"Singalong Saturdays really changed our winter weekends to something hot and appreciated."

Singalong Saturdays at Holiday Bar were born legendary. Helsinki-based restauranteurs Richard McCormick and Ville Relander combined their love for food and karaoke in a unique concept that quickly became a great success. Powered by Singa Business, of course.

Although Richard and Ville are known in the Helsinki scene for their golden touch when it comes to restaurants, some could have argued that singing karaoke during dinner is too much of a mouthful. Luckily, the duo followed their instincts, believed in the concept and made it a highlight of the week for guests hungry for a dining experience out of the ordinary.

If you've ever been to Holiday, you know that vacation mode is instantly activated when stepping inside the restaurant. Richard explains that the name for the place was inspired by the location: "We were a bit surprised there was this little stretch by the sea in downtown Helsinki that wasn’t really utilised to its full potential. Here we have sun all day long, a huge terrace by the sea and a ferris wheel in our back yard."

Holiday bar with terrace

Despite the great location, coming up with a successful restaurant concept is extremely challenging. Here at Singa we obviously believe the key to success is karaoke, but we're willing to concede that the secret recipe may also include a few other ingredients.

"We are very lucky that so many people enjoy coming to Holiday Bar and our other restaurants The Cock and Yes Yes Yes. Our focus every day is on creating magical moments, pleasing our guests and making sure they leave the restaurant with a smile on their face. Helsinki is full of great restaurants, which pushes us to maintain great quality. Our main goal is to make Helsinki a great place and show the world that there's a lot of fun things going on in this little gem," says Richard.

"Setting up everything with Singa was super smooth, easy and friendly"

Karaoke has been popular in Finland for decades, but Holiday Bar wanted to bring something new to the dinner table, according to Ville: "Most karaoke venues in Finland tend to be more late night oriented, with booze playing the main role. We wanted to offer a new kind of karaoke experience that doesn't compromise the quality of cuisine, drinks and design. We also wanted to organise something unique for our guests in winter time to keep Holiday Bar rocking and evolving."

Inside karaoke restaurant
inside of the holiday bar

"It's been way better than we expected. People love coming here and they leave with a lifetime memory. The best nights have started with families singing and towards the end of the night the entire restaurant bursts into a song," adds Richard. "The nights have been popular and usually the restaurant is pretty much booked beforehand. Of course we encourage people to step in from the terrace too, and no one is forced to dine. Singalong Saturdays really changed our winter weekends to something hot and appreciated."

There's a few things you need to consider when setting up a perfect karaoke dinner. "Make sure you have a host that is charming and humble, as well as a functional sound system. And good song lists helps a lot. Setting up everything with Singa was super smooth, easy and friendly," says Ville.

Singa's karaoke screen with people eating dinner

At times karaoke can evolve into an almost cathartic experience that people will remember for the rest of their lives. "We will never forget a performance from a far away talent - a guest from Copenhagen - who sang Missy Elliott's Work It, transforming the whole dining room into a stage. Shows like that we reward with a cocktail, always," smiles Ville.

There's no better way to end a karaoke song or a blog post than with a cocktail. If you got inspired and want to get your hands on Singa Business right now, drop us a line at sales@singabusiness.com or find out more at Singa Business and be sure not to miss a Singalong Saturday at Holiday Bar!