Food  |  Things to Do

Sing With a Live Pianist at This New Union Market Karaoke Bar

Sid Gold's Request Room dubs itself "the most supportive room in town."

Photograph by Jessica Ruf.

Union Market’s newest bar may be tucked away in an alley between Fourth and Fifth streets, Northeast, but you’ll still have to work to miss it: Above its gold-painted door, a yellow and red neon sign flashes, alerting you that a PIANO BAR awaits inside.

It is, of course, the entry to Sid Gold’s Request Room, a New York-born karaoke and live piano bar that opens to the public this week, starting Wednesday, May 29, at 8 PM, with karaoke beginning at 9 PM and the bar open until 2 AM. A grand opening party will be held Saturday, June 1, with the bar opening at 10 PM. 

Sid Gold’s piano-themed cocktail bar. Photograph by Nicolas Castro.

Unlike the standard karaoke setup, in which participants croon along to prerecorded tunes, Sid Gold’s features a live pianist who accompanies each singer, matching their pace and even providing harmonizing vocals. (It’s why Sid’s likes to call itself the “the most supportive room in town.”)

“You’re not just following a bouncing ball,” said co-founder Paul Devitt, who is also the owner of New York’s salon-turned-saloon Beauty Bar. “It happens organically, and the pianist helps you. His job is to make you better.”

Named after the seasoned Broadway talent agent, Sid Gold’s first location debuted in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood in 2015, followed by two more locations in Detroit and Nashville. After reading about and visiting Union Market, Devitt said it felt like a “no brainer” to bring a piano bar to the area. “It felt like the Meatpacking District did 25 years ago,“ he said. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is such a cool neighborhood.’” 

The 2,200-square-foot space—which is adorned with vintage furniture and midcentury-patterned murals by NYC-based painter Steven Hammel—is divided in half between two rooms. On one side, you’ll find a piano-themed cocktail bar, where bartenders shake up song-inspired drinks, such as Strawberry Fields, a mixture of rum, strawberry, lime, and pineapple, or La Bomba, a concoction of tequila, lime, and elderflower. 

It’s on the other side where the music gets made: Pass through a velvet curtain and you’ll find high top tables with plush chairs and booths set before a small stage and, of course, the noted piano. The best seats in the house, says Devitt, are at an intimate bar up front that wraps directly around the piano. 

Photograph by Jessica Ruf.

To request a number, singers scan QR codes on each table where they can browse through a repertoire of more than 1,000 popular and classic songs across genres, including pop, Motown, soul, Broadway, rock, folk, blues, Disney, and more. 

While the location’s business hours are still evolving, you can expect the pianist to start tickling the ivories at 9 PM each night. Eventually, Devitt plans to have the location open at 5 PM, with happy hour karaoke starting at 6 PM on Thursdays and Fridays. Like its New York location, he also hopes to eventually have professional performances scheduled before karaoke on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays too.

“When everybody’s singing, there’s this magic that happens in the room,” said Devitt. “It’s something special.”

Photograph by Nicolas Castro.

Jessica Ruf
Assistant Editor