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Denver's ten best karaoke bars

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.



Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music


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