There’s a lot of karaoke in this town. Check Xpress’ Clubland directory — you can go belt out the hits in the company of strangers most any night of the week. But voters chose Fred’s Parkside Pub as their favorite cover-crooning locale. Manager Arsenio Lobosco says he knows why.
“You know how some places can be intimidating? That’s not how we are,” he says. “We’ve got a great crowd of regulars, and they welcome newcomers. Whether you’re singing a Journey song or Roberta Flack or a rock ‘n’ roll song, everybody will clap for you (or buy you a drink).”
Fred’s was once a smoky dive with a different name that reflected that feel: Fred’s Speakeasy. In the past year, it’s been remodeled into a pretty different-looking bar. Still, one thing that stayed the same was karaoke night. “We’ve been doing ours every Wednesday for almost 13 years,” Lobosco says. “It’s got a great following.” And, he promises, “It’s always fun.”
— Rebecca Sulock