Last week, we went to Team Trivia at Weather Mark Tavern. We've been clear about our distaste for the Team Trivia format -- we hate having to wait a whole song between questions and we would rather have more questions and less downtime -- so a bar really has to be amazing to overcome that. Weather Mark does have some good things going for it, but we would only go back if we were in the area.
Weather Mark is the only bar we know of in the South Loop that still does trivia. We do appreciate that there is something in that area. It also starts a little earlier than most, at 7:30pm, which is great if you work in the Loop...you can go straight from work and not have to wait too long to play. It's also great if you don't want to stay out late. Trivia ended around 9:45pm.
I got there at about 6:45 to a pretty packed restaurant, but a bunch of tables opened up around 7. The nautical decor of the bar is cute, if not a bit much...some of the booths are made to look like sailboats.
On Thursday nights, they serve half-priced appetizers and $15 buckets of beer. The food was decent, although I ordered a burger with "onion jam" and got pickled onions. On one hand, does anyone really know what to expect when they order onion jam at a bar? On the other, I don't think I was wrong to expect something jam-like and not crunchy. But anyway...
The trivia was standard Team Trivia. You can choose your point values for the questions, they generally get more difficult as the game goes on, and the last question of the game can be worth up to 15 points. The audio situation was pretty terrible. It was really hard to hear the host, and we were sitting maybe 30 feet away from him, and he had a mic. We entered random answers a few times because we couldn't understand some questions after three readings.
If you want to play trivia with your family, Weather Mark is the place to be. They advertise their family-friendliness all over their website, and they allow people under 21 until 10:30pm. If you don't like children (or at least children in bars), you might want to avoid Weather Mark. Although, to be fair, I didn't see any children at trivia night last week.
If you're in the area, trivia night at Weather Mark is not a terrible way to spend an evening. But if you are up for a good night of trivia in Chicago, we'd go elsewhere.
Weather Mark Tavern
1503 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
7:30pm to 9:45pm
2 paws (out of 4)