Rita’s New China Restaurant & Lounge, Santa Rosa’s wildly popular karaoke bar, may soon become a…sports bar? Currently in escrow, owner Nancy Chiu confirms that the restaurant is for sale and that new owners could take over the restaurant and lounge as early as June.
Though the final deal is yet to be inked, the city’s legions of boozy crooners can take comfort in knowing that the lucrative karaoke portion of the business is likely to remain.
“They’re telling me they’re not going to mess with it,” said Chiu. She added that the potential owners do plan on changing up the menu to more American-style pub grub, but may keep a few Chinese food items at the Calistoga Road nightclub. She confirmed rumors that a possible sports bar theme may be in the works.
Currently, Rita’s hosts karaoke four nights per week — with acts ranging from serious singers to — let’s just say many of us have had regrettable moments on the Rita’s stage. With waits for the karaoke stage stretching for hours on weekends, it’s long been a popular east side bar and hangout attracting a broad swath of night owls.
Chiu plans to leave the restaurant game for a while if the sale finalizes and possibly open a smaller scale restaurant in the future. But until the fat lady lip-synchs one final round of “It’s Raining Men” while spinning around the stripper pole, Rita’s is destined to remain the Rita’s we’ve all come to love.
Rita’s New China Restaurant & Lounge: 138 Calistoga Rd., Santa Rosa, 537-0308