Editor’s note: It was recently announced that Serra Bowl, the bowling alley/karaoke bar/music venue, will be closing its doors permanently on April 15th, 2012. We’ve experienced some great rock and roll shows at Serra Bowl – here’s one writer’s experience from the karaoke side.
The impeccable vintage 49ers photos and headlines have been taken down, but, other than that, nothing here suggests that Serra Bowl is about to become – on April 15th – the latest venerable, authentic Bay Area institution to fall victim to time and tide. A steady parade of humanity flows through its oddly small and hard-to-find double glass doors.
In the denuded Sports Lounge, the notoriously cranky DJ – whose name history has apparently not recorded and, thanks to courage shots of Jamesons, neither did I – is presiding over a jubliantly defiant (or were they defiantly jubilant?) throng. Every few minutes or so, he reminds the assembled that April 14th will see no karaoke, but a closing night party we won’t want to miss.
As with all great K-dives, the vibe here is supportive and collegial. Strangers are not only cheering each other on, they’re up on the dance floor breaking out all manner of nasty moves to each other’s performances. “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” “Open Arms,” – all the favorites were attempted and, we daresay, achieved.
Even the dj rocked the house. It just doesn’t make sense.