Lindsay Mumford, left, and Kitty Durant of Portland perform a karaoke version of Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” at the East Ender, which morphs from casual upscale dining to a karaoke bar nightly at 8. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

It’s time to stretch out your vocal chords and unleash your inner superstar because a karaoke microphone is waiting for you at several spots in southern Maine.

Although the karaoke hot spot Old Port Tavern closed at the end of 2022, you can still warble and wail your way through your favorite songs in public.

Even if your singing is usually relegated to the shower or the car, you’re welcome to belt out your  jams with everything you’ve got, be it a power ballad, vintage country tune or classic rock standard.

Here are some places where you can pretend you’re standing on the stage at Madison Square Garden as you hang onto the microphone for dear life and try to hit the high notes.

9 p.m. Thursdays. 117 Spring St., Portland, 21-plus.

Karaoke has been happening at Flask Lounge in Portland for 15 years, and DJ Cougar (Wayne Smith) has been running it the entire time.


The space is cozy and owner Jessica Nolette said it’s consistently a busy night for the bar with a regular crowd as well as newcomers. “It’s an inclusive mix of people who feel comfortable and confident about being themselves while having fun.”

When asked about any standout songs, Nolette said that Flask bartender Conor Tubbs (aka drag performer Cherry Lemonade) belts out a tremendous version of a 1972 hit. “If you haven’t seen him perform Billy Paul’s ‘Me and Mrs. Jones,’ you are missing out,” she said.

With 223 pages of songs and artists to choose from, singers should have no trouble finding the perfect tune.

East Ender employees Leeanna Sanphy, center left, and Allyson Joyce perform a karaoke version of Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

8 p.m. daily. 47 Middle St., Portland.

The East Ender has been hosting karaoke nights since November 2021. It was a necessary pivot caused by staffing shortages and rising food prices. Turns out, this was a spectacular idea.

Owner Karl Deuben said the crowd is pretty consistent, and Sundays and Mondays often include people from the service industry with a night off. The space is intimate, so 30 to 40 people fill it up. “Everyone gets a little buzzed when they do karaoke, they’re excited to come out and sing,” said Deuben. The atmosphere is supportive with lots of clapping, cheering and singing along, and most nights the party doesn’t stop until 11 p.m. or midnight.


Deuben said that the crowd typically dictates the direction songs will go in and sometimes the tone gets set with ’80s or ’90s hits. General manager Arryan Decatur added that, according to data he has, the No. 1 karaoke song in the world is “I Want It That Way” by The Backstreet Boys, and it has certainly been sung at The East Ender.

It was surprising to Deuben how quickly karaoke got traction because he’s never been much of an enthusiast. At first, it was offered for a night or two, but once he saw the level of enthusiasm, it morphed into an every night event. “People are excited for social interaction post-pandemic. The spirit has caught on.”

A group karaoke performance in Portland’s Old Port. Photo courtesy of The Bar and Bites

9 p.m. Thursday. 8 Exchange St., Portland.

The Bar and Bites opened in Portland’s Old Port in 2018 and has been running karaoke nights for a year.

It’s hosted by B. Aull, a DJ from Hot Radio 104.7 who is, according to bartender and bar manager Sarah Simagna, amazing. “He even sings if there are empty slots and brings a fun, dance party vibe.”

Simagna said that two of most popular songs people sing at The Bar and Bites is “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers and “Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G.


7 p.m. Friday. 185 Route 1, Scarborough.

Karaoke night has been happening for a few years at the Scarborough location of Cowbell Bar & Grill, and manager Travis Sanipas says it’s also planned for the Rock Row location in Westbrook, which is tentatively due to open in March.

Turnout, said Sanipas, has been great, and most nights the house is closed to a packed house, with 40 or so people.

As for the music, it’s a wide range, from Usher to Johnny Cash and New Kids On The Block.

Belting out a song in Biddeford on karaoke night. Photo courtesy of Champions Sports Bar

9:30 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Sunday, 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. 12 Thornton St., Biddeford.

Owner Mark Blake said the karaoke crowd at Champions is excellent and features some of the “best singers in Maine.” He describes the vibe as feeling like you’re at a rock show because karaoke is an “in your face situation.”

One of the more popular duets at Champions is “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from the movie “A Star is Born.” Blake is fine with never hearing the song again, to put it mildly. Karaoke night has a rotating schedule of hosts, but Blake says that there’s always a decent turnout and the bar has a top-notch sound system.

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