Digital Storytelling and Visitor Analytics for City and Cultural Institutions
Ego's position as the #1 karaoke spot in Austin is not in doubt. Even in a city with this many bars, it has no real rival to it's throne. It is however still a dive through and through. Many peoples first attempt at finding it ends in disappointment. It is in the basement of a South Congress office tower and you enter through a door that looks surely like the last door you will ever open. Thankfully it won't be, and the inside is actually pretty spacious replete with two pool tables and a juke box that doesn't get a lot of play for obvious reasons.
Ego's has been open since 1979 when South Congress was a vastly different place. In the 80's and 90's South Congress Ave had a reputation for being rundown and even dangerous. Hard as it is to believe now, it was once a drug dealing and prostitution hub in Austin. Obviously that has now changed and walking from the South Congress Bridge down to Home Slice is one of the best strolls in the city.
Like many places in the capital city, Ego's was once a live music venue. Little by little karaoke started to edge out the local musicians. Karaoke went from from one night a week to two to three and so on. It turns out Austonians like to hear themselves sing too, not just the professionals. Now karaoke starts every night at 9PM and on some nights the line to sing exceeds 2 hours. If you feel like you might be in the mood for singing, sign up right when you walk in and then grab some strong cheap liquid courage at the bar. The bartenders here will make sure you are ready when it is time to grab the mic.
Cover Photo by garann via Flickr