There are a number of trivia nights in and around Davis, sometimes there is a fee to get in and you can win a cash pot. Usually the grand prize is a gift certificate, round of drinks or something similar. Other prizes range from random pieces of junk to legitimately interesting artifacts. The California Aggie recently featured local pub quizzes in a Miles Duncan article titled "Passing the Bar Exam."
You'll be given an answer sheet. It's a good idea to bring pens and scratch paper for each player. Using cell phones while participating in trivia is considered cheating no matter your intent. If you whip out a phone or make inappropriate use of the restroom facilities, you run the risk of being tarred and feathered by competing teams.
G Street WunderBar
see also The G Street Wunderbar
Mondays from 9 PM to 11 PM. Maximum of 7 players per team. There are 8 rounds of 8 questions each, plus some bonus questions. There is no cover charge, but there is a one drink minimum. The questions vary in difficulty from round to round and week to week, with 2 audio rounds and a visual round every week. Prizes are awarded to the top three teams, ranging from $15-$25 bar tabs that are good for one week after winning.
This trivia night is run by Geeks Who Drink.
de Vere's Irish Pub
See also de Vere's Irish Pub.
Mondays. 7pm-9pm. The de Vere's Irish Pub Pub Quiz is hosted by popular quizmaster, Dr. Andy Jones, formerly of Bistro 33. Trivia contestants are faced with 30 questions on a variety of topics, including history, literature, current events, and pop culture, including movies, television and music. Play is broken up into several rounds, with a considerable amount of time given to come up with answers. Most of the questions are of medium to hard difficulty; nevertheless, almost every team scores in double digits. There is an intermission after the first 15 questions. The maximum number of players per team is six unless you want to audit (which is encouraged but kiss your chance at a prize goodbye). The prizes for the first through fourth place teams are de Vere's gift cards in the denominations of $50, $25, and $15, and then some swag. For more information and sample questions, subscribe to the weekly newsletter or view the blog at YourQuizmaster.Com.
On trivia night, happy hour specials are available until 7pm instead of 6:30. Therefore, if you arrive early, you can get some nice deals.
See also Froggy's
Wednesdays. Hosted by Preacher. More laid back than some of the other quizmasters, Preacher is a fun dude who will award points at random for anything he finds amusing. Part of the quiz is somewhat easier to appeal to casual players, while another part is more difficult for the hardcore trivia buffs. Apparently there is also a visual/video section which sounds pretty interesting.
See also KetMoRee
Wednesday nights at 8 PM. All ages are invited. There is a special trivia menu from 8-9 PM. There are two rounds with 15 questions each, as well as a short bonus prize round during the intermission. A bottle of wine is awarded to each of the top three scoring teams, and a bottle of wine to the winner of the bonus prize round. There is a two item minimum per guest to participate.
The pace is relatively brisk, with one minute per question. The questions are not repeated, but while the quizmaster is speaking the text is projected on two of the walls, which helps a lot when the quizmaster is hard to hear. You can have as many team members as you want, but you will be struck with increasing point handicaps for any more than 6, though you can have 2 teams at tables nearby as long as you're not sharing answers.
Every week's trivia quiz has a theme. Recent themes have been "Star Wars," "Beer," "TV Friend Groups," and "Meat." All of the questions are related to the theme. The theme is announced a few days in advance on the trivia Facebook group. (Updated 8/5/2015)
Sophia's Thai Kitchen
See also Sophia's.
Tuesdays :: 9:30pm :: 21+. 1 drink minimum to participate. 2 drinks per listed team member will get you a 3 point bonus and qualify you for a bonus prize. Drink stamping starts 1 hour before start time. Teams can have up to 6 members, with 3 points deducted in increasing increments of 3 for each member beyond the 6 person limit (ex: -3 for the 1st + -6 for the 2nd = -9 for an 8 person team). There are two rounds, each with 20 questions and combined for a total score. The prizes are as follows:
- 1st Place: $12 gift card awarded to each team member. If a winning player reuses a previous card, there's a $2 bonus credit.
- 2nd Place: $9 gift card awarded to each team member. If a winning player reuses a previous card, there's a $1 bonus credit.
- 3rd Place: $6 gift card awarded to each team member. If a winning player reuses a previous card, there's a $1 bonus credit.
- Median Score: To reward mediocrity (and to ensure that every team has something to play for), Sophia's gives out a bottle of wine to the team with the median score.
- 3rd Lowest Score: A bottle of wine.
- Highest Score, Round 2: A bottle of wine. (Teams that place in the top 3 and median are excluded.)
- Best Team Name: A round of shots. (Teams that place in the top 3 and median are excluded.)
- Tiebreaker: The team that guesses closest to the tiebreaker answer that does not win the median or place in the top 3 gets a bottle of wine. This is regardless of score, so it's still possible for a team to walk away with something even if they're getting their asses kicked. The tiebreaker question usually involves a numerical quantity that is impossible to know exactly. (ex: "what is the female population of Madagascar ages 15-34?" or "What is the distance to the moon in furlongs?")
Other known prizes have been given out for the most incorrect answer, funniest answer, and last place. Occasionally they will award bottles of wine or gift certificates to randomly selected Facebook check-ins and/or Twitter mentions.
The bar keeps track of drinks purchased with a team drink card which gets stamped for every item purchased. Keep in mind that food and drink purchases before 8:30 do not count toward the drink minimum (though the bartenders can be lenient on stamping if you've tipped them well). One stamp per member qualifies the team for grading and a prize. Teams can get three bonus points if each member buys two drinks. It is very difficult to place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd without earning the three bonus drink points.
Sophia's limits Trivia Night to 40 teams. During the Spring and Summer, this limit is reached almost every week by 9:00, the time when the answer sheets are handed out. Hence, even though the actual event doesn't start until 9:30, teams need to secure a spot much earlier. To get chairs/stools/tables, one must arrive around 8:30. To ensure you get an answer sheet, get there around 9:00. In most cases, you will not be able to participate if you arrive at 9:25. There is a "No Chair-Hoarding" policy where only one empty chair per present person can be saved before the event begins. This prevents one person from unfairly saving 5 chairs for his/her team while people who are present stand helplessly (if it's annoying in movie theaters, it's going to be annoying at Trivia Night.) Paying customers are also given priority for tables over non-paying customers, so a team saving a table that has not purchased an item risks forfeiting their table to people/teams who have purchased items.
Launched in 2005, Sophia's was the first bar to launch a trivia event in Davis. It is generally considered the most difficult of all the trivia events in town and moves at the fastest pace. Nevertheless, the event still attracts a balanced mix of undergrads, graduate students, and young working professionals. There are many teams that can be consistently found week after week duking it out, most of which are comprised of graduate students from various departments around UCD. Canadian Softwood, a team from the agricultural and resource economics department, held the record for most first place finishes in a row (4) until October 2016. Gen Y Booers won a record six straight competitions from September 27 to November 1, 2016. Regular competitors and winners include teams representing the psychology, philosophy, nutrition and mathematics (aka The Mathletes) departments, as well as the law, business, and vetmed schools. An undergraduate team, The Backdoor Babes (Their name changes weekly), have staked out the back porch weekly since February 2008, and rarely walk away without placing in the top 3.
Unless ill, on vacation, or trapped under something heavy, the evening is usually hosted by Kevin, who also writes the questions, grades the answer sheets, and makes fun of peoples' answers. His mother is a popular subject during trivia, both in team names and in answers. There is an inverse relationship between the accuracy of his grading and how much whiskey he's consumed.
There is a list of common categories used in Sophia's Trivia Night.
And then, of course, there are The Rules.
See also Woodstock's Pizza.
Starting in February 2009, Woodstock's has been holding a weekly Trivia Night on Thursdays. The event is free to play and starts at 9:00pm, and while "signup" is encouraged at 8:15-8:30, the reality is that you just need to physically be seated at a table in the bar-side of the restaurant (or even at the bar itself) or the upstairs section above the kitchen by 9:00 to take part(though late-comers can still join in). The MC's do their best to accommodate as many players as possible, and you will only be turned away if there is truly NOWHERE left to sit or stand in the whole room (along with consideration of maximum occupancy for fire codes!).
Questions are separated into 4 themed rounds (themes change from week to week, and are sometimes based on current events and relevant topics; i.e., a round about Ireland around St. Patty's Day or a round about basketball at the beginning of March Madness). Questions are considered to be slightly easier than at some of the other Trivia Nights, particularly at Sophia's, which may disappoint those who are hoping for a huge intellectual challenge but may be welcome to those who like the feeling of getting a majority of the questions right; this isn't to say that the questions aren't at all challenging, but they are aimed more at the Davis locals and undergrads, rather than at the grad student crowd.
Like all Woodstock's events, Trivia Night is all ages. Obviously you have to be of age to buy beer, but even the freshman are welcome to come play and enjoy some pizza - so no complaining that there is nothing to do in Davis if you're under 21! Prizes range from free slices for winning one of the themed rounds, to Woodstock's shirts or gift certificates for winning the whole game. Other prizes for an overall winner have included: pint glasses (with beer company logos), liter glasses (with Woodstock's logo), movie passes for local theaters, and occasionally gift certificates to other downtown businesses.
The MC's, Mick and Thomas, are known to be friendly and fun during the event, often joking around with each other and the audience. Bonus point are sometimes awarded for particularly funny wrong answers, but more likely your clever guess will be shared with the audience for the enjoyment of all. There are ~10-15 minute breaks between rounds while they count up answers, during which they play upbeat music (which usually relates somehow to the previous round) and give you a chance to buy some beer, use the bathroom, smoke a cigarette, make a phone call...or whatever else you might need to do. The event is usually over by 11:00pm (11:30 at the absolute latest), giving you the opportunity to capitalize on the rest of your Thursday night downtown (Woodstock's is located within 2 blocks of almost every other bar in Davis). For a 2-3 hour committment and no monetary committment (you aren't pressured into buying a round of drinks for extra points), you can enjoy a fun event in a bar full of people and, if you're 21(or under 21 if you wanna play upstairs), have a great place to pre-game for your night out at the bars.
Streets Of London Pub
See also Streets of London Pub.
Streets of London is not in Davis. They have two locations, one in West Sac and one in Sac. Trivia nights are Sunday Night. Questions have a British slant and random prizes given through out the night for best team name and worst score. First prize is something good, but the other prizes are random things such as B-movies on DVD and British amateur porn.
Former Trivia Nights
- The Graduate ended 2011.
- Bistro 33 ended September 26, 2011. Moved to de Vere's.
- Applebee's ended June 2013.
- The California Aggie article about Trivia Nights
- Spotlight on Sophia's in the Sacramento Business Journal: Not So Trivial Pursuits
2007-01-28 15:02:34 Sophia's trivia has all sorts of non-trivia ways of getting points. There is a myspace question that you can only get with a myspace account and being friend's with Sophia's. Also if your entire team orders a second round of drinks, you get an extra 3 points. I totally agree with the one drink minimum, people who sit in a bar for two hours but don't even order a coke are lame, lame, lame. But I hate the second drink thing, two beers on a tuesday night is getting into sketchy territory for those with 8 am classes and it's a slippery slop of trivia being about things other than trivia. —AmyGoogenspa
- They've also added a welcome new policy about chair hoarding. You can have a maximum of 2 empty seats at a table, which is still pretty generous for such a busy night. Also, to expand Amy's comment, they've been totally cool with you ordering non-alcoholic drinks for that 2nd (or 1st) round. Just remember to tip. —CraigBrozinsky
2007-01-30 19:02:07 Yeah, I just feel so lame. I'm going to feel even lamer next week when I have to buy TWO non-alcoholic drinks so my team doesn't lose on account of my cheapness. —AmyGoogenspa
2007-03-11 10:48:33 do any of these let under-21s participate at all? —AllisonEriksen
- Sophia's cards at the door, so not them. Potentially Bistro, but doubtfully streets of london because they are primarily a bar. —CraigBrozinsky
2007-03-15 16:05:11 Just went to Sophia's trivia for the first time last Tuesday after being a longtime Bistro 33 player. I have to say, Sophia's trivia night is far, far better. There are more teams (a lot more), it's rowdy, but strange as it sounds, it seems more intimate. I attribute that to the fact that Sophia's feels more like a "Pub Quiz" than Bistro does. You're in a bar, you can get to the actual bar, people are actually drinking and talking while they're playing. It feels more like a group activity. At Bistro, the event takes place in a back room which makes the whole thing feel more like a classroom than a bar (especially with all the A/V stuff going on). Sophia's quiz is definitely way more challenging, but in a good way I guess (in that you should know the answer and feel like an idiot once you hear it.) Bistro's questions are either really easy (especially the true/false questions) or stupidly impossible. The respective hosts are a stark contrast. The Quiz Mistress at Bistro is definitely more showy and polished, but she can often be obnoxious. Sophia's Quiz Master (who I'm told is the owner, but I'm not sure if that's true.) is less polished and a lot drier, but he's funny and has an ironic, self-depricating hosting style. When the crowd heckles him (which happened several times last Tuesday), he talks shit back, which I find pretty funny. At Bistro, she seems to get agitated when people complain. Lighten up Sarah! As for the drink minimum at Sophia's, I think it's legit on their part. That they don't give drink stamps for food is bullshit in my opinion, but other than that, I bought 2 Bud Lights which cost me $6.50 (+$2 tip). The way I see it, it's cheaper than a movie and more interactive. —BriannaBetancourt
2007-05-15 13:31:22 Bistro 33 recently moved the quiz from the function room to the main bar area. Whilst I can understand their reasons for doing so (less staff needed to serve drinks) I think it is not so much fun as before. Now you can spend the evening sharing the room with people who aren't there for the quiz, and you don't get to really see everyone around you (depending on where you are sitting). For the last two weeks there have been no powerpoints either (presumably because of the NBA playoff games being on). I'm still coming to terms with this change, but I think it is a change for the worse. And they seem to have stopped the pub quiz drinks and food promotions too. —KeithBradnam
2008-03-16 I'm curious about the Thursday trivia night at the Silo Pub. I've seen several posters and its mentioned even on their website, I would love it if someone can share their experience.
2008-06-01 07:58:59 Gosh, I didn't realize trivia nights in St. Louis were quite so big (or involved free beer, for that matter). I used to do some there back in the day but thought they were relatively isolated (or only as common as anywhere else). I'll have to hit up some trivia when I'm back that way. _ _ franzche I challenge you to a game of trivia! Click here to battle against me online at ConQUIZtador. Let's see who's the winner... https://www.conquiztador.com/?a=26041 —franzche
2010-09-13 15:19:36 Went by Agave last Wednesday and they weren't having trivia. The guy didn't seem to know anything about it either. Maybe it's only when school is in session? —KevinWilliams
2012-03-08 00:31:20 The Bistro 33 quiz has moved to De Vere's and is held on Mondays from 7 through 9 PM. —scrizer