A night of karaoke is composed of people singing, socializing and drinking, all of the ingredients that make people want to let their hair down and relax. After all, who doesn’t enjoy belching out song lyrics and letting their rockstar complex emerge for a night? Champaign-Urbana’s favorite karaoke bar, the White Horse Inn, guarantees a memorable night out and offers the chance to sample a local scene, while trying out that new song at a lovable joint.
Established originally in the 1970s, White Horse Inn has been a fixture in Campustown for over 30 years. In 2012, White Horse changed venues in favor of a more central campus location and updated facilities. The original White Horse Inn was located on the corner of Second and Green streets in Champaign before moving in 2012 to John Street. In the latest conception of this campus classic, White Horse is proud to offer premium sausages, bar cuisine and spirits at very moderate prices.
Most importantly, White Horse is where happy hour thrives and late-night socializing prospers. With so many karaoke nights popping up all over the city, it’s not always easy to differentiate between the worthwhile joints and the ones that are just plain awkward; luckily for White Horse, they have the greatest karaoke ambience in the city.
Sam Mall, the manager of White Horse Inn, takes great care in cultivating the establishment. “We really work hard to keep our business tight and clean,” he said. “I think the people who are regulars here appreciate the fact that we are a bit different and clean but still a great place to eat, drink and have a fun time.”
Customers particularly enjoy the daily specials and friendly staff that the bar has to offer. “Our bartenders really have a fun time at work and really enjoy what they do,” Mall said. “Those two things keep people coming back. I personally take pride in our cleanliness and staff members, (who are all) very efficient and pretty fun to work with.”
According to Mall, a typical karaoke night entails students coming in large groups and singing a song or two, but they mainly socialize and belt along with everything that is being sung by other people. “It is really a unique kind of atmosphere where everyone in the bar is usually pretty into it, even the bartenders,” Mall said. “By the end of the evening, everyone is singing along to everything—whether it’s “American Pie” or Disney’s Frozen. It gets pretty entertaining… I honestly think it is the crowd’s energy. Everyone is always just ready to sing and have fun. No one judges; it’s just a great time.”
White Horse Inn is located at 501 E. John St. in Champaign.