A Massive Karaoke Bar and Japanese Barbecue Spot Opens at the Wharf

Live K debuts with 15 private singing rooms, drinking snacks, and DJ tunes.

One of the private rooms at Live-K. Photograph courtesy of Luminar Studio.

Restaurateur Chris Zhu and her siblings grew up singing karaoke–they regularly broke out the family machine to entertain themselves. Now, the Han Palace owner and her brother Nick Zhu are opening a Japanese barbecue spot and karaoke venue at the Wharf: Live-K, a massive 6,686 square-foot complex with 15 rooms available for rent, and a large central bar with a stage for events and live singalongs. It opens today.

For her latest venture, Zhu has merged American-style karaoke—which favors public singing in a bar—with the private rooms more popular in Asia. Live-K, decked out in futuristic decor, offers both a main bar area with a stage, and full-service private rooms. Guests can easily flow between the two. Strobe lights in the bar and customizable lighting in the  rooms will make guests feel like they’re partying at a nightclub. The rooms fit as few as four people or as many as 40, and range from $68 to $268 an hour. They’re outfitted with TVs, couches, and full bar service (reservations can be made online). On the weekends, a DJ will perform from 10 AM until 2 AM in the main bar so visitors can dance between singing breaks.

A private room at Live-K.

Live-K is the second karaoke and Japanese barbecue spot for the siblings, who opened Ginza Karaoke Spot & BBQ Lounge on Barracks Row last month. The Wharf offers a similar menu of snacks and entrees, including a variety of barbecue skewers, gyoza dumplings, donburi bowls, and yakisoba nooodles. Patrons celebrating birthdays can order elaborate cakes and other desserts. To drink: specialty cocktails, mocktails and bubble tea. 

Live-K 730 Maine Street SW.

Editorial Fellow

Keely recently graduated with her master’s in journalism from American University and has reported on local DC, national politics, and business. She has previously written for The Capitol Forum.