UPDATED: Mo's in Katy is not to be confused with Mo's the Galleria-area steakhouse. Rocks Off regrets the error.
Mo's advertises itself as a "Place for Steaks," and its location is way out in Katy, but that doesn't make it any less deserving of a place on this list. Boy, are those steaks juicy, and the sociable crowd every night only adds to the delicious experience.
Visitors to Mo's Place can enjoy karaoke Mondays through Wednesdays, with live music performances the rest of the week. However, this establishment does enforce a strict dress code policy of no tank tops, bandannas or backwards baseball caps, so to be on the safe side, leave your casual wear at home. 21940 Kingsland Blvd., Katy, 281-392-3499, www.mosplacekaty.com
9. YES KTV In some Asian cultures, KTV's are private rooms that patrons can rent for the purpose of enjoying a karaoke-filled evening. In that tradition, Yes KTV holds five private rooms of various sizes for reasonable prices.
The largest private room has a nice stage, a bathroom and a bar in the back equipped with complimentary glasses and ice. Yes KTV doesn't sell alcohol, but they overcomes that by allowing patrons to bring their own drinks. If you're not an alcoholic drinker, they sell milk, tea and fruit juices. Refreshing!
9889 Bellaire Blvd., 832-605-8566. yesktv.net
We'll let the scantily clad waitresses slide. Why? Karaoke nights on Wednesdays! The Runway Bar and Grill is another far-out venue, but that doesn't make it any less "in" amongst karaoke lovers. Instead of an electronic karaoke machine set to shuffle, they have a live DJ who, if you're good enough, will keep the songs coming all night.
6303 FM 1960, 281-713-9529, www.therunwaybarandgrill.com
F Bar gets double billing for being one of the best karaoke and gay bars in Houston. The interior is classy and fabulous, as are the drag shows on Sunday nights. The dance floor is small but fun, and if you get tired of grooving to the beat, the patio outside provides a quiet respite from the clubby atmosphere.
But you're here for the karaoke, right? Well, rest assured, Thursday nights will fill you up with more mock-singing (and Bellinis by the pitcher) than your vocal chords can handle.
202 Tuam, 713-522-3227, www.fbarhouston.com
There are multiple Spotlight locations: One in the Galleria area, and the other in Midtown. Go to the one near the Galleria; you can bring your own food (not drinks), and it offers beautiful private rooms where you and your friends can sing and dance to an endless list of classic and modern songs in nearly every genre imaginable. Spotlight's song selection system is like the Google of karaoke; just type in the name of the song or band you want to sing-along with, and it pops up. Easy!
5901 Westheimer, 713-266-7768, www.spotlightkaraoke.com
The Houston branch of the restaurant and bar chain is such a popular place, it even prompted our own Shea Serrano to give it a review. At Genji's you can order your food and your music from the same table. The place is a bit rundown, the private rooms in the back and the karaoke songs are rip-offs of originals, but it's worth it for two-for-one eating and song, right? Right?
11124 Westheimer, 713-780-0827
Guava Lamp is another two-for-one gay-bar-meets-karaokevenue. In addition, dance videos playing throughout and hilarious hosts are what rank this venue so high on the list. The drinks are expensive yet strong, and with a pool table, rounded bar and televisions and plush couches strewn throughout, the décor reminds you of a modern version of that place where everybody knows your name.
570 Waugh, 713-524-3359, Twitter page
3. THREE SHEETS BAR AND GRILL Shots and karaoke: A dangerous combination. Or if you find yourself within the walls of Three Sheets Bar and Grill, a recipe for a damn good time. The immediate surroundings are confusingly domestic -- a laundry next door? -- but good food is to be had alongside the clever drinks in this homey atmosphere, which is dark and divey. Actually, now that we think about it, the name "Three Sheets" is pretty funny and ironic, considering that the venue's sudsy neighbor.
1900 S. Kirkwood, 281-589-1625, Facebook page
Like its name says, Glitter Karaoke's insides are bright and colorful, but the lights are low, so you won't get dizzy. And with over 140,000 songs in this Midtown joint's collection, so you'll never get bored searching for something to sing. When there's a crowd, the DJ picks crowd-pleasing favorites sure to get a singalong competition started up. There are private rooms in the back of the venue that fit groups of 10, which is good since weekends seem to pack the place.
2621 Milam, 713-526-4900, www.glitterkaraoke.com
Best of Houston winner, 2012:
If karaoke makes you queasy -- that is, if you don't relish the thought of standing onstage with a giant room full of strangers staring you down while you butcher "Rollin' in the Deep" -- then what you need to do is gather ten of your closest friends and head to PJ's for karaoke, which starts promptly at 9 p.m. every Friday.
Your pals can sit on the old couch in front of the stage and cheer you on, and they'll probably take up about half the space in the bar's intimate upstairs area, leaving less room for strangers who are surely judging you. Just kidding, but PJ's does get packed, so get there early, like 8:30 p.m. That'll give you enough time to stock up on liquid courage, too.
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