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Sterling Café welcomes singers, dancers and listeners

Karaoke nights are Thursdays, Saturdays
By: Carol Feineman News Messenger Editor
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Lincoln has its own version of the Cheers bar since February, thanks to karaoke fans Thursday and Saturday nights. That?s when a group of singers and dancers gather at the Sterling Cafe in the Raley?s shopping center from 7 to 11 p.m. for entertainment, dancing and camaraderie. Karaoke regulars compare Sterling Cafe?s music nights to the fictional TV Boston bar where everyone knows everyone. ?I like the fact that it?s really social, like a neighborhood Cheers where you know every one and it?s a good place to socialize, sing and dance. It?s very welcoming group. And there is a good menu,? said Barbara Swerdlow of Lincoln. And newcomers are encouraged to check it out. ?I?ve enjoyed the crowd for a few years,? said singer Gene Solarez of Lincoln. ?The people are very nice people; I consider them my friends. We welcome new people.? Jimmy Baughman, who played bass with Merle Haggard, cheerfully provides the karaoke music. He has thousands of songs in several genres. While anyone is welcome to sing, the musical quality has been very high on recent visits by The News Messenger. Jesse Perez said he seldom misses a karaoke night. The Newcastle resident is also a professional musician, singing in a Spanish trio. His first song last Thursday night was Billy Preston?s ?Will It Go Round in Circles.? ?I?m happy being here. A lot of my friends are here,? Perez said. The grassroots karaoke group used to meet at the now closed Sunrise Grill in Lincoln Hills. When former Sunrise Grill employee Marianne Combs was hired as a waitress at Sterling Cafe, she said, the group of music aficionados moved as well. ?I love these guys,? Combs said last Thursday. ?Sixty of them threw a birthday party for me. They?re like family.? Karaoke nights When: 7-11 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays Where: Sterling Café, 731 Sterling Parkway