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Slurred sing-alongs, cocktails and comedy at Sgt. Pepper’s

Patrick Moreno, Contributing Writer

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Sgt. Pepper’s Dueling Piano Café has made it okay to get drunk and sing off-key again — and they’ve got something for everyone who is over 21.

Weeknights around 8 p.m., Sgt. Pepper’s features live pianists battling it out for the audience’s amusement. The entertainment at Sgt. Pepper’s sets it apart from all the other bars at The Pike in downtown Long Beach. 

The feel-good energy roused by the rock ‘n’ roll, sing-a-long style performance is contagious, holding true to Sgt. Pepper’s “sing loud, or get out” motto.

On Fridays and Saturdays, four musicians take turns filling requests for songs submitted by the audience on little slips of paper. Requests can be made by anyone, but putting a couple dollars on yours gets it played sooner. As well, if you really don’t like someone else’s choice, you can make the pianists stop by giving them $1 more than the requester.

Such was the case on Friday when pianist Patty Lund belted out “Before He Cheats,” a cheater-bashing breakup song by country star Carrie Underwood. As soon as the women in the audience started singing, a man came out of the crowd with $20 and a request for the Lonely Island’s comedy hit “Dick in a Box,” which featured Justin Timberlake. 

Lund’s fellow pianist and entertainment manager for Sgt. Pepper’s, Ronnie Shelton, immediately broke into the song, while Lund put a blue box over her “dick” and proceeded to thrust towards the crowd from the stage.

People have been stumbling and giggling out of Sgt. Pepper’s for more than two years now. General manager, Lisa Christiansen, attributes the success of the bar to its status as a “destination location” for many surrounding areas. 

“If you have a birthday or special event,” Christiansen said through a smile, “you can put your friends up on stage and have them roasted.” 

When participation is up — once the crowd is drunk — the musicians begin to call people up on stage to undergo roasting as groups. Women get to endure a charming song about either their need to fornicate or their loose morals. 

The jokes are dirty, but the fun is clean at this downtown laugh-out-loud bar. 

Sgt. Pepper’s Dueling Pianos Café is located at 91 S. Pine Ave. More information can be found at pepperspianos.com

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