Open Kitchen hosts karaoke event in-house

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Open Kitchen, a local restaurant on Shelby Street owned by married couple Toni and Dexter Smith, is hosting karaoke nights every Thursday evening. According to co-owner Toni Smith, they wanted to uphold the tradition of karaoke nights that the previous establishment had while also changing some things to cater the event more toward students at the University of Indianapolis. 

“The previous establishment, Jailbird, used to do karaoke on Thursday,” Smith said. “We wanted to keep the tradition, but we also wanted to tweak it a little bit. We are offering it to everyone 18 and over … We have a cool little karaoke menu that has really nice prices that college kids don’t mind paying for.”

According to Open Kitchen’s website, their late night menu is available on Thursday evenings from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The menu includes 50-cent wings, grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes and chicken. 

Master’s Human biology student Kaitlyn Glavee, who also works as a bartender and server at Open Kitchen, said there will be events other than the karaoke nights on different nights of the week. 

“[The owners are] trying to do events every day of the week,” Glavee said. “Wednesdays they do a movie night where they have a big projector screen outdoors, and then on Fridays, they’re doing cornhole competitions, and they’re sponsored by Upland Brewery, so they’re pretty cool prizes too.”

University of Indianapolis master’s student and server at Open Kitchen Kaitlyn Glavees sings “Stick Season” by Noah Kahan during the Open Kitchen’s first karaoke night.
Photo by Allison Cook

Glavee said Open Kitchen has been at their current location since March and that she hopes the close proximity to UIndy will attract students to attend their special events. She said the food they serve at Open Kitchen is all made from scratch, and that if they can not make it from scratch, they will find a vendor who will sell made-from-scratch ingredients to them. 

Smith also said she hopes the events, which they geared towards college students, will attract more UIndy students to their restaurant. She said she wants to create an environment at Open Kitchen where students can hang out, eat food and enjoy themselves. 

“We are also keeping [karaoke night] alive so that students can decompress before the weekend starts,” Smith said. “You don’t have to walk that far. Everyone’s welcome. So we just wanted to create a safe, fun night for the students can come and enjoy themselves.”

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