The outside of U Otter Stop Inn features a mural of a dapper otter decked out in a top hat, suit, and bow tie, his googly eyes and martini glass saluting patrons knowingly. Step inside and you will find a long bar filled with disco balls, giant football helmets, and electric rodents drinking beer. Come early on weekends to hang with friendly folks from the Northeast neighborhood, but around 9 p.m., when the karaoke kicks off, the bar quickly becomes packed with hipsters, bachelorette parties, and older couples who genuinely love karaoke (and know how to bring a house down with a shockingly angry blues song). Be prepared to stand unless you arrive early, don't plan on using the restroom frequently (there's only one toilet), and if you're claustrophobic, this isn't the bar for you. But if you enjoy friendly crowds and some decent karaoke, you'll have a fun night. And who knows, you may walk away with a prize—the last time I spent an evening at the Otter I was given a spoon strainer from a random stranger. Who doesn't need a spoon strainer? Karaoke is a nightly occurrence, but weekends are when the bar really steps up its game. 21+.
Starts: May 20. Daily, 9 p.m., 2009