This may be blasphemy for a Portland Karaokeer but—but I never cared to Chopsticks. Sure, the quality of the performers were good and the it was a happening place to be, but, that old location, it was so crowded and busy and loud. Truth be told, I was happy when it closed down.
Plus, I’ve always been a Suki’s guy, so, it didn’t really affect me too much.
But, my buddy Trevor was having his birthday party there, at the new Chopsticks at 3390 North East Sandy in Portland and my opinion quickly changed.
Let’s start with the layout. I disliked, quite strongly, the old building. But, the new one is wide open space. The acoustics are great, so you can actually carry on a conversation while watching karoakeers perform and, even though we were there on a Friday night, there was plenty of personal space. The bar itself Is nestled comfortably in the back of the space, away from the performers to you can drink in peace and not spill your drink. If I can be honest, I really hate spilling my drink.
But, more than that, the vibe is different. Where as the old vibe was hipsterry and at times snobbish, the the new crowd seems inclusive and chill. I like that. I mean, who wouldn’t?
I was a little hesitant to how up because I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t sure if the new Chopsticks would be cliquish or welcoming. But, with this new, chill, laid back vibe, that fear was quickly erased and I soon struck up conversations with several people. I was impressed by the diversity of the crowd. All ages, races, styles. They were all here, commingled and kumbaya. And, the performers, they were diverse as well. Good, bad, average. A good time was had by all. And there was no intimidation.
I’m normally a little shy when it comes to doing karaoke in a new place so when my name was called, even though I’m quite seasoned, I was nervous to grip that microphone. I crossed the dance floor with trepidation and gripped the microphone and waited for my song to begin. And, so it began. The lights dimmed and the music started. I waited for my cue as I attempted the hardest of all karaoke songs” Livin’ on a Prayer.” The crowd hooted and hollered and sang along. I even hit the key change, the usual death knell for the song. It was a success. Just like the whole night. Dare I say it, Chopsticks 3 may be the best karaoke place in all of Portland. I never, in a million years, would have thought that I would be saying that.