Newcomer’s Guide: Which songs to sing at our most popular karaoke spots

Published March 17, 2010

Kroaky’s Karaoke, 4400 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 926-3434 or
If you haven’t yet realized, Sarasota loves it some karaoke. But there’s only one place in town where you can get your fix seven nights a week. Kroaky’s lets you rent out a room with your friends and pick the songs and singers yourself. The duet combinations are endless — just don’t hog the mic.

Cabana Inn & Lounge, 2525 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 955-0195 or, Thurs. and Sun.
Cabana has one of the most popular and varied karaoke nights in town. You can expect to hear anything from ’60s folk to ’80s electronic to Kings of Leon. This is just as good a place as any to break out the Journey, so don’t stop believin’.

Captain Curt’s, 1200 Old Stickney Point Road, Sarasota, 349-3885 or, Thurs., Fri. and Sat.
The hotbed for karaoke on Siesta Key has got to be Captain Curt’s. This crab shack always has a steady stream of tourists looking to let loose. As is with the rest of the key, Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley are always safe bets.

Five O’Clock Club: 1930 Hillview St., Sarasota, 366-5555 or, Sun.; New York New York: 1934 Hillview St., Sarasota, 955-6969 or, Tues.
The Hillview area has a couple karaoke options, but the genres differ drastically. You’ll find more of an older piano bar scene at New York New York that’s always in the mood for a little Frank Sinatra. That pick may not go over as well at the Five-O, but some good blues tunes are sure to do the trick.

1991 Main Street, Sarasota, 955-7234 or, Tues.; 5550 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, 379-2260, Fri.; 5490 Clark Road, Sarasota, 925-2595, Sat.
Believe it or not, all three Sarasota Applebee’s locations have weekly karaoke nights. And they’re actually really popular! As with anything else in the corporate world, it’s all about sticking with what works and giving people what they want to hear. Just listen to top 40 radio for song request ideas — maybe some Pink or Nickleback.

Memories Lounge, 3428 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 355-9849, Fri. and Wed.
The North Trail’s legendary Memories Lounge offers an eclectic mix of genres for a potent karaoke concoction. With a random grab bag of singers ranging from rap to country fans, you’re liable to hear the new Lil Wayne single followed by an old Randy Travis hit. Prepare for the Conway Twitty remix.

Tommy Knockers, 5627 14th St. W., Bradenton, 752-3535, Thurs., Fri., Sat., Mon. and Tues.
Bradenton’s favorite hard-rock nightspot, Tommy Knockers, is almost always offering a release for the distortion-loving karaoke fans. Feel free to headbang to your heart’s content while giving your best Metallica growl. The younger punks may go for Korn while the old rockers bust out Ozzy.

The Rendezvous Lounge, 1570 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota, 953-6970, Sat., Sun. and Tues.
The Rendezvous is a central Sarasota blue-collar bar that appreciates some good old-fashioned classic rock. It’s probably best not to get too fancy with your song selections at this all-American hangout with a French name. Just stick to the Mellencamp and Springsteen.

Crazy Ted’s, 5897 Whitfield Ave., Sarasota, 358-9861, Fri. and Sat.
This tucked-away watering hole off Whitfield has one goal in mind when picking karaoke participants: Get the ladies on the bar! This crazy tavern is known for the cougars that dance past your cocktails while belting out the lyrics to popular pole-dancing tunes. Rock some Def Leppard or AC/DC and you’ll fit right in.

Siesta Key Drum Circle, Siesta Key Public Beach, Sarasota,, Sun.
Every Sunday just before sunset a group of Sarasota’s rhythmically endowed gather together in hand-drum harmony at the Siesta Key Drum Circle. While it’s not necessarily a karaoke night, anyone with a drum and a desire to dance can join in the festivities. I wouldn’t try to put lyrics to the music, but you’re welcome to throw in your best tribal chants and hollers.

Photo by Cooper Levey-Baker

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