The Duchess is a nice, cozy family bar and restaurant. Although it is smaller than most places, it does feature a pool table, a full-sized bar with all the drinks you would come to expect from larger venues, and at least one bartender and one server available to help you at any time. The Duchess truly puts the meaning of family into a family bar. They offer drinks for far less than most other places in the East Valley, and they have some pretty good food for prices that I haven’t seen for years. Even after the kitchen closes and the cook goes home, the friendly staff is often quite willing to make you some of the yummy fried foods that they have on their menu.
Karaoke is a wonderful thing at The Duchess for several reasons. Two very good people that I know personally happen to run the show there on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday nights. They have an excellent sound system, and one of the best selections for songs that I have ever seen. Out of all the places that I’ve gone to do karaoke from Phoenix and Mesa, to Tempe, Flagstaff, and beyond…Christine and Patrick truly have it together when it comes to assembling a quality show with excellent sounds, professionalism, and enthusiasm. If you’re looking for a place to do karaoke where the sound rocks, and the hosts are awesome…this is that place in Mesa for those nights! You’ll surely recognize Christine and Patrick when you see them, too. Patrick is definitely a child-of-the-eighties type of guy with a great personality who looks a lot like the guy Michael from Underworld 2 – Return of the Lycans. Christine is a sweet gal who looks a lot like Stevie Nicks! They are both excellent singers, and a pleasure to know.
Another thing about the karaoke there is that until now, it has been one of the better kept secrets in Mesa. Usually doing gigs for much larger places with crowds completely packed wall to wall, Christine and Patrick decided they wanted to go for an atmosphere where people were more closely-knit, would always remember your name, and be glad that you came to sing with them. They ended up finding that peace right here at The Duchess, just as a lot of the singers who go to see them there and have come to call each other family and friends, rather than customers and regulars. It wasn’t about the money anymore…it was about the people. Sometimes doing a job is best when you can be sure that you enjoy doing it for people you enjoy being around.
If you are tired of the loud, over-populated bars with obnoxious people lurking about, then come on over to The Duchess to relax a little and just be yourself. Dress how you want, drink what you want, eat what you want, and sing what you want to. There is no pressure at all from any of the people who are there, and most of them tend to appreciate everything from country music to rock, r&b, blues, ethnic, and even contemporary Christian music. This place is sometimes so comfortable that it really is like a home away from home. On many occasions, people who don’t normally like the bar scene at all that decided to meet me for dinner or karaoke at The Duchess liked it a lot, and decided to come back just because it was a safe and gentle place to hang out.
If you like pool, there is of course a pool table (and almost always someone there who is willing to play). There is also a dart-board, and a few other games there if you’d like to entertain yourself that way, and aren’t into the karaoke scene all much.
Because everything is so close together, moving from one place to another is fairly easy, and unlike most bars it doesn’t get so noisy that you can’t hear other people. At The Duchess, you’ll be able to carry on conversations quite well and actually hear what the other person has said to you most of the time. For those who need a more focused concentration for their conversation, there is a secondary side-exit next to the end of the bar that you can quickly use to escape a loud segment and talk to someone freely, and then jump back in to the establishment. To the right of the main doors, there are chairs set up outside usually for people to sit down to talk, or to have a cigarette (or for the old timers, maybe a good cigar or pipe). There is plenty of parking, since it shares the vast plaza lot behind the Little Mesa Cafe just off of Main Street.