ShareThis Page
Bethel Park lounge spices up karaoke night |

Bethel Park lounge spices up karaoke night

Dave Copeland
| Monday, October 27, 2003 12:00 p.m

The poor Japanese guy who invented karaoke is probably spinning in his grave.

That is, of course, assuming that he’s dead. Stan doesn’t know much about the history of karaoke, but he has seen the future of suburbia’s favorite drunken pastime, and that future is Bare-aoke at the Tennyson Lodge in Bethel Park.

Because the only thing better than getting drunk enough to sing in front of a room full of strangers is getting drunk enough to sing in front of a room full of strangers on a stage with a couple of exotic dancers.

“I never thought it would take off, but it worked out great,” said Jennie Grosso , 82, the owner of the Tennyson. “We’re surprised more people haven’t picked up on it. We’ll have to copyright it — it’s a real money maker.”

So what, exactly, is Bare-oke• (That’s “bare” as in “bare bottom,” not “Let’s try to sing like Barry White”). Janeen Grosso , the owner’s daughter and the Tennyson’s bartender on most nights, describes the wood-paneled room as “your typical neighborhood bar with a little bit extra.”

That “little bit extra” is a team of exotic dancers with names like “Innocence” and “Ms. T.” And on Friday nights, dancers and customers — many of whom declined comment because they had forgotten to invite their significant others to Bare-aoke night — get a chance to sing.

“We weren’t sure at first how it was going to mix on both sides — the dancers and the customers,” Janeen Grosso said. “It’s supposed to be something that enhances the dancing more than it takes away from it.”

“I had to come in early so I could get a chance to sing. It gets crowded later on,” said Mike Martin , moments after finishing a Lynard Skynard song. “What’s cool about karaoke night is you get a lot of girls in here too — it’s not just guys.”

Indeed, there were more couples at the Tennyson for Bare-aoke night than at your typical strip bar. Foxy Moxy , the Tennyson dancer who also serves as host for Bare-aoke night, said she often goes to “regular” karaoke nights to sing and drum up business for Bare-aoke.

“One time we had a bachelorette party,” Foxy Moxy said. “It was a group of girls who were karaoke junkies, and they didn’t want to go to a male strip bar. So they figured they could come here, sing, and still say they went to a strip bar.”

Jennie Grosso has owned the Tennyson for 35 years and can be seen there most nights talking with regulars or in the parking lot walking the bar’s mascot — a fluffy, white, bichon frise named Scrappy Doo. Her daughter — who came back several years ago to help her mom run the business — concedes she never really pictured herself pouring drinks in a strip bar.

“It’s really not the kind of business you aspire to get into, but sometimes things work out that way,” Janeen Grosso said. “But it is fun, and we get a lot of great people coming in here.”

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.