Korean Town

Karaoke in Korean Town

By Seth Fera-Schanes

“Give me the microphone first so I can bust like a bubble, Compton Manhattan and Long Beach Korean Town together now you know you in trouble.”

My apologies to Snoop but I couldn’t help myself.

If you have lived in New York City for any length of time, chances are you have done karaoke more than a handful of times.  Karaoke bars and clubs are ubiquitous in the city with a disproportionately high concentration in Manhattan’s Korean town.

A favorite activity among just about every 20  and 30 something, Karaoke offers a chance to bond with coworkers, have a low cost high energy birthday party or just to impress that special someone (that last one being highly debatable.)

I was heading to a karaoke birthday party last Saturday.  As I walked east on 32nd street in K-Town, I tried to decipher the building numbers through all the neon signs.  I found my stop and took a right down a short, narrow and not overly clean hallway.  I knew I was in for a treat.  I stood at the elevator and waited for it to descend and it too was narrow and not very clean.  My excitement grew.  Just know that I firmly believe the more difficult (or dingy) the path the greater the reward is at the end.  And in this case I was rewarded handsomely.

I stood in the entrance of Gagopa Karaoke.  Christmas lights were blinking and the sounds of slightly to very inebriated patrons belting out Living on a Prayer enveloped me.  After I took it all in, I went to my party’s private booth.  For $7 an hour, BYOB (bring your own beer) and complementary bottle openers attached to the table with long chains for that added homey touch, Gagopa is a winner.  They have a great song selection and the system even rates your performance.  Although I feel like the 86 my friend and I received for a stellar version of a Tenacious D song was severely underrated.

If you are looking for a new karaoke spot, then definitely check out Gagopa, it is one rocking good time.

Gagopa is located at 28 W. 32nd Street New York, NY 10001

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