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Episode 67: Big Box Karaoke is Bringing Everyone Safely Together to Sing a New Song

Spread the Ozark love

`IANWA - 67 - Big Box Karaoke is Bringing Everyone Safely Together to Sing a

New Song

30:58

IANWA Open [0:11] It's time for another episode of I am Northwest Arkansas.

The podcast covering the intersection of business, culture, entrepreneurship and

life in general, here in the Ozarks. Whether you were considering a move to this

area or trying to learn more about the place you call home, we've got something

special for you. Here is our host, Randy Wilburn.

Randy Wilburn [0:42] Hey folks, and welcome to another episode of I am

Northwest Arkansas. I am your host, Randy Wilburn. And I am excited today

because I'm sitting here in a room with a television and a couple of speakers on

the wall and a Big Box Karaoke book and a lot of stuff right in front of me, and two

amazing people that are doing something really neat right here in downtown

Fayetteville. And that is Mailena Urso and Justin Urso, the proprietors of Big Box

Karaoke. How are you guys doing today?

Mailena Urso [1:12] Good.

Justin Urso [1:12] Doing well. Thanks for having us.

Randy Wilburn [1:14] Oh, absolutely. Well, thank you for having me. You guys

invited me down here and I really appreciate finally connecting with you. And I

think we connected on Instagram originally and kind of went from there.

Mailena Urso [1:24] I think it was probably right when we opened and you

reached out and I'm like, we're not ready yet.

Randy Wilburn [1:31] No, that's fine. So, I'd love for you guys just to kind of share

with the audience, just a little bit of your, as I like to say, your superhero origin

story. How you guys got here? Why did you even start Big Box Karaoke? It's been

about a year now that you've been in business and it's kind of taken off. It's kind

of created a life of its own. You have a pretty strong social media presence on

Instagram. And I've talked to a lot of people that have been through these doors

and they're all the same sentiment about their experience, which was it was a lot

of fun and that they would do it again. So, I'd love for you just to kind of tell us a

little bit about yourself, Mailena and Justin, and we can go from there.

Mailena Urso [2:08] Well, Justin and I are married. And back in 2006 or seven, we

lived in Japan after college, and that's kind of where we got introduced to this

style of karaoke. So Randy, you talked about being in a room and for those who

have not been to Big Box Karaoke, we have seven private rooms. So that's what

he's talking about, is a karaoke room. And in Japan, that's how they normally

karaoke. You rent a private room to karaoke with your friends and family. And we

got introduced to this style of karaoke there and fell in love with it. And ever since

then, we have just been trying to build one of these. We moved back to the states

shortly after a year or so in Japan and landed in Chicago, and that was kind of our

first attempt there to open one. We found a place there that we just loved.

Justin Urso [3:05] Well, the place that we found in Chicago was a little, we like to

say deity. And it was a place that you kind of went to maybe after 11pm at night.

And our vision was to create something that was a place for everybody. Whether

it's friends, family, young kids to older adults, and anything in between, right. And

so, we attempted to open one there. It was the recession, just not a great time to

try to raise money. We were also a lot younger, had no assets to essentially claim

so thanks didn't necessarily like us. But we were ambitious, and we found a spot

and we started having conversations about that, but the recession hit and hit

strong and so we passed on that attempt. And then a few years later, we ended

up back in Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville, specifically. And in 2015, we

attempted our second time to open Big Box just down the street here with what

is now Atlas, that is a new restaurant that just opened up. And we had a chance

actually to visit that a couple of weeks ago. And it's beautiful. It's amazing. And

they did a million times better and renovating that place than we could have ever

done. So very proud of that establishment here on Block.

And then in 2018, we were walking on Block Street for my birthday up to visit

Pinpoint, which is a pinball bar up the street. And we passed this place, and it had

a for lease sign on it. And we knew at that moment that this was it; this was Big

Box Karaoke. And seven months later, we were open for business.

Randy Wilburn [4:36] Man, that's awesome. I love it. And I was just telling you, I

remember when this was originally a bike store, I think. I'm sure it's over the

years. It's carried on a bunch of different iterations. But you guys are here and I

love--- I mean, the building's almost like a box. It has that look. So, it's like, man,

okay, I can see that. Wow. So, what's the other type of karaoke that exist?

Mailena Urso [5:00] Just your traditional type of karaoke on a stage in front of a

whole bunch of strangers. You got to put your song into the DJ or the KJ and hope

that that person picks you and your song to go up on stage. With just enough tip

money, you could probably get your song chosen to sing. But it's just a different

style. And we've done that style before. We like to karaoke. So, we just have

enjoyed it more in a private setting like this. And we have found that whether

you're an introvert, extrovert, whatever, this style of karaoke kind of opens it up

to everybody. And a lot of the times when we have brought friends in, we'll have

one or two people that say, I'm not going to sing, but I'll watch you guys. And

those people are the ones who can't put the mic down. So, we call them the mic

hogs; and it's always the case. Every single person that walks through these doors

where they all say that, they'll claim that position as I'm just watching. I'm like,

okay, you're going to be the mic hog. And then I'll go into the room or Justin will

and that person is up there singing; so, it's just funny. You know, people have a

really good time.

Randy Wilburn [6:09] That's awesome. So, Justin are you originally from here? Or

who's from Fayetteville?

Justin Urso [6:15] Well, we're not. Neither of us are from Fayetteville. We actually

both grew up in Van Buren, just an hour south of here. And that's what we call

our hometown and we went to different--- A lot of people think we're high school

sweethearts. We were not dating in high school.

Mailena Urso [6:33] I tried to date Justin in high school. It didn't work out.

Justin Urso [6:37] We went to different colleges, and we both ended up back here

at the UVA. And so, we reconnected and formed a relationship then, and that was

in 2004, actually. And in the summer of 2005, I was studying International

Economics and Business at the UVA and Japanese was actually the language that I

had studied. And one summer, I went and studied abroad in Japan, and that kind

of lighted the fire of being interested in like being over there for a period of time.

And so that kind of led into that next year when we moved over there and

became English teachers in Japan. So, yeah, from Van Buren, but Fayetteville is

home now, and we love living here and being part of this community.

Randy Wilburn [7:20] That is great. So, what did you think about your experience

over in Japan? Were you able to pick up the language pretty well? I mean, it's not

an easy language to learn.

Justin Urso [7:28] It's not an easy language. No, but having studied it here at the

university, and then being there--- I lived in a small village and it was only 1000

people. It was actually considered the remote regions of Japan. It was not in any

guidebooks or anything. When people think of Japan they think of Tokyo, and

we've been to those places, but this was a small village and you were able to learn

the language there. And so that was an amazing opportunity to just really be

immersed with the locals, right? The downfall about living in a village is you

basically are learning country, dialect, Japanese. And so, when I would go visit my

friends in the cities, they all asked me what I was speaking. And where did I live?

And so, I basically just became the person I was in Arkansas, in Japan, in a

different country.

Randy Wilburn [8:20] That's funny. Because if you talk to people here in the

States, and if you're from the deep south, and you go up to New York or

someplace like that, they look at you like, what are you saying? It's almost like

vice versa. I mean, when you think of the different dialects that exist in this

country alone, so I can imagine how that would create some problems. But I

would assume that the folks in the village use the same alphabet as they did in

Tokyo so at least you had that going for you. That's awesome! So, tell me just a

little bit about--- you thought about this. You potentially tried it out in Chicago.

You brought it here and this was kind of one of your dreams. Had you done

anything else in business before you opened up Big Box Karaoke?

Justin Urso [9:03] Yeah. Well, in general, yes. I would say this, as a couple, we've

always been interested in starting a business for a long period of time. I myself

have been trying to start or starting businesses since I was a young kid. We both

worked in the corporate world for a long time, though. But even during that time,

we were always saying like, okay, let's write a business plan. Let's build a business,

right? And so, the first time that I had actually started a business, though, was

back in 2013-2014. And so, it was a technology company that I was getting off the

ground, and still running today. But that was kind of the first foot into the door

and it's different. Big Box was a different business and a different business model

than that business, right? Way more hands on. Also, being able to really just see

natural results from people, you know, meaning their smiles on their face when

they come into this.

Mailena Urso [10:05] Gratification. It's easy to make people happy when they

walk through these doors. They are already happy.

Randy Wilburn [10:12] I like that. So, why don't you walk me through the

customer or client experience here at Big Box Karaoke. As you walk in and I

walked in here to meet with you guys today, there's a there's a long bar there and

a kind of like a sitting area. But then you have all of these seven different rooms

where you have these private karaoke stations. But what type of experience are

you trying to convey to potential individuals that come through the doors?

Mailena Urso [10:43] Just an experience of fun, and a place where people can just

kind of let loose and be themselves. We call our rooms like, judge free zone. And

it's great because we have 70,000 songs that you can choose from---

Randy Wilburn [11:03] Only 70,000.

Mailena Urso [11:04] Only 70,000. So, it ranges from different genres like pop,

country, rap, hip-hop, heavy metal, whatever it is. And you can have a group of six

people to a group of 25 people, and all of those people have different music that

they like and people sing that their type of music. So, compared to the

traditional karaoke you get to sing your one song maybe, here you get to sing

however many songs you can fit into an hour or more. And your friends are not

going to judge you for the song that you sing, and you can act as crazy and silly as

you want and it's just fun. We don't hear anything out there. Our rooms are

soundproof ish is what we say. And so, it's funny to kind of serve the rooms as a

staff member here because you can have a room that is singing Disney songs and

you can have a room singing heavy metal or whatever. So, it's just a whole bunch

of different types of people. So as Justin said earlier, we wanted to create an

establishment that welcomes everyone. And we've found that everyone, no

matter your age, race, sexual orientation, personality type, disability, like

everybody has a good time here.

Randy Wilburn [12:21] There is something for everyone. I like that. And does

every room have a disco star in it?

Mailena Urso [12:26] Yeah. Disco ball. And we'll show you the experience of a

room later. This is like the cleaning experience of a room.

Randy Wilburn [12:33] So, are all the rooms the same size?

Mailena Urso [12:35] No.

Randy Wilburn [12:36] Okay. All right. So, if I wanted to book a room, say for 10

people, you have a certain room that you'd bring them into?

Mailena Urso [12:42] This would be a 10-person room. We could fit a little bit

more than 10 in this room. This is one of our medium rooms. Our smallest rooms

can hold two people one person. I mean, we've had people come in just by

themselves to sing. Or a date night.

Randy Wilburn [12:56] I'm glad you brought that up because, I mean, karaoke is a

big deal in Japan. I don't know that I ever studied the genesis of it or why it even

came about to begin with. But I mean, a lot of people spend time going to

karaoke bars. So, I guess one of your thoughts might have been, how can we kind

of foster that environment here in Northwest Arkansas?

Mailena Urso [13:20] We've seen a lot of people, not a lot, but some people who

come regularly and they say, this is my therapy. Because you do relieve a lot of

stress, when you sing some songs and it.

Justin Urso [13:32] You get to try new stuff too. I mean, with 70,000 songs, I

mean, even just with a few thousand, you would hardly ever get through all of it. I

mean, you can try different genres, you can try different decades, different

languages if you can. I mean, there are so many different things for you to do to

try out. And I think a lot of times with karaoke, you sing a lot in the car or in the

shower or whatever, and you think like, I want to sing that song, but sometimes

when you karaoke, that song is way harder or different than you ever thought it

would be right? And so, it takes time to like, find the songs that you're really good

at, where you excel. And I think a lot of people work on that here. And we

karaoke sometimes we'll be in here and some of our best customers will be here

and we'll invite them into a room with us. And we love hearing the songs that

they sing. It's songs that we sometimes we've never heard of, right. And so, we're

learning something new.

Randy Wilburn [14:29] Oh, I love that. I do a little training on the side, and I talk a

lot about active listening. And one of the things that I talk about is how the way

that we hear ourselves is different than how other people hear us. So, I think it's

just important to understand that. So, you may sound amazing to yourself but

then somebody else hears you and it's an old different ballgame but that's neither

here nor there. I think this is a great place for you to kind of really go and stretch

yourself and try something new. And I was thinking about this. I mean, this seems

like it would be a great space for families to come and like have a little singing

competition. Have you experienced that? Do you get some families that do come

in and---?

Mailena Urso [15:13] Sure. We are a family restaurant. So, we welcome

everybody until nine. After nine, we kind of choose to be 21 plus, mainly on the

weekends, Friday and Saturdays. We have had a four-year-old birthday here up to

a 75-year old birthday and so that kind of gives you an idea of the ages that come

through these doors, but families for sure come. We get a lot of families like

during spring break or the summer come and it's another family activity. When

it's super-hot outside or super cold outside, it's fun for the entire family. And

we've had family reunions here too. So, yeah, it's a cool place because--- we take

our kids a lot to altitude. We love the trampoline park and we like to jump too but

not all families all want to jump but everybody sorts of wants to sing. I don't

know; they have fun.

Randy Wilburn [16:09] So, okay, so you have the bar, and you do serve food.

Okay, what is the fair? What kind of food?

Mailena Urso [16:15] Like an Asian fusion street food-inspired?

Randy Wilburn [16:18] Okay, so like Bahn Mi. Okay, and I know you guys have---

I've seen some pictures posted on Instagram. Was it wings? or it was wings?

Mailena Urso [16:30] We have some wings, which sounds pretty basic, but

they're so good. But Bahn Mi. We have Bahn Mi Minis which you know,

traditional Bahn Mi is like six inches. We have them in small little bite-sized

handheld sizes with a side of steam that [inaudible 16:45]. One of our popular

dishes is Kimchi Tots. So, mixing the traditional tots with something on the Asian

side Korean with the Kimchi. And we have different protein people can top it

with. One of my favorites is the Chautauqua mushrooms and plum sauce, which is

something that was not on our original menu. It was something one of our staff

members decided to try one day and it was amazing. And so, we added it to our

menu just because the flavor is like sweet, savory and just really delicious.

Soba noodles--- so we have like, Fer from a whole bunch of different parts of Asia.

So, you'll find some Japanese inspired dishes, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese---

Justin Urso [17:31] ---and we must say this too. For anybody that's listening that

is not interested in that type of food, if you do book a party here, you can let us

know, and we can have a pizza available for you.

Mailena Urso [17:47] So, a lot of people love our food. Our food is really good. It's

kind of like the best kept secret of Big Box so come and try it.

Justin Urso [17:55] But there are some people that you know aren't as explorative

with the menu.

Mailena Urso [17:59] Sometimes, you just want a hot dog, and now we have hot

dogs on our menu and we added a rice bowl that I think is good. We have a salad

you know lettuce [inaudible 8:12] tacos, things like that. French onion dip,

homemade---

Randy Wilburn [18:16] A couple of things and it's nice that you're able to reach so

many different palettes with that. And then what about your Sake collection?

Mailena Urso [18:24] Yeah, let Justin talk about that.

Justin Urso [18:26] Yeah, it's strong. I would say in Northwest Arkansas, we have

the widest assortment in Sake. And everything we serve here is a premium grade

Sake, and it's all served chilled. So, we've got a wide variety of, most people

probably won't know the terms, but for those that do Kinjo, Diagon Jo, [inaudible

18:51] Sakes. Everything from a very basic food issue which is a table Sake which

can be served hot or cold. It's great cold and all the way up to a [inaudible 19:02],

which, is a very expensive, very intense, a lot of labor that went into making that

Sake that we serve here as well. But you know price isn't always an indicator in

the Sake world of whether you're gonna like it or not. So, there's a lot of

education that we've been doing around Sake. We actually held a thing called the

BBK Sake passport in October, where we sold a passport to people and it was $55

and it came with a passport book, and it had 20 different Sakes in it. It had

descriptions of all the Sake tasting notes and people came in here at different

times of the week. And I met with them and educated them on the different

styles, different types. We did a tasting and I stamped every page that they tried.

And so, we're hoping to anniversary that again in October with 20 new Sakes that

we haven't tried yet. So, we're working hard with our distributors and people

throughout the US to bring in new Sakes to Arkansas. So far, we've been

successful and I think Northwest Arkansas is being rewarded for our efforts here,

and hopefully, more people explore what Sake is all about.

Randy Wilburn [20:11] Wow. Now tell me this. Just before you went over to

Japan, did you like Sake? I would say my exposure to Sake in Arkansas or

anywhere I had been before that was very limited. And it was mostly like maybe

having been to a place on Dickson Street and having it served to me hot. And

actually, premium Sake in a chilled environment, it's only really been around for a

little over 40 years. I say around but it's only been more into the market. And so,

it's a relatively new market. And even at that time, even when I went to Japan, I

didn't drink a lot of Sake over there. Again, we lived in a small village. It was

mostly cheap beer and [inaudible 20:58] which was a very prominent sweet

potato kind of Japanese vodka that we drank. And so, Sake was something that

still even over there wasn't something we didn't partake in a lot. There were

events where we would have some. I do remember, like, ceremonial things, we

would have something, I'll be like, wow, this is amazing, right? I've never had

anything like that. And then once we got to opening Big Box, we knew we wanted

to have Sake but then we really got to start to explore what the offerings were

and even expand those offerings. So that was a lot of fun being able to do that.

Randy Wilburn [21:34] Yeah. No, I glad you mentioned that. And certainly, we will

make note of some of the brands that you mentioned in the show notes. Because

I think it's just important to understand that people when they think about

Northwest Arkansas, there's so much here for you. I mean, you guys represent

one segment of it. I think about some of the other people that we've had on this

podcast that have been able to bring something different to Northwest Arkansas

like black apples. And with all the different ciders and I mean--- Did you guys

know that Northwest Arkansas was a big apple-growing region. Like I had no idea

about that until I sat down with Leo or Ben and his team and they just took me to

school and they were like, listen, this is what this place is all about.

Justin Urso [22:16] Well think about. I mean yes, Springdale was the Black Apple

capital of the world, right? The Shiloh Museum over there has great information

on that, right. And those guys are doing amazing things over there. But I mean,

think about Arkansas with rice. We're the number one rice-producing region

outside of Japan, essentially. So, we're actually growing premium grade Sake rice

here in the state of Arkansas, and that a lot of brewers in North America are

using. And so, there's a lot of good things happening here. I wish we had a Sake

brewery here in Northwest Arkansas or in Arkansas. I don't know if the market is

quite ready for that, but we are growing rice here and we're a big rice-producing

state. So, we have amazing water. There's a lot of advantages, to potentially that

being something down the line that exists.

Randy Wilburn [23:02] Yeah, and I'm glad you mentioned that. Sometimes we

talk about the delta, and they just think well, that's just a muddy area; it's just

really wet. But what people don't realize is, and it's been that way for centuries, is

that the Delta area some of the richest soil in the whole country. I mean, it really

is and that's one reason why rice grows so proficiently here in this area. There's a

lot of natural resources that are like right under our noses here in Arkansas period

and I don't think everybody realizes that. So, what would you want to say to

people that were coming or thinking about coming here to Northwest Arkansas,

given that you have the advantage of having grown up here, then you left and

then you came back and you realize I mean, you've been in Chicago, you were in

Japan? You've had a lot of different experiences. What would you say about

Northwest Arkansas to somebody that is thinking about moving here? Maybe

they're coming, as I like to say, working for the big three, Walmart, Tyson or J.B.

Hunt? What would you say to somebody that was thinking about coming here,

and then all their friends are telling them, oh, you don't want to go to Northwest

Arkansas, there's nothing there?

Mailena Urso [24:08] You're going to prove them wrong because it's an amazing

place. I mean, we moved back like nine years ago, and it was so different nine

years ago. It has changed so much over the last nine years. We have a family now

with two small kids, and as a family, Northwest Arkansas has so much to offer. For

students and for, you know, just single people, people who don't have families

yet, like there's just so much to offer. It offers a lot of opportunities to meet new

people, to try new things, to start new businesses. The community has been so

supportive of us. And when we first tried to start this in Arkansas, we debated

between Fayetteville or somewhere in Benton County. And that was like, you

know, five years ago, so it was a tough decision. But we're glad we chose

Fayetteville first. We are thinking of starting another one. So that would be in

Benton County. And just the support has been awesome. People from Benton

County come here to experience Big Box, and I'm not sure if we started in

Chicago, we would have had this support, you know, and it would have been way

tougher, I think, to see the success we have seen here in a bigger market. So,

Northwest Arkansas has like everything a bigger market has, and also like safety

and a sense of community and all of it.

Randy Wilburn [25:35] Yeah, and I think it is more intimate. I mean, you bring up

a good point about that. It's like and I don't even know if there is another

karaoke place here in this area. Maybe there is

Mailena Urso [25:43] No. Well, not like ours.

Randy Wilburn [25:44] Of course not like yours. And it sounds like there is

room for expansion. So you're gonna probably head up somewhere into Benton

County and, what I was gonna say to that, simply, is that even if you live in

Bentonville, and you come down here to Fayetteville--- I know a lot of people that

live in Bentonville and take advantage of all the great things that are happening

here in Fayetteville, and then vice versa. I live in Fayetteville and I'm up at Crystal

Bridges. I'm up at A-Street market on a regular basis. The people at Yey Yo's know

my last name, and my first name. So, that's the thing that I like about Northwest

Arkansas is that we're able to kind of cross-pollinate between Washington County

and Benton County, and there's just so much happening between those four

major cities. So yeah, it's exciting. It's exciting times for sure. So, tell the audience

what the address is here on Block Street.

Mailena Urso [26:32] We are at 115 North Block Avenue in Fayetteville.

Randy Wilburn [26:35] It is Block Avenue. Okay.

Mailena Urso [26:37] Yeah, no one ever remembers like, actually what it is. We

are like, oh, it's Block Street. No, it is Block Avenue. But it is the same difference

Block Avenue, couple doors down from Maxine's, just across the street from Little

Bread Company.

Randy Wilburn [26:49] Right. And what are the hours here for Big Box Karaoke,

and are there any days when you're closed?

Mailena Urso [26:54] We are closed Mondays.

Randy Wilburn [26:55] Okay, Mondays. So, no karaoke on Monday.

Mailena Urso [26:57] No. We are closed on Mondays. We needed a family day.

Justin Urso [27:01] Well, we are available for larger private parties or special

events.

Randy Wilburn [27:08] Has anybody rented out the whole place and then taken

up a bunch of different rooms for

Mailena Urso [27:11] Hmm

Randy Wilburn [27:12] Okay, so that's possible too?

Mailena Urso [27:13] Hmm

Randy Wilburn [27:14] Okay. All right. Well, that's cool. So that's good to know.

Yeah, I think those of you that are listening to this definitely need to come on

down here to Big Box Karaoke. Try it out. Try out some Sake. Definitely get some

really good food and let's see what your voices are like. I think you should come

down and really take advantage of what Mailena and Justin are doing here at Big

Box Karaoke, and support local business.

Mailena Urso [27:40] Thank you, Randy.

Randy Wilburn [27:40] No, thank you. I really appreciate you guys. And then what

is your Instagram?

Mailena Urso [27:45] @bigboxkaraoke

Randy Wilburn [27:46] @bigboxkaraoke, that is right. So, I'll put that in the show

notes so that if anybody wants to reach out to you, they can. And is there any

other preferred methods of connection, a phone number or email address that you

normally use to respond, for inquiries?

Mailena Urso [28:00] If you want to book a room, which reservations aren't

required, but if you do want to make a reservation, then you can just go to

bigboxkaraoke.com. There's a "book a room button," and you can just complete all

the information there. And then, either Justin or I will get back to you and confirm

your reservation that way.

Randy Wilburn [28:17] And you might actually join them in the room. So, I guess

that's the case. I certainly am going to plan to bring the family here because my

kids are all hams, and they love to sing. So, it will be interesting to have them

come down and take part in that.

Mailena Urso [28:33] They are the perfect age. They will have fun.

Randy Wilburn [28:34] Absolutely, absolutely. Well, thank you guys so much. I

really appreciate you coming on the podcast. I appreciate you connecting with

me. And you know, it means the world that you were able to share your story

with our audience here and so folks, everybody listening to the Northwest

Arkansas podcast, I'd really like you to support these guys and what they're doing

here at Big Box Karaoke. Come down, check it out, bring some friends. The rooms

are really laid out. They are really set up nicely. But really, come and check it out

and let us know what you think about it. But that's all I have for this week. We

really appreciate you guys listening to this particular episode of the podcast.

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visiting iamnorthwestarkansas.com, and there will be a little pop-up window that

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great things that are happening in and around Northwest Arkansas. And then

finally, just continue to spread the word, let people know that you have been

listening to this great podcast and that it has made a difference for you. Like we

said before, you know, we have actually had some people move to Northwest

Arkansas because of this podcast. So, we want to continue to do that and spread

the good news, both far and wide. So, thank you guys so much. That's all I have

for you this week. I really appreciate the folks at Big Box Karaoke and we will see

you next week.

IANWA Open [30:14] We hope you enjoyed this episode of I am Northwest

Arkansas. Check us out each and every week, available anywhere that great

podcasts can be found. For show notes or more information on becoming a guest,

visit iamnorthwestarkansas.com. We will see you next week on I am Northwest

Arkansas.

About the Show:

Today we sit down with the Founders of Big Box Karaoke in Fayetteville, Justin, and Mailena Urso.  These guys are both originally from Van Buren, they ended up spending time in Japan, and falling in love with Karaoke the way they do it in Japan in small rooms outfitted with speakers, microphones and a sound system, a disco ball, flashing lights, microphones, and a really large selection of songs.  

Main Entrance on Block St.

In addition to the Karaoke machines, Justin and Mailena have assembled a great collection of Sake and House Drinks along with some really good Bar Food with an Asian flair to them. Imagine Kimchi Tots, Crispy Chicken Wings, Bahn Mi Minis, Soba Noodles, and Rice Bowls or Salads.  So much to choose from to go along with your new singing career.  

You will not go hungry but you might go hoarse. 😉 

Give them a call to book a space for a private Karaoke party and some good food. You can also get takeout as well. The number is 479-249-6295.

All of this and more on this episode of I am Northwest Arkansas.  

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*Note: some of the resources mentioned may be affiliate links. This means we get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

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Thank you for listening to this episode of the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast. We showcase businesses, culture, entrepreneurship, and the lives of everyday people making Northwest Arkansas what it is today. 

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