Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2008

5. Sidekicks

Back before karaoke was hip, there was Sidekicks. Pretend that the vintage marquee outside is glowing your name (instead of "Open Till 4AM" and "Karaoke Every Night"), open the bright red door and prepare for a time warp. You'll half-expect the Blues Brothers to bust in and jump onstage with you for "Livin' on a Prayer" — well, maybe just Jake, since Elwood would probably bolt for the beer-can wind chimes near the bar. If you want to celebrate a special event, like a birthday, call ahead to give the bar a heads-up, and they'll tape you and your friends for free — at the end of the night, you'll get a copy on VHS (sorry, no Beta). The bar also has a serious dart-playing contingent; to check out their game grounds, follow the wood-paneled walls to the back room.

If you get hungry looking at the framed pictures of Italian Beef, pizza and onion rings, don't worry: There's a walk-up counter where you can order food until late. Karaoke starts at 8 p.m. and goes until about midnight during the week, 2 a.m. on Friday and 3 a.m. on Saturday.