Suki’s Karaoke Bar in Portland

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Portland Karaoke BarI want to go out, have some inexpensive fun and meet some interesting folks. While Portland offers countless options for this, my go to place is Suki’s, a Karaoke Bar located in the University District, on the outskirts of downtown. Just past some modern condos, cool townhouses and century old homes with large wooden, wrap around porches, is Suki’s – the very definition of a dive bar, with concrete floors, exceptionally dim lighting, cheap drinks and even cheaper, greasy eats.

In short, I love Suki’s.

Nine O’clock, the music starts and a trio of Portland State University drama students get things going with a rousing rendition of Summer Lovin’ from Grease.  My turn arrives and I roam the giant stage and dance while I perform I Believe in a Thing Called Love by the Darkness.  The crowd cheers wildly. Someone buys me a Jell-o shot.

In short, I love Suki’s.

My friends arrive at ten. A birthday celebration comes next and the birthday girl is given her birthday spankings, a free birthday cocktail and the opportunity to bump up her place in the song queue. She performs Don’t Stop Believing and, like all others before her, she fails, but has fun doing so. My club sandwich arrives along with a whiskey coke. The night is young, the bar is full and the crowd is supportive. The next person sings Black Velvet, nails it, and takes a seat. The crowd goes wild.

In short, I love Suki’s.

By eleven, everyone is dancing and having a grand ole time. All the seats are taken, and I’m pleased that I arrived here early. Some jock with tribal tattoos sings a Nickelback song, a petite girl with a pixie cut sings Alanis Morrisette, a hipster with the tightest jeans I’ve ever seen nails a Taking Back Sunday song and it’s clear, by the way he moves and involves the crowd that he is in one of the thousands of bands that live, work and practice here in Portland.

In short, I love Suki’s.

Midnight, the crowd is thinning. I perform my second song, Two Princes by the Spin Doctors. I pay my tab.

In short, I love Suki’s.

One am rolls around, the bar is quiet. My cab arrives, I say bye to all my new  friends (which takes a while) and step outside. Dick is smoking a cigarette and I tip him a fiver. He thanks me. Smiling, I hop in the cab and make my way home through the quiet city.

I love Suki’s.

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