BY ESTHER SANCHEZ
For well over a decade, Plan B has been a neighborhood bar that always has something going on. Whether it’s live bands or acoustic acts on Thursdays, pool tournaments, excellent happy hour specials or the diversity of the patrons from all walks of life, Plan B truly is that little bar on the corner where it seems as though everyone knows your name. All that said, anyone who has ever attended Red’s Rockstar Karaoke at Plan B knows that it’s definitely the biggest draw the venue has to offer and continues to become more and more popular with each passing season.
Jeanette Kriebel (Owner and proprietor of Plan B): “I have owned the business for eleven years this past Sept. I have always had it in the back of my head that I wanted to own a bar. Finally, the timing was right and an opportunity came up. It’s actually not very hard to get into the business. The hardest part is finding great, trustworthy employees and I have been very lucky in that category. My initial vision was to have a bar that kind of ran in four shifts; the early crowd, the afternoon to early evening crowd, the happy hour crowd and the late night crowd. I also wanted to do at least 3 or 4 nights of live music with both local bands and bands from out of town. That proved much harder than expected! We do however, still book bands and acoustic shows on Thursday nights, but over time it really has shifted more towards the Karaoke crowd. Karaoke is a huge deal at Plan B or, ‘The B’ as many of our regulars call it.”
As someone who frequents Plan B myself, I can attest to the comradery between Kriebel, her staff and the “regulars” who, as previously mentioned, come from diverse backgrounds and walks of life.
Kriebel: “Our customers are not just customers to us. The majority are regulars who have become like family. When someone doesn’t show up for a bit, we are calling and checking on them. We do fundraisers for those in need, we really feel close. The support between staff and those that enter our doors is truly genuine.”
Karaoke being a big part of the heart and soul of Plan B is no doubt attributed to the best KJs I have ever known. Red Ness and his fantastic wife and partner in business and in life, Shastin Ness have, over the years built up a loyal following of folks who love to sing along with all the best equipment that makes them sound as amazing as possible. They have fostered a friendly and supportive environment where everyone who puts themselves out there is able to feel confident and have a killer time. I asked Red how he got into becoming a KJ in the first place.
Red: “I was actually born in Galveston but raised in Dallas and at one point I ended up between bartending gigs and felt like I wanted a change. I had an opportunity to come out here to the Coachella Valley in 98 with a friend and was going to vacation for a bit but got back into bartending and working at The Village Pub and it was a blast. That’s where I started meeting people from every part of the valley.
Red continues: “I used to sing in bands and write songs when I was younger and have always enjoyed writing songs and jamming with friends. I haven’t been in a band in a while but still love singing, writing songs and fiddling with the guitar, drums and piano. I’m a master of none, by the way. The transition just kinda fell into place. I was bartending back in 07 at a place in Palm Springs called Shakerz and Warren McGervey, AKA The Spin Doctor, was the KJ there. He is awesome and taught me just about everything I know about Karaoke so I love that man. They wanted to add an extra night but he was at another spot. He also knew that I already knew everyone there, loved to sing and knew how to work a board so he asked and I said ‘let’s boogie!”’
Red continues: “Eventually, I ended up acquiring my own equipment in 2010 and started Red’s Rockstar Karaoke. I guess I never really thought about how long I would be doing this but time does fly when you’re having fun because I’m still having a blast and get to hang out with so many awesome people and meet so many new ones all the time after all these years, no two nights are the same.”
Plan B Entertainment and Cocktails is open 7 days per week. Red’s Rockstar Karaoke is on Weds, Fri and Saturday nights starting at 9:00 PM with a possibility of extending to Sunday nights in the near future, Red and Shastin also host and Fireside Lounge at 9:00 on Tuesdays and at the VFW in Desert Hot Springs on the first and third Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM.