Every city has at least one locally-renowned divey karaoke institution and Jeff’s Bucket Shop is the no-doubt Charlotte fulfillment of that dive bar law. Adding to the intrigue of Jeff’s Bucket Shop is its location in south Charlotte in a small strip mall that almost blends into a larger tenant next door. The sign in the parking lot is more than clear, the name of the bar inscribed in neon with a finger pointing downward at the building, but little more than a few worn slats of wood and a doorway suggest that there’s a business to be found inside.
And indeed that business can be found inside but underground, a short stairway with a blue neon arrow pointing downward transporting would-be karaoke singers from street level to the divey karaoke room below. The stage backdrop features blue string lights and a disco ball, almost every picture online of a Jeff’s Bucket Shop evening using those elements as backdrop to someone singing something they probably shouldn’t.
As a quirk of operating as a dive bar in North Carolina, memberships must be procured for all new entrants at a nominal fee, good for a year. There is an outdoor area to be explored with a beer pong table and stacking block game as entertainment, but the main event is found downstairs where a digital songbook offers 26,000 options to do something embarrassing after a handful of drinks.