Once the sun goes down and the streetlights break the darkness, the nightlife of Tyler awakens and begins. For students who are not yet 21, Tyler’s entertainment choices might be limited. Even though there are many restaurants, bars, movie theaters and coffee shops that are open throughout the evening, a popular source of entertainment is karaoke.
“People are just here to have a good time,” said Manager of La Carreta’s, Steve Knipe. “It’s mostly fun for everyone,”
La Carreta’s is one of three restaurants that feature karaoke during the week for underage students. The other restaurants include Buffalo Wild Wings and Cancun Café. Out of the three, La Carreta’s seemed to be the busiest. By 10 p.m. the beaten up parking lot was packed and customers were parking in adjacent lots. Carreta’s holds karaoke from around 8 p.m. until closing on Thursday and Friday nights.
Karaoke nights around town are helpful for students and teens because the cost to get in and participate is absolutely nothing. Of course, students under the age of 21 are required to show I.D. and have their hands marked at both Carreta’s and Cancun.
I.D is checked upon entering Cancun, as well as if ordering a drink from the bar or a table.
“It’s for our job security, and it’s what we are supposed to do,” said Brad Thedford, manager of Cancun.
Cancun Café is the most spacious of the three karaoke locations. It is also better for those who want to hold conversations without having to raise their voices. The service is fairly slow because of the crowd, but the wait staff does their best to make sure everyone is satisfied. Cancun staff also goes the extra mile to make sure all customers are able to get home after drinking. Karaoke at Cancun is from 9 p.m. until closing at 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Some people find karaoke embarrassing and, therefore, don’t sing too loudly. Then again there are those who think they are the greatest singers ever and belt out every note; whether they can sing or not.
“It’s fun. Horrible singers always make you sound better,” Carson Whiteley said. “When I get paid to sing, I can’t get this crunk.”
Whiteley is an avid karaoke participant and goes to at least two karaoke nights a week, but his favorite venue is Buffalo Wild Wings.
The customers of Buffalo Wild Wings mingle with one another, which creates a fun atmosphere for all ages. I.D.’s are checked, but no one is required to get black marks on their hands. The space where karaoke is held is small but not crowded, and the music is not cranked to the roof. Karaoke at Buffalo Wild Wings is held from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m on Wednesday nights.
For more information on karaoke nights, times, and locations call Buffalo Wild Wings at (903) 939-0698, La Carreta’s at (903) 581-1895 or Cancun Café at (903) 526-8400.