Why sing alone in the car when you can sing in a crowded bar? That could be the motto for regulars at Sage Café's karaoke night, held weekly on Wednesdays from 9 p.m. to midnight. The Blue Point establishment known for its theme nights, such as karaoke night, quiz night and open mic night, is located at 4 Montauk Highway.
Karaoke night is hosted by veteran karaoke expert Jeanmarie Jaycox, who also hosts karaoke events at other locations throughout Long Island. Jaycox said she brought karaoke night to Sage Café at the restaurant's request in 2009, and it has been a hit ever since. She starts every karaoke night by singing the first song herself. Patrons sing everything from opera to pop to 50's to country, according to Jaycox.
At a recent Sage Café karaoke night, the crowd was observed to consist of both regulars with vocal pipes to envy and amateurs looking for a good time.
"You get regulars but you also see new people all the time," Jaycox said.
Karaoke night even brings a few who are not yet ready to take the plunge into karaoke themselves, but enjoy the way it sounds. One such person was Melissa Christopherson, who was present with her husband. The Bayport couple visit Sage Café every Wednesday to "break up the monotony of the week," according to Christopherson.
However, for the most part, karaoke night at Sage Café is frequented by regulars who perform up to three songs per night. Jaycox offers more than 60,000 choices.
For regulars and newbies alike, getting their turn to sing can often take time. At a recent Sage Café karaoke night it was observed that at ten minutes to show time nine people were signed up to sing - meaning, at three minutes per song there was more than a half an hour wait to perform.
Though, the wait time does not discourage.
"The wait is frustrating, but it is what it is," said Randy Scott, a Ronkonkoma resident who has come to Sage Café's karaoke night since its inception.
In fact, the event is one of Sage Café's busiest nights, according to manager Ryan Murray, who said it gets the most crowded starting at 10 p.m. The café stays open until after everyone has had their fill of food, drinks and karaoke; usually well after midnight. The kitchen closes at 11 p.m.
Something the participants love about this weekly event is that it's free; it does not cost anything to participate, but represents a time to let loose, lose track of time, show your talent (or lack of) and throw caution to the wind.
"That's what karaoke is about, making friends and having a good time," said Anthony Anzakas, a karaoke regular.