Trivia Nights Thrive in Westchester’s Bar Scene

You are the kind of person with whom no one will play Trivial Pursuit because you’ve long since memorized the cards (and you have an historic tendency to gloat when, inevitably, you win). More than once, you’ve caught yourself sitting alone in front of the TV, watching Jeopardy!—which is really bad enough—but then you were also shouting answers at the screen while ridiculing the actual, televised contestants.

If this describes who you are, then right here is where you need to be.

Competitive, factoid-obsessed locals may want to check out regular trivia nights at Westchester bars. These organized contests will compare your brain’s ability to retain useless bits of minutiae against that of other local data junkies, who may also be finding themselves alone in their homes, shouting at broadcast media. Expect large groups of devoted/rabid trivia fans involved in intense, often raucous games, where the level of hilarity generally rises with each pint of beer put down. Prizes usually include more beer, which just contributes to the mayhem. A word of warning: Trivia fanatics often have “specialties”—sports, music, film, TV, or current affairs—so, if you want to hang with the pros, you’d better narrow your focus. Also, to keep up with the games (which sometimes change dates or involve specially themed tournaments), be sure to follow each quiz or venue on Facebook.

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A quiz master calls out a question at GrowlersGrowlers Beer Bistro
Tuesdays at 8 pm
Look for the trademarked titans of trivia, Trivia Tryst™, to host a weekly trivia party at Growlers Beer Bistro. Trivia Tryst, an entertainment company operating in and around New York City and Washington, DC, operates a stable of more than 35 quiz masters (yes, that’s what they’re called), many of whom, like Rachel “Rabies-Free Since ’83” Arbeit (a Westchester  native and contributor to the National Lampoon), pursue separate careers in comedy, comedy writing, or sketch performance. Look for a two-hour game in which points are awarded for funny answers—plus “Tryst” rounds in which opposing teams must work together despite their beer-fueled animosity. “Special Rounds” include a wager so that teams can dramatically increase their points, which can be redeemed for gift certificates (which, in turn, can be redeemed for free drinks, obviously). For more information, “like” Trivia Tryst on Facebook.
25 Main St, Tuckahoe (914) 793-0608; growlersbeer

Black Bear Saloon
Mondays at 9 pm
Depending on the number of teams that show up to match wits at the Black Bear Saloon’s weekly trivia night, the grand prize is either a $25 gift certificate or $100 in cash (when eight or more teams enter, the cash prize is awarded). Either way, one can be sure that the bar always wins; these two-hour games mastered by Black Bear’s resident DJ, John Peters, are usually fueled by gallons of purchased beer. Look for five categories of 10 questions each adhering to the subjects of sports, film, and current affairs. Also, expect to be asked to guess the name and artist of songs played in short musical clips played from the booth—shouted answers are seriously frowned upon. Seriously. Lone players are welcome, though carefully matched teams of specialists have the advantage. Follow Trivia Night @ Black Bear on Facebook. 
166 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains (914) 422-3270;

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company 
Biweekly Thursdays at 7:30 pm
Westchester’s premier trivia night has been through a few evolutions. It started when two Peekskill locals began the event “Nick and Noah’s Trivia Night” at nearby Birdsall House. Recently, with the move of one of the game’s quiz masters to more southerly climes—namely, Elmsford—the game has morphed into Nick and Austin’s Trivia Night at Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. Look for a jam-packed room full of enthusiastic regulars who are organized into intense teams of up to six players. The contest is divided into multi-question categories, often linked to current news or cultural events, and points are awarded to the teams that win each category. A grand prize is awarded to the team that wins the most categories; points either can be redeemed immediately for beer or CLBC merchandise or accrued over multiple quizzes for more valuable booty.
For more information, visit CLBC’s website, 444 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford (914) 741-2337;

Julia Sexton is a New York-based restaurant critic, food writer, and blogger whose work has appeared in the New York Times and the Boston Globe

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