Some Quiz Nights in Tacoma
by Josh Cole
Quiz night! Have other words inspired such confidence or fear in the hearts of men? Quiz night! Where people compete in the grueling, debilitating world of ideas and the alcohol flows and everyone pools their remaining nickels for a quarter-order of tater tots. Quiz night! The time where your friends prove to be the best friends in the whole world or losers.
Quiz nights at The Swiss (1904 Jefferson Ave, Tacoma 98402) are on Tuesdays beginning at 7:00 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m. Entering, one feels the magic of a bar that has the space of a bar, restaurant, concert stage and pool hall. This is a place you can actually hang out. The gin & tonics ($4.25 post-tax) are strong enough and the rotating beer selection compliments the flavor of salt; useful for the post-quiz-cry into your beer. Quizmaster Joe strikes up a friendly, affable atmosphere and walks the competitors through five rounds; general knowledge and the picture round being the bookends of the night. The other three rounds are variable, but there is a strong rotation of movies, cars, computers and terrible, horrible song lyrics. The prize is the pool of money created by the $2 entrance fee. The team maximum is 7 people. Bring as many as you can. Many teams enter, one team leaves…with the all of the money.
Quiz nights at Doyle’s Public House (208 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma 98402) begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m on Wednesday nights. The bar is a large-one room with a concert stage which began to see use as I left. Some people really like Doyle’s. Some people don’t. There are two rounds, each beginning at the top of the hour. The gin & tonic ($5.00 post-tax) had the taste of lightly spiced water. Many people would consider this a good drink, alas, I ordered, “the welliest well G&T you can possibly well-up from the well.” Perhaps I am too picky to be comfortable in new places, but Quizmaster Russ is the warmest and friendly presence in a relatively warm and friendly place. The quiz itself was an interesting mix of logic puzzles, word puzzles, and current events in Republican gaffes. There was no cover charge. Later that night, I heard that reward was shots.
If the quiz night at The Swiss is rooted in the gnostic priesthood of Voltron and carburetors, and Doyle’s quiz night replicates the genteel atmosphere of 1700’s French cafes, the quiz night at the Office (813 Pacific Ave, Tacoma 98402) is the closest thing to a dystopic communistic treasure hunt I’ve ever seen. The quiz begins at roughly 7 p.m. and ends at about 9 p.m on Thursday evenings. The Office glows from laminated wood floors, basks in brick-hued walls and is primarily lit by television’s warm glowing warming glow. The place is loud and crowded and everyone seemed to have at least three empty glasses in front of them. My gin & tonic ($4.25 post-tax) took about 15 minutes to arrive. Quizmaster Chris struggled bravely against his mike and the non-quizzers. He lost (and while we’re here, shout-out to the guy who kept yelling, “NEEEERDS!” You captured the spirit of our internal debate about whether we should list characters only from a specific Star Trek series to anyone from the Star Trekverse), but every team walked away a winner. With a $2 cover charge, every round has a cash prize ($20-$40) and occasionally, swag. Every round (word scramble, star trek/star wars, Seahawks, word scramble) resulted in a tie and divided treasure between the teams. After the best people in the world and I came down with acute cases of deafness, blindness, sudden-empty-wallet syndrome, we left.
Have a quiz in the Seattle-Tacoma area you think I should go to? Contact me at email@example.com with suggestions and details!