Southtown has developed into a conglomeration of a lot of things deliciously hip, (think the Monterey and Feast) a few things urbanely cool (1919 comes to mind) and a little bit of things in between such as the aptly named bar, Southtown 101. Connecting the residents of the King William Historic District with the likes of revelers from downtown and beyond, this new kid on the block has the capacity to host a laid-back night with friends on the patio — or in my case, a whiskey and beer induced karaoke frenzy. Not a stranger to this place, my first 101 experience was by way of First Friday, and as you would suspect, the place was lively and jam packed.
This go-round, I ventured out on a Thursday's "Bitter Karaoke Night," surrounding myself with a brood of musician friends that would put everyone to shame (two of them entertain at Howl at The Moon; enough said), and a handful of eclectic bar patrons that were anxious to abandon their dignity. As my karaoke virginity would soon be relinquished, I darted straight to the bar for a shot of liquid courage.
A discerning and erudite beer selection seems to be a prerequisite for most Southtown bars, and 101 certainly doesn't stray from this trend. An Agave Wheat Ale from Breckenridge kicked things off for me, while my future karaoke partner enjoyed an Alaskan IPA. The bar menu is undoubtedly beer-centric, with a fantastic selection ranging from Rogue Dead Guy, to Young's Double Chocolate Stout. On the other end of the spectrum, you certainly can find a Bud Light, but one thing you can't find is Lone Star. Somewhat of a bold move (Lone Star is a Texan staple) the bar won't be serving the beloved brew anytime soon. After settling in at a table front and center, the Current's own Chuck Kerr belted out an awesomely '90s-tastic rendition of TLC's "Waterfalls" as if he was the long lost fourth member. The Howl at The Moon professionals opted for some Eminem and most impressively, Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart," but the showstopper was my highbrow male counterpart's spectacular breakout performance of "Tainted Love." It was a synth dream.
If karaoke isn't your thing, don't fret. The 101 calendar is just as diverse as the clientele. The weekends are usually filled with a broad range of live music and DJs, where bands such as Royal Punisher do their thing, as well as house music aficionado Alain Baylon spinning tunes all night long. And if you're a studious sort of drinker, Monday nights get boozy and nerdy with the pub trivia quiz, "Geeks Who Drink."
As my karaoke night of wonderment came to an end, I was left with no choice but to finally take the stage. My partner decided on "Love Shack" by the B-52's, and let's just say we were the "faded sign by the side of the road." Nonetheless, we painfully pulled through. Let it be known though, that I'll be damned if I go out like that. Now that I've survived this rite of passage, I intend on making Southtown 101 my karaoke spot du jour, where at least the craft beer serves as consolation for the humiliation that ensues.
Best Use Monday nights "Geeks Who Drink" pub trivia, Thursdays for "Bitter Karaoke" and First Fridays
Prices Beer ranges from $3.25-$6, $4 Wells, and Premiums at $4.50-$8