Just a Jew. Named Mitch. Writing about his feelings.

Trivia Night

Posted by JewMitch on June 30, 2009


When people ask me if I miss living in Baltimore, I usually tell them that aside from the local sports coverage and trivia night, no. And while I can get coverage of the Orioles losing on, I have yet to find a trivia night like the one my friends and used to go to in Baltimore.

It was held at Red House Tavern in Canton, which not surprisingly has since gone out of business. Here was the deal: trivia was free, you can have as many people as you want on a team, beers were $1.25 a bottle, and the winning team got a $50 gift certificate to the bar. The bar would also give out free shots to the team who swept the round, and trivia usually had six rounds. If two teams tied a round, then they would have to send a member of each team to participate in a chug-off. The chug-off was also free.

On top of everything, the trivia was hosted in an extremely professional manner. Two guys would be set up at the front of the bar, with laptops and DJ equipment, playing requests and occasionally challenging random teams to a chug off. If you won a chug off against the trivia host, your team won more free shots.

This was a complete dive bar though, and aside from one other group of people, I don’t think anyone knew that trivia was going on at this bar or that this bar existed. It didn’t take long for my friends to realize that if we just brought enough people to trivia each week, we could win just by sheer numbers and the likelihood that one person on our team knew the answer. Granted most of our friends just showed up to get drunk, but I think we won something like five weeks in a row.

It was a beautiful thing; each week we would give them the same folded up $50 gift certificate and after trivia they would give it back to us. With the gift certificate we won each week, plus the free shots, plus the chug-offs, eleven of us could all get trashed and we never had a bar tab. Some weeks we would win so many rounds that we would actually turn down free shots from the bar. It didn’t really make any sense; the bar would provide us with free entertainment and all the booze we could drink, and then invite us back next week.

And because Baltimore is a great drinking town, the night would not end there, but at Claddaghs, where you could get dollar bottles every Thursday night. Even though Cornerstone Tavern in Midtown does dollar mugs and free trivia every Wednesday, people from New York City simply do not believe this story. But then again, it was Baltimore. Which is a great city if you’re a functioning alcoholic in a long term relationship (or asexual), but not ideal for any other member of society.


2 Responses to “Trivia Night”

  1. ChristianFrank said

    We’ll show you “new york guys” how to drink this weekend just wait.

  2. David Bolen said

    So I went to track down info about the Red House, being off today and living in Baltimore, and being a Trivia fan. Apparently when you left, they could no longer afford their rent.
    Found this from their Myspace page…
    “Hello Friends, as many of you may have already heard, The Red House Tavern is closing its doors.
    It would mean a great deal to me if everyone could come down and drink with us before its closed. John and I will be there on April 30th for the final trivia night and the big “drink down” where everything in the bar MUST GO! I have heard rumors that all drinks will be $2 that night, don’t hold me to that. Its going to get crazy.
    It would mean a lot to us. I will be there with camera in hand documenting the evening.
    Hopefully we will close it down the same way we opened it up!”

    And from one of those functioning alcoholics you wrote about… (Toni Sicola) “I can’t believe it’s really happening. I wish I could be there drinking with y’all tonight.
    I feel like I’m missing something important. I met some of my favorite people in this bar and had some of my favorite Baltimore moments on that stage. This place was my home away from home.”

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