(Editor’s Note: This post was first published on 9 January 2015.)
I plan to be at Nico’s in Little Italy tomorrow (Saturday) night for karaoke; but I’m always uneasy about going to karaoke at Nico’s when one of the city’s professional sports teams is on television Saturday night.
Karaoke at Nico’s is supposed to run from 9:30 pm to 1:00 am. Karaoke takes place in the dinning room (the bar is too small). The lyrics appear on the big flat-screen, high definition television that faces the diners. The lights are kept down low which gives the dinning room the feeling of a cool club. City Paper has voted Nico’s the best karaoke bar in the city for several years running now; but if the Penguins (hockey) or the Pirates (baseball) or the Steelers (football) are on television when karaoke is supposed to be happening there may not be any karaoke until the game is over.
And there is no point to going to karaoke for an hour.
Other bars in Bloomfield (Little Italy) have found out how difficult it is to try to be a karaoke bar and a sports bar at the same time. I can think of two bars that lost their karaoke crowds because they took them for granted. Now they are dead on the nights they use to have karaoke. No, the sports crowd did not take up the slack.
Why doesn’t the sports crowd take up the slack?
I’m guessing here. Most bars have cable so they can entertain the sports crowd all week long. Usually, these bars only have karaoke one night a week. In other words, the bars can please their sports fans six nights a week and the sports fans often times wait until there is an important game on television before they come out in force. A bar that is known for being a karaoke bar can usually be assured of a good crowd on karaoke night throughout the year. Once the karaoke fans get the feeling that it’s not worth going to your bar for karaoke, because they never know if there is going to be karaoke, (or it’s going to start two to three hours late) your bar stops being a karaoke bar.
So, unless the game on the television is a special game (playoffs, world series, superbowl…) it makes no financial sense for a bar to lose its reputation as a karaoke bar. On karaoke night, it should be a karaoke bar.
I didn’t go to Nico’s last Saturday night because the Steelers were playing the Ravens and the day before a bartender at Nico’s had told me that karaoke would not start until midnight. Okay. It was a playoff game. I understand that.
The Penguins game tomorrow night is not a playoff game It begins at 7:00 pm. I hope I don’t regret going to karaoke tomorrow night.
This is the Old Soldier reporting for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette, a magazine of erotic stories and sex in the movies.