Picture this: Two Friday evenings ago, I was a happy spectator at my 8-year-old son’s Northbrook parks and rec soccer game. This was before temperatures took a nosedive, so there I was, sweatpants and a tee, basking on my elbows in the glory of a late fall afternoon.
“So, I’m going to my brother’s birthday party tonight,” said a fellow soccer mom sitting next to me. “Karaoke.”
KARAOKE. That beautiful word. It’d been so long since I uttered it, leaving it forlorn in my past. A legit entertainment option, abandoned. I sat straight up. “What’d you say?” I asked.
“Right?” she said. She knew. She knew.
The conversation evolved into a pact among six soccer moms that a karaoke night was in order. I somehow became the ringleader, and ringleaders do their research. On that note (see what I did there?), I present to you four North Shore spots to jam out on the next mom’s night out, from karaoke to live music from local bands.
Reserve one of Ju Rang’s five (very pretty, by the way) rooms and get ready for an upscale night that will make even the most terrible voices seem lovely. Try some crispy Korean pajun pancakes to share, or go for the flavored soju (grapefruit, peach, apple or grape). If karaoke’s not your thing, head to the billiards room to rent a table for $18 an hour.
611 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview 847-657-7200
Jang Choong Dong
Korean karaoke (AKA “nohraebang”) is a thing, and this is the place to try it. Head to the back of the restaurant to the karaoke room before gracing the crowd with your talent under glow-in-the-dark lights. Sing your heart out for $20 an hour before refueling on spicy marinated pork.
9076 Golf Rd., Niles 847-663-9070
Every Saturday night sees a different local band at this local bar that technically is a dive, but has a fun, quirky, community-oriented feel. During the summer, enjoy the patio with casual games set up outside … but maybe after you enjoy the too-good-to-pass-up drink specials. It’s not the easiest place to find, despite its Waukegan Road address. But GPS navigate on, soldier. Hashtag worth it.
1850 Waukegan Rd., Glenview 847-486-1007
Here’s a place that checks the following boxes: fun to hang out in, even more fun to chow down at and gives back to the community. The Rock House has sponsored more than a dozen Glenview-based organizations while simultaneously being an awesome spot to catch local bands, take part in open jam sessions and even enjoy family music nights. P.S., can we all agree to try the Bon Jovi sandwich, with mozzarella, provolone and roasted red peppers on sourdough?
1742 Glenview Rd., Glenview 224-616-3062