Who doesn’t love to sing? Whether we can carry a tune or not isn’t the question — we all gain pure joy out of belting out our favorite songs, whether it’s in our cars, the shower, or at a concert. Hence, the popularity of karaoke.
Karaoke “pros” flock to their favorite bars weekly to get their fix, but for those who love to sing like Bon Jovi but aren’t sure where the best karaoke venues are, here are eight great Southwest Riverside bars to meet up with your fellow singers, sip a cocktail or two, and let ‘er rip in front of the mic.
Winchester Inn Cafe and Saloon
28314 Winchester Rd., Winchester
Nestled in between Menifee and Hemet, this dusty bar and grill is a bit off the beaten path, but that’s wherein lies its charm. It’s a local karaoke epicenter, giving you the opportunity to show off your vocal skills five nights a week, Sunday through Thursday. Regulars, cheap drinks, diner-style food and lots of songs to sing — what could be better?
Bratts, Tapas and Cocktails
27648 Ynez Rd., Temecula
New to Temecula’s bar/small bites/bands scene, Bratts schedules karaoke at 8 p.m. every Monday. A bit more casual lounge-y than dive bar-ish, Bratts is located next to the Claim Jumper, offers a full bar and a very reasonably-priced appetizer menu. It’s pretty small too, so plan a birthday-style celebration and take over the place with your family and friends.
Corner Pocket Sports Bar & Grille
40575 California Oaks Rd., Ste. D1, Murrieta
Located between the I-15 and 215 freeways in the heart of Murrieta right across from the Cal Oaks Sports Park, this well-worn watering hole is now under new ownership. Bands love to play here and karaoke is sung each and every Monday and Tuesday nights. Check it out.
Texas Lil’s Mesquite Grill
28495 Old Town Front St., Temecula
This is an Old Town Temecula favorite for great burgers, BBQ and a cute female staff donning cowgirl hats and “Daisy Duke’s.” Karaoke fans know that Lil’s caters to their crowd, offering their favorite brand of entertainment four nights a week, Wednesday through Saturday. Every musical style is represented, but you can win the crowd by singing your best country song.
O’Hara’s Cocktail Lounge
15788 Grand Ave., Lake Elsinore
A dive bar to be sure, but one that is friendly, clean and inviting. Karaoke takes center stage every Thursday. Stop in after a Storm baseball game to practice your best Sinatra.
Pitstop Pub Sports Bar & Grill
26900 Newport Rd., Menifee
The Pitstop Pub takes its karaoke seriously, offering it three nights a week (Wed., Thurs., and Sat.). Shoot some pool while waiting for your turn to belt out that cover of “Friends In Low Places” you’ve been practicing. Make Garth Brooks proud.
Killarney’s Restaurant & Irish Bar
32475 Hwy. 79 South, Ste. G101, Temecula
From “New York, New York” to “Sweet Caroline” to “Baby Got Back,” you’ll hear it all each Tuesday and Sunday nights at Temecula’s favorite Irish-style pub and restaurant. Sure, “Danny Boy” would be appropriate, as well, but that’s a little too cliched, don’t ya think?
My Backyard Bar
25383 Madison Ave., Murrieta
Found in the back of The Longest Yard pizza parlor, this cozy neighborhood bar is where crooners get together every Tuesday night to see who can bring the best “Me and Bobby McGee” to the table. Mid-week karaoke at its most fun can be found here.
Chris Baptiste is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.