We like a no frills trivia night. We’ve gotta get up in the morning,
so we don’t want to stay at a bar too much past 11pm on a weeknight.
Especially if the reason we’re at the bar so late is because our trivia
host is more interested in being an amateur comedian than emceeing a
Well, Atmosphere‘s trivia night has taken no-frills to the
extreme. There’s no host. Instead, the bartender just puts on a VHS
tape that flashes trivia questions on the screen. Sure, it sounds
kinda wonky, but it’s also kinda nice. You don’t waste any time
listening to pointless banter, and you get to talk to your friends the
whole time without interruption.
It’s all pretty simple. You play along with the VHS tape,
answering multiple choice questions which are actually pretty hard.
Most participants got only about 25% correct. Then, the VHS flashes
all the answers, and you grade your own answer sheet. The bartender
checks the grading at the end to make sure there’s no cheating, but
other than that, he’s got a pretty easy job. He just presses play and
The game lasts about 40 minutes and the winner gets $20 bucks. The
pros: it’s fast-paced, it’s short, it’s free, and you don’t have to listen to
an annoying host ramble on. Cons: it doesn’t have any of the wit or
camaraderie that normally accompanies a trivia night. Because all the questions are from a VHS tape, they aren’t very current or topical. Also, you play as
individuals, not teams, so people who live for coming up with
dirty/funny team names will be disappointed.
It’s not our favorite, but it’s definitely easy and unique. If you are looking for a quick, bare bones evening of
trivia, Atmosphere is definitely for you. Just eat before hand because
another thing that’s bare bones about Atmosphere is the menu. Tuesday
specials include $3.50 well drinks, but there’s no food on the menu.
5355 N. Clark Street, Chicago
2.5 paws (out of 4)
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