Gregory's Bar & Grill Turns Karaoke Korrespondent Into a Sentimental Lady"/>
Situated between the Red Lion and Radisson hotels just across the street from Sea-Tac Airport (on International Blvd.) is Gregory's Bar & Grill, a Wednesday to Saturday karaoke venue that's been hosting crooners for over 20 years. A couple Saturdays ago, after stopping in and moving on from a couple spots in Georgetown and Des Moines, I wound up there just before midnight.
There is a nice casual feel to this place. It was a light crowd as Saturdays go, but some inspired entertainment was provided by the regulars. Within my first five minutes there, two Asian guys fully decked out as the Blue Brothers sang "Soul Man" and danced the exact choreography Aykroyd and Belushi boogied during their legendary performance on SNL. It was a total riot. Their stage personas were "Jake and Elwood" that night, but I'm told those aren't the only characters they do. On any given week they may show up as themselves or some other fictitious duo.
The KJ, Aury Moore, is a crowd favorite and has hosted at Gregory's for many years. I immediately saw the connection she had with the people there. I bellied up at the elevated back end of the square-shaped bar alongside four other guys singing lone wolf that night. The stage and Aury's KJ station were set up on the other side facing out at the dining area. There seemed to be a lot of couples in that section. Jake and Elwood looked like they were on a double date.
Most everyone who performed that night looked like they'd sung there many times before and the songs chosen were superb. This guy named Phil (who reminded me of Boss Hogg from "Dukes of Hazzard") sang "Call Me the Breeze" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and it was pretty solid. Another old-timer named Donald delivered a sweet rendition of the country classic "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend" by Don Williams. I sang "Sentimental Lady" by Bob Welch. I've done it way better in the past, but I looked out at the audience and they all seemed to like the pick.
My favorite singers of the night were a couple named Tony and Rose. Tony started off with Bill Withers' "Lovely Day," and it was like a breath of fresh air. I never see this song requested. His voice was so smooth, and that song is one of those numbers that, when I hear it, makes me resent the fact more African Americans don't live around here. Because if they did, I'd be hearing classics like this all the time (anyone who's witnessed karaoke on the East Coast or the South knows exactly what I'm talking about). Rose followed with an offering that jolted my insides to that feeling of being in love in the 7th grade: Janet Jackson's "When I Think of You." She sang it just right, and I felt like going up to her after to thank her for triggering that memory.
I highly recommend this place for anyone who has a few hours to kill between connecting flights (during Gregory's karaoke nights, from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.). You can practically see passenger check-in from their front door. This military guy named Brent who delivered quality renditions of Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" and Lionel Richie's "Hello" was there on a layover from Oklahoma waiting to board a flight back to his home in Japan. I feel like booking a trip just to have the excuse to go back.
GREGORY'S BAR & GRILL, 18220 International Boulevard, 248-8185, SEA-TAC