Fireplace Inn in Old Town is more of a rib joint than a bar, so it's kind of weird to us that they have trivia at all. As soon as you walk in, you can tell the restaurant is a little cleaner and nicer than a lot of other bars that have pub trivia. The next thing you'll notice is that there are TVs *everywhere*-- on the walls, at the tables, hanging from the ceiling, and playing every single televised sporting event, from NCAA hoops, NBA, hockey, billiards, and fishing. The third thing you'll notice is the awesome/cheesy soundtrack playing while you watch sports. I heard Michael McDonald followed by Beyonce while I waited for my beer.
Trivia at Fireplace Inn is run by the ever-expanding Brain Sportz, and is actually the first Brain Sportz event not hosted by Jeremy we've been to. The night we went, it was hosted by Lee, who -- let's face it-- is no Jeremy, but held his own. Especially that night. Apparently, the owner of Fireplace Inn requested that Brain Sportz change its trivia night format. He wanted more of a wager plus question-song-question-song format, like Team Trivia or Whaddayaknow. Which I guess is popular, but we, as self-respecting trivia lovers, happen to hate it.
Lee, subbing for the oft-absent "regular" host Tony, didn't quite understand the new format. That led to a bit of confusion, but it eventually worked out. If they continue with this format, they should have all the kinks worked out in the next week or two. Personally, we hope they do away with the Team Trivia-style questions and just on with the regular trivia we have learned to love. Fortunately, they did not completely replace all the rounds. Some of our favorites were still there. When we went, the rounds were (1) a handout round where we had to name the Beatles albums by their covers, (2) a speed round where we had to name as many 3-letter words starting with "C" in 3 minutes, (3) and (4) 2 6-question Team Trivia-like rounds, and (5) a final question where you can wager up to half your points. Our very basic knowledge of the Beatles helped us make a huge surge in the end, where we wagered half our points and named 4 Beatles albums in chronological order, and climbed all the way to 2nd place! Not bad for 2 people...especially when the first place team has about 10 people on it.
First place wins a $30 gift certificate to the bar, second place gets $20 to the bar, and third place gets a $10 gift certificate. The bad part is you can't use it that night. We have a $20 gift certificate we'll probably never use...so leave a comment, and we'll randomly choose from everyone who leaves a comment on this post a winner of $20 to Fireplace Inn! You can probably get at least a rack of ribs for that.
Trivia is supposed to start at 7:30, but the host got there late and we didn't start until a little after 8pm. It went pretty quickly, though, we were out by 10:15. Specials are $3.50 drafts, except Matilda. Street parking was pretty difficult, you have to go pretty far down Wells (I found a few spots by the Pier 1) or turn onto the side streets. If you're in the area, it's worth checking out!
1448 N. Wells St., Chicago
7:30pm to 10:15pm
3 paws (out of 4)