The bar was completely dead when we got there at 7:30 and the kitchen was closed*--so things didn't exactly appear to be new and improved. But by 8pm the place had filled up, we'd met the very charming owner, and had ordered pizza from Pequod's next door, so things were looking up!
Their old trivia night was hosted by Rex, who also hosted the very successful trivia night at Local Option. Rex was nice enough but a bit uneven as a host, which is one of the reasons we stopped playing at Flounders. Now trivia is provided by Whaddayaknow. At first we bemoaned that trivia companies like Whaddayaknow were taking over because we didn't love the one question per song format that all these companies rely on. But we've come to appreciate them because at least you know what you're getting: namely competent hosts and nights that go smoothly.
Trivia was in regular Whaddayaknow format (read here for a description). We had trouble at first but stormed back (thanks to a bonus question about 'NSYNC!) to place second. Sadly, only the first place team gets a prize. Trivia started a little late, but the night moved along quickly and we were out the door around 10:15, so we won't complain.
There were just a few teams playing, but they were all very enthusiastic. (Shout out to our neighboring team who tried to convince us that there's a Nobel Prize for Taxidermy!) The beer menu is great and Flounders' owner is super nice. Right now it's not a standout trivia night, but it has the potential to grow--especially if they keep it up with the boy band questions!
*The website says the kitchen is open, so if you want to eat, call before you head out to confirm!
Flounders Bar and Grill
2201 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago
3 paws (out of 4)