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Bush Garden karaoke venue plans its return

The legendary spot in the Chinatown International District is billed as the first karaoke restaurant in the US.

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The famous spot will be moving away from its original location (pictured) and into a new spot on King Street.

Photo by Joe Mabel

Better practice your rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” — legendary karaoke spot Bush Garden is planning its return in spring 2024.

The original location opened in 1953 under the ownership of Kaichi Seko. In the 1970s, Bush Garden added a karaoke set-up — likely the first bar to do so in the United States.

Bush Garden was a favorite among locals, but closed in 2020 during the pandemic. Now owner Karen Akada Sakata is getting ready to reopen the business on the ground floor of Uncle Bob’s Place, an affordable housing complex in the Chinatown-International District named after late activist and Bush Garden regular Bob Santos.

The location at 714 S. King St. will have room for ~140 guests, an area for community meetings, and Asian-style woodwork. It will serve as a full restaurant by day and karaoke lounge by night.

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