Best Karaoke

Recessions
1823 L St. NW, Washington, DC, (202) 296-6686

This underground L Street bar, with its delicate balance of mock castle walls, crushed-velvet curtains, and oversize Bud Lights, lends a C-class Vegas lounge atmosphere to D.C.’s suit-and-tie strip. To wit: Patrons must snake through a basement corridor of the Lincoln Suites Hotel in order to reach the dungeonesque billiards-and-beer spot. On Friday nights, that corridor fills with the sometimes-recognizable sounds of aspiring Princes, Chers, and Madonnas. Recessions’ impersonators generally fail to rival even the most mediocre of Sin City’s, but as long as the signature King Kong beers are flowing—priced seemingly indiscriminately between $2 and $6—Recessions’ underground lair thrives more on camaraderie than craft. On karaoke night, a yuppie white girl can have “99 Problems,” a squat older man in sweats can exploit the reverberating backing track on “Purple Rain,” and the crowd will still unstick themselves from the bar’s pleather booths to add their amateur dance skills to the mix.

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