Sunday, January 10, 2010

A tale of two Karaokes - Part 1 - Havana House

I loves the karaoke.  :-)  I can't sing in any way, shape, or form, but I do love belting out poor renditions 70's, 80's, or 90's hits, hanging out with friends, having a drink, and generally enjoying the spectacle that is local karaoke.  Two of my friends are karaoke DJs in Cambridge and I have spent a few late nights at Charlies Kitchen in Cambridge enjoying the fun, but until last week I had yet to partake in any Boroughs karaoke. 

It all started last Wednesday I invited a couple of friends to watch the Celtics game at Havana House in Northborough.  When I checked online to see how late they are open, I noticed Wednesday night is karaoke night at Havana House.  Before we get into the karaoke, I want to highlight Havana House. 

I know several readers are not super fans of cigar bars, but I love Havana House.  It is not a smoky dingy bar.  Havana House is a relaxed comfortable hang out where you can enjoy a cigar.  I discovered it several years ago while living in Marlborough.  I used to have a hot tub on my deck and sitting late in the evening in a 104 degree hot tub, drinking an 18 year McClelland, and smoking a nice cigar was the ultimate in winter relaxation.  Some evenings weren't conducive to out door hot tub relaxing and I was lucky enough to find Havana House.


In my travels I have yet to find a place that matches Havana House.  It is unique, in a great way; to describe Havana House in a word I say awesome; big screen tv's, relaxing comfortable leather couches, pool tables, chess boards, a cozy bar area, and a bar staff that is fun and casual.  Becky the owner has set up a place you will want to visit again and again.  The cigar selection is extensive and they are meticulous about the humidor so the cigars are always fresh.  I am not a "smoker" but I do enjoy a cigar now and then.  Havana House never seems overly smoky to me.  They must have the bought the best smoke eaters available and it makes the experience that much better. Add to the relaxed atmosphere and the great cigars the bar is pretty extensive as well.  A wide selection of both beers and liquors stock the bar.  There have been a couple of times that I was looking for top shelf scotch that Havana came up a little short, but for the most part they do a great job.  If you are looking to catch up with a friend, watch the game, or meet up with the guys and celebrate, Havana House is a great place.

On to the karaoke...Havana house does karaoke every Wednesday and Friday.  My first experience with Havana House karaoke was December 30th.  As I said I called a couple of friends to see if they would like to watch the Celtics game...unfortunate game to watch but hanging out with friends is still a good time.  We knew it was karaoke night, but till this visit I had no experience with karaoke at Havana House.  Thinking back I seem to always end up at Havana House late on a Tuesday or a Sunday so in the past we missed the karaoke festivities.  The bar was pretty quiet in this night and the singer selection was limited.  The few regulars did keep the evening of song going and they all had really great voices, but it was, like the bar itself, a relaxed evening more then anything else.  It didn't have the karaoke atmosphere I am used to.  There was applause after each song and a few cheers now and then but it was not the energy level I have experienced at other karaoke events.  It was still fun, and in the background as I watched the game and chatted with my friend it was amusing at times.

I can't say that I am rushing to Havana House for the karaoke, but I will be back to enjoy a cigar.   The other patrons and staff are very welcoming.  It's jsut the type of place you can comfortable visit regularly...a great Boroughs location for those who want to have a cigar and relax.  And in the future if I get dragged into a song or two, I won't fight too much.

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