We are pretty enthusiastic about trivia and think even a poorly run trivia night is a decent time. Or at least an excuse to drink on a week night. But we're confident that even tough critics would have to agree that Uptown's Crew is one of the best trivia nights in the city.
Monday nights Crew offers $3.75 Stellas and 1/2 price wings on
special. And cans of PBR are always $2.75. (We think that's pretty
special.) In addition to specials, Crew offers ample prizes. Best
team name and the winners of the 3 lightening rounds all get a free
round of shots. First place walks away with a $50 bar tab and second
place wins a mug with the host's face on in. More on the host later.
Crew takes attendance and at the "end of the semester," the teams with
perfect attendance also get a prize. And at Crew, even the losers are
winners. The last place team wins an educational book such as Math with Bert and Ernie.
But wait, there's more! The best small team (2 people or fewer) wins a
prize. In the past it's been as illustrious as a gift certificate to
the Pleasure Chest.
real reason to go to Crew, however, is the host, Sister Mary Monistat
(pictured below with "Team Scrappy"). Sister Mary is a man, dressed as
a nun, who acts like a Catholic school teacher. Like all good
Catholics, Sister Mary wears an 'I heart Jesus pin' and professes a
love of dreamy Quarterback Brady Quinn. She's stern ("eyes on your own
paper!"), encouraging ("yes, very good class!"), and kinda sassy
("Sister Mary Monistat is ALWAYS right. End of story"). Accompanied by
her "teacher's pet," who helps with grading and watches for cheaters,
the two make a fabulous and efficient duo. The PubStumpers-provided questions and grading are
fast-paced, and Sister Mary emcees with great humor. We especially
appreciated the 2 music rounds. Unlike a lot of lesser music rounds, Pubstumpers cuts off the songs before the lyrics come in and its
obvious what the answer is. Questions are of moderate difficulty, and
a good mix of sports, movie, history, and geography.
make or break of any trivia night is the downtime. It's easy to
get restless when the grading drags on or the host chatters on
endlessly between rounds. But there's little downtime at Crew. Teams
trade papers so grading goes quickly, and teams are also given the
picture round at the beginning of the night, so they can work on it all
evening. And when Sister Mary chatters on, it is completely
delightful. She never drops her sweet and sassy teacher act. Although
when we went, she did yell out an exasperated "JESUS!" when a team was
giving her a
hard time. But she quickly apologized to the class: "Sister Mary gets
flustered when Brady's on the big screen."
let's say a prayer for the delightfully confusing Miller Lite coasters
on Crew's tabletops featuring Chicago's Northside neighborhoods:
Boystown, Lakeview, Andersonville, and...Dynamic?
Crew Bar & Grill
4804 N. Broadway St., Chicago
8 to 10:15pm
4 Paws! (Out of 4)