Did you know the word "karaoke" is a combination of two Japanese words which translate in English to "empty orchestra"?
Yes, the Japanese must have a different interpretation of the purpose and aim of a night of karaoke than us amateur singers of South Florida. If we were to smash two Japanese words together to describe the hobby of going out and attempting to sing songs by reading words on a screen, we would pick "drunken fun" or "shameless shrieking."
There are a multitude of places in Broward and Palm Beach Counties that, with the magic of a karaoke machine, allow you the chance to prove you're as talented as Mariah Carey or as shameless as Miley Cyrus. Here are the ten best karaoke nights, all of which have Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" ready for you to belt out at the push of a button.
10. Tuesday nights at O'Malley's Sports Bar
This Margate bar gives karaoke singers the greatest gift: a free drink. Hosted by Marioke, O'Malley's has drink specials every Tuesday night and also keeps the full kitchen open — so if you're feeling creative, you can bring food onstage as a karaoke prop.
9. Every night at Shout Kraoke (starting again in January 2017)
This West Palm venue is the Mecca for karaoke in South Florida. Named by New Times as the best karaoke bar in 2016, it has a main bar that allows superstars to show off in front of a loud crowd. They also have options for the shy karaoke singers to cut loose with eight private rooms. The only reason it doesn't top the list is it's closed for renovation until January 2017.
8. Wednesday nights at Inkwell Pub
Hidden in a Margate strip mall is the opportunity to earn a free sake bomb if you sing karaoke on a Wednesday night. Another bonus is the wide selection of craft beers and board games available if you're looking to distract yourself until you take over the small singing space.
7. Tuesday nights at Boca Resto Lounge
Every Tuesday night from 7 to 10 p.m., this Boca Raton place serves up Karaoke with Hal. There's inside and outdoor seating incase your nerves need some fresh air. Every night features wine, beer, and food specials — and the best singers can win gift prizes.
6. Wednesday nights at Murphy's Tavern
Every Wednesday night from 6:30 p.m. to close at 1 a.m., this Fort Lauderdale Irish pub lets you try your hand at karaoke. There is traditional American bar food on the menu in addition to Irish fare, which might inspire you to sing Van Morrison, U2, or Sinead O'Connor.
5. Sunday nights at the Dive Bar
Fort Lauderdale's Dive Bar knows the best way to end the weekend is to murderize the most beautiful pop, rock, and R&B songs known to the Western world. Hosted by Angela, the Dive Bar opens up the pool tables during karaoke for free play from 9 p.m. to close and also offers $2.50 draft beers.
4. Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Cheers Restaurant and Bar
Over two nights a week, this Sunrise bar not only features karaoke hosted by Frantz from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. but also doubles as a ladies night. Women get half-off all drinks, while men get the chance to impress with their Elvis Presley renditions.
3. Thursday nights at the Black Rose Irish Pub
One of the great things about this Boca Raton Irish Pub's Thursday karaoke night is if there's a song you really want to sing and they don't have it, they'll do their best to download it for you. So if you're looking for something slightly more obscure that never seems to be in the musty karaoke binder, this is a spot for you.
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2. Friday nights at Flip Flops Dockside Eatery
You can start the weekend off right at this seaside bar. Every Friday night, Robert Lavalle hosts a night dedicated to karaoke starting at 7:30 p.m. If you need liquid courage, they proudly offer a happy hour all Friday where beer, wine, and well drinks are only $3.
1. Monday nights at Dubliner Irish Pub
There's no greater incentive to throw care out the window than the Dubliner's free first drink for every karaoke singer. With a selection of over 30,000 songs and a lively audience more likely to cheer you on than to boo you off, this Boca Raton Irish bar will have you making karaoke as much of a Monday night tradition as football.