With fluorescent lighting, gray carpet and a long hallway of closed doors, the decor here defies categorization; one wonders if they've accidentally stumbled into a simple hotel, an apartment building or maybe even a massage parlor. But once you hear the off-key, drunken rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'," you've found Lincoln Karaoke.
This isn't your average karaoke night at some dive trying to get a few more bodies inside. Entirely devoted to those flashes of self-delusion wherein you imagine having the pipes of Celine Dion or the leather-clad cool of Joey Ramone, this place adds a twist to the experience: You can rent a private room for $25 an hour. Each room features couches, a plasma TV, gigantic remote controls and a selection of American, Korean and Chinese tunes. If you have a group of friends that you want to keep near, far or wherever you are, serenade them until they wanna be sedated; you don't have to share your talent with the rest of the bar.
No doubt, your star turn has you famished, and Lincoln Karaoke has you covered there as well. The Korean menu offers standbys such as steamed dumplings ($7) and wings ($13), or you can experiment a bit and check out the hae-mul pajun, a Korean-style seafood pancake with squid, shrimp and mussels.
No karaoke bar would be complete without reserves of liquid courage. It offers no brews on tap, but most standard American bottles cost $3. The bar itself is basically behind a desk in the center of the place; it's nowhere you'll want to hang out, but the servers will happily bring you drinks late into the night while they endure your power ballad.
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman