So what does a trivia host do on a night when he doesn't have a pub quiz
to MC? Why he goes out and finds a pubquiz to participate in- what else would he do? I figured I would check out the competition, test my wits, and maybe make some new friends, so I looked for a trivia night that not only hadn't been reviewed yet, but wasn't even listed by everybody's favorite trivia bloggers. What I found was Hawkeye's Bar & Grill on Taylor Street in the Little Italy neighborhood. The address of Hawkeye's is 1458 W. Taylor Street and the bar itself is a friendly neighborhoody type of place.
The Tuesday specials are $3 Jameson, $6 Double Vodka Lemonade, $7
Pitchers of Bud/Bud Light, and $15 Buckets of Bud/Bud Light/Bud Light Lime. Miller Light was the beer of the month and as such had $7 pitchers as well. The food specials thought were awesome. For $8.95 I got the weekly special a BBQ Turkey sandwich (with some Sweet Baby Ray's mmmmmm) and a corn on the cob. OK but I saved the best for last, Tuesday is also $1 burger night, yep a burger for all of $1, for a bar in a college neighborhood what a perfect food special. Now if you want to add extras to the burger each add on is .50, but really you could add 3 toppings and it is still only $2.50. There is a one drink minimum to order the
burger. Anyway as I was flying solo I decided to grab a stool at the bar and play along.
Trivia is advertised on both the website and table tents as starting at 8:30. I actually thought it started at 8:00, so when I showed up at 8:15 and things weren't yet underway, I was pleasantly surprised. The trivia host is Dave who while not as cute, smart, or funny as some trivia hosts...(Hmmm Hmmm..remember what it is I do three nights a week?) Really
thought more on Dave later. The format is a Whaddayaknow Team Trivia format, which over the night will consist of 2 rounds of 6 questions each with a different topic for each question (Teams wager points from 1-12 depending on their confidence and with no penalty for wrong answers), 2 handouts (1 picture round & 1 fill in the blank) worth 15 points each, 4 current events questions (5 points each), and 2 final questions (where teams can wager up to 12 points each, but this time losing points for wrong answers.)
Anyway Dave was on the mike promptly at 8:31 to introduce trivia and the first question was asked by 8:40. In the first round of 6 questions teams wager 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 points on each question depending on how confident they are. Now Daniel is the mastermind behind Whaddayaknow Team Trivia, and I have come to know him over the years I've been doing
trivia and he is a great guy who writes some awesome trivia questions so you are always going to learn something new at one of his trivia nights. Of course anybody who knows Daniel knows his biggest shortcoming is that his microphone skills could use some work. This was my first Whaddayaknow experience sans Daniel so I knew it was going to be
Dave by the way is not only a trivia host, but a visiting lecturer at UIC who works in the English Department, so hopefull this review isn't loaded with grammar errors otherwise I'm sure he will mark me down. Anyway I recognized Dave when I walked in as I have umpired his softball games in the past, and on top of trivia mc and college professor he is also a heck of a SS if you need a sub. Anyway Dave not only started on time, but was personable on the mike as well. The last trivia night I attended was put on by Trivia Wizards and the guy on the microphone used trivia night to rehearse his stand up routine which wasn't funny. One
thing I hope I've learned over the years is that while being funny is nice, in the end people are there to play trivia so don't think the night is about you, and Dave didn't. He played with the crowd, but overall he stuck to his task as trivia host by asking the questions and
giving the answers.
There were about 16 teams at the start of the night and all but 3 stuck it out till the end. After that first 6 questions there was a picture round hand out (Tonight's category was people, charcters, and bands whose names start with V). After the picture round, scores were
announced and the team with the best first half score won a round of shots. There were 52 total points to be awarded in the first half (21 + a bonus in the first 6 questions and 30 points on the picture round). I picked up 44 on my own and sat comfortably in 3rd place. The second half starts off with another 6 questions but this time teams wager more points (2,4,6,8,10,&12 points) using each number once and again with no penalty for wrong answers. After those 6 questions is another handout, but instead of pictures it is a fill in the blank. Tonight was questions that all led to answers which included a bird, insect, or animal as part of the answer. After that are 4 current events questions and there is always a facebook bonus (That if you follow Whaddayaknow on Facebook you can get a free point for your team just by figuring out the answer and handing it in.) So there was another 94 points at stake in the 2nd half (There was another bonus point out there). Winners of the 2nd half also got a round of shots (I picked up another 73 points and was in second place for the half.) Now the team in first had 123 points, but Whaddayaknow limits team sizes to 6 and penalizes teams of 7 with a 5 point penalty and a team of 8 with a 10 point penalty. The team in first ("Dave's Mom") had 7 people at the start of the night, but they were sitting way in back out of view of the host and their 7th was long gone by the end of the night, yet they still told Dave they were subject to the 5 point penalty, how is that for honesty at trivia? Much respect for the honesty and that meant going into the final two questions it was 118 for them and 117 for me. The last two questions requires teams to wager (after hearing the question) up to 12 points each, but this time wrong answers cause you to lose your wager so be confident or else. In the end we both wagered the max and answered correctly so the final score was 142 points for them and 141 for me. As a one man team, I was fine with a second place finish, but I was pissed I only missed first place by a point.
The night itself ended about 2 hours after it began, and over the course of the night I got to interact with several teams and they were all super friendly. Team Discovery Channel were formidable opponents, Manilla Ice (Made up of 1 Fillipino and 3 white gymnasts-nice team name), and Pimps & Ho's were all fun teams. There was some good friendly competation and Dave has a nice group of regulars that follow him which is always nice for a trivia host. The Pimp's & Ho's in particular were definite Dave groupies, and I was tempted to ask Dave his secret as when you have a table of beautiful women following you at a bar you are doing something right. Now as a regular reader of Chicago Hearts Trivia I know they reviewed Dave back when he was at Bar Louie and he was new to the hosting game. I am happy to say Dave today is not the Dave he was then, because he was a fine host, the format was solid, the food decent, and the atmosphere was great. If I had the chance I would easily return, though as I start back at my own Tuesday night gig soon that is unlikely. As such the $20 dollar gift certificate I won shall be awarded to a team who comes out and sees me sometime in the coming weeks. (First place got $30 and $10 for 3rd) Overall it was a solid triple of an evening, which on the paw scale is a 3 paw night. Kudos to Dave's Mom for their win, but next time the ONE MAN GANG BANG will beat you ;)
Hawkeye's Bar & Grill
1458 W. Taylor St., Chicago
8:30pm to 10:30pm
3 paws (out of 4)