jumping.

Charolette Bemis and Tasia Sinn sing "Someone to Call My Lover" by Janet Jackson. "[My friend] Jason chose it," Sinn says.
Charolette Bemis and Tasia Sinn sing "Someone to Call My Lover" by Janet Jackson. "[My friend] Jason chose it," Sinn says.
The room empties as quickly as it fills Friday and Saturday nights at El Charrito in Denver.
The room empties as quickly as it fills Friday and Saturday nights at El Charrito in Denver.

 

The Ogden Street South bar features karaoke nights every Friday and Saturday in Denver.
The Ogden Street South bar features karaoke nights every Friday and Saturday in Denver.

09. Ogden Street South (103 South Ogden Street)

Resting comfortably in the Wash Park neighborhood for over three decades, Ogden Street South (or "OSS," as it's also known) is best recognized for its epic weekend karaoke extravaganzas. Cheap drinks lubricate the Friday and Saturday night sing-alongs, and the carpeted watering hole's beer-sign-littered walls give the place a distinctive, college-bar feel.

The scene at Ogden Street South.
The scene at Ogden Street South.
All photos by Chris Morgan for Westword
Stacy Bellegin sings "Come to my Window" by Melissa Etheridge at Ogden Street South bar in Denver. "I love that song, I just like to belt the hell out of it," Bellegin says.
Stacy Bellegin sings "Come to my Window" by Melissa Etheridge at Ogden Street South bar in Denver. "I love that song, I just like to belt the hell out of it," Bellegin says.

 

The crowd at Benders Tavern looks on as Mima Petkus finishes singing 'Halo" by Beyonce. "I sang it to kind of stretch my vocal chords out," Petkus says. Karaoke gets rolling Tuesdays and Thursdays around 9:30 p.m. at Bender's Tavern in Denver.
The crowd at Benders Tavern looks on as Mima Petkus finishes singing 'Halo" by Beyonce. "I sang it to kind of stretch my vocal chords out," Petkus says. Karaoke gets rolling Tuesdays and Thursdays around 9:30 p.m. at Bender's Tavern in Denver.

8. Bender's Tavern (314 East 13th Avenue)

While Bender's has gone through a few karaoke hosts over the years, the bar has made its karaoke nights something of a Capitol Hill tradition on Thursdays. With an elevated stage in the main room, the spot is ideal to channel your inner Johnny, whether be Rotten, Cash or Mathis. Now with Uncle Dutchie's Karaoke handling the nights, the spot welcomes seasoned hams and budding exhibitionists alike to wrap their pipes around a tune or twelve.

Scorpio Steele sings "Field of Dreams" by Roy Orbison. "I like the song, and Blue Velvet is a good movie," Steele says.
Scorpio Steele sings "Field of Dreams" by Roy Orbison. "I like the song, and Blue Velvet is a good movie," Steele says.

 

3 Kings Tavern hosts karaoke every Wednesday night in Denver.
3 Kings Tavern hosts karaoke every Wednesday night in Denver.

7. 3 Kings Tavern (60 South Broadway)

While Mark Star (aka Mark Armijo) has established himself as one of Denver's wildest karaoke hosts with various nights around town, his karaoke night on Wednesdays at 3 Kings might make you feel the most like a rockstar, as the music venue is already equipped with a stage and lighting. And even if you don't come to sing, watching Mark channel punk rock energy into the songs and be a madman with the microphone, that's nearly a show in itself.

Gene Martinez sings "I Remember You" by Skid Row at 3 Kings Tavern in Denver. "It's raining outside and I felt it was an appropriate love ballad," Martinez says.
Gene Martinez sings "I Remember You" by Skid Row at 3 Kings Tavern in Denver. "It's raining outside and I felt it was an appropriate love ballad," Martinez says.
Zack Scheidker, left, and Dave Horne sing "I'm Gonna Be" by the Proclaimers at 3 Kings Tavern in Denver. "It's a Zach and Dave show classic," Horne says. "We figured it fit with two nerdy white guys."
Zack Scheidker, left, and Dave Horne sing "I'm Gonna Be" by the Proclaimers at 3 Kings Tavern in Denver. "It's a Zach and Dave show classic," Horne says. "We figured it fit with two nerdy white guys."

 

Thursday nights are filled with Karaoke hosted by DJ Tony Risch at Star Bar in Denver.
Thursday nights are filled with Karaoke hosted by DJ Tony Risch at Star Bar in Denver.

6. Star Bar (2137 Larimer Street)

One of Denver's oldest bars, the Star Bar was one of downtown's classic dives for decades, but when new owners took over the place two years ago, the bar got a much-needed overhaul. With that facelift came a new crowd as well as weekly entertainment, including live music on the weekends and karaoke on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which usually draws lively and sizeable crowds. While the now-defunct Mori Sushi Bar a few blocks away was long karaoke central in downtown, Star Bar is the now the prime spot for karaoke in LoDo.

Jimmy Chassaing sings "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond at Star Bar in Denver. "Neil Diamond is a patriot and I love America," Chassaing says.
Jimmy Chassaing sings "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond at Star Bar in Denver. "Neil Diamond is a patriot and I love America," Chassaing says.
The room becomes quiet for a minute as Brian O'Connell begins to sing karaoke at the Star Bar in Denver.
The room becomes quiet for a minute as Brian O'Connell begins to sing karaoke at the Star Bar in Denver.

 

Karaoke starts at 9:30 p.m. on Sundays at Charlie Brown's Bar and Grill in Denver.
Karaoke starts at 9:30 p.m. on Sundays at Charlie Brown's Bar and Grill in Denver.

5. Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill (980 Grant Street)

Good karaoke bars need several things: Cheap booze, a thick songbook, a DJ capable of inflating your ego, a no-cuts-no-butts-no-coconuts method of choosing singers and, perhaps most important, a loyal following of wannabe Axl Roses, who will sing along to the lyrics of almost anything and cheer you on while you do the Vanilla Ice dance during instrumental breaks. Charlie Brown's has all this and more. The cheap booze flows from morning until night, and you can keep your pipes primed during the five-times-a-week piano sing-along. That way, when the karaoke starts at 9:30 p.m. on Sundays, you'll be ready to join in with the rest of the appreciative audience, encouraging every intoxicated rendition of "Ice Ice Baby."

Your host at Charlie Brown's.
Your host at Charlie Brown's.

 

Dubb's Pub in Westminster hosts karaoke Thursdays through Saturdays in Westminster.
Dubb's Pub in Westminster hosts karaoke Thursdays through Saturdays in Westminster.

4. Dubb's Pub (5301 S. Broadway Littleton)

Dubb's Pub offers karaoke Thursday through Saturdays, and plenty of room to stretch out and listen. Along a stretch of South Broadway that features car dealerships and dispensaries, Dubb's attracts an enthusiastic crowd of singers. Grab a drink and a seat, and get ready to hear some very unique versions of Johnny Cash, Bon Jovi and Fleetwood Mac as the devoted karaoke crowd does it their way.

Amber Shockey, left, and Suzanne Bates sing "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band. "It's my favorite song," Bates says.
Amber Shockey, left, and Suzanne Bates sing "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band. "It's my favorite song," Bates says.
Dubb's Pub in Westminster hosts karaoke Thursday through Saturdays in Westminster.
Dubb's Pub in Westminster hosts karaoke Thursday through Saturdays in Westminster.

 

Karaoke starts at 8 p.m. seven nights a week at Park Centre Lounge & Grille in Westminster.
Karaoke starts at 8 p.m. seven nights a week at Park Centre Lounge & Grille in Westminster.

3. Park Centre Lounge & Grille (12011 N. Pecos Street)

With an exhaustive catalog of 50,000 songs, a professional surround sound system and karaoke seven nights a week, starting at 8 p.m., it's obvious the folks at Park Centre take their karaoke seriously. While most places have books and forms to fill out, pretty much everything is digital here, and basically all you have to do is tell the DJ your name and what song you want to sing when you're up, and there's a list of singers is shown on the big screen. There's also a computer to browse through songs and even listen to them before they get on the mike.

Alanna Petersen, left, and Claire Furiow sing "Stronger" by Britney Spears at Park Centre Lounge & Grille in Westminster. "I've listened to Britney Spears since I was a child," Petersen says. "I've been practicing it since I was eight years old."
Alanna Petersen, left, and Claire Furiow sing "Stronger" by Britney Spears at Park Centre Lounge & Grille in Westminster. "I've listened to Britney Spears since I was a child," Petersen says. "I've been practicing it since I was eight years old."
Denver's ten best karaoke bars

 

Jonny B. sings Paul Revere by the Beastie Boys at Armida's Mexican Restaurant and Lounge in Denver. "MCA just died man, I had to give him some props," Jonny says.
Jonny B. sings Paul Revere by the Beastie Boys at Armida's Mexican Restaurant and Lounge in Denver. "MCA just died man, I had to give him some props," Jonny says.

2. Armida's's (840 Lincoln Street)

If you're new to karaoke, Armida's might be the ideal spot to start, as the place is fairly intimate and low-key. It prompts even everyday patrons to step up to the mike every night of the week, starting at 6 p.m. The DJs are friendly and are glad to accommodate the most absurd request for songs, whether it comes from longtime karaoke heroes or first-time howlers. And even the shyest shower-stall crooners can expect a warm welcome from Armida's enthusiastic nightly crowds.

David Petersen sings as the karaoke crowd at Armida's Mexican Restaurant and Lounge in Denver continues to grow.
David Petersen sings as the karaoke crowd at Armida's Mexican Restaurant and Lounge in Denver continues to grow.
Tiffany Rosengrant sings "Piece of my Heart" by Janis Joplin at Armida's Mexican Restaurant and Lounge in Denver. "I'm tone-deaf and Janis Joplin is fucking awesome," Rosengrant says.
Tiffany Rosengrant sings "Piece of my Heart" by Janis Joplin at Armida's Mexican Restaurant and Lounge in Denver. "I'm tone-deaf and Janis Joplin is fucking awesome," Rosengrant says.

 

Karaoke goes down seven nights a week at the Rear Inn Lounge in Denver.
Karaoke goes down seven nights a week at the Rear Inn Lounge in Denver.

1. Rear Inn Lounge (4991 W. 80th Ave. Westminster)

If you're itching to sound off, the best karaoke nights in town are at a spot hidden away on a Westminster building's backside (thus the moniker, we presume). But with its elevated stage, overhead screen displaying the words from your choice of thousands of songs and an enthusiastic audience of friendly, easygoing neighborhood regulars, the Rear Inn is way ahead of the rest of the karaoke pack. And since not everybody knows about this every-night-of-the-week karaoke night (yet!), you'll have plenty of opportunity to play the rock star that we know you are.

Keri Fox sings "99 Red Balloons" by Nena at the Rear Inn Lounge in Denver. "[I chose that song] because its high and I can kind of sing it," Fox says.
Keri Fox sings "99 Red Balloons" by Nena at the Rear Inn Lounge in Denver. "[I chose that song] because its high and I can kind of sing it," Fox says.
Karaoke goes down seven nights a week at the Rear Inn Lounge in Denver.
Karaoke goes down seven nights a week at the Rear Inn Lounge in Denver.


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