We recently headed to McFadden’s
Restaurant & Saloon in the Gold Coast to try out their Tuesday
trivia night. It turned out to be one of the strangest and least
satisfying trivia nights we’ve been to in a while.
The main problem with McFadden’s trivia night is the format. The emcee
(who doubles as the bartender…talk about multitasking!) would ask a
question and then the acoustic guitarist in the corner would play at
least three songs before the emcee would ask another question. That’s
right, there’s an acoustic guitarist in the corner at McFadden’s. I
know a lot of bars have live music, but on trivia night? Which also
happens to be Mardi Gras? As conference tourneys are on the TVs? It
just seemed a bit unnecessary to me. When I want to listen to acoustic
guitar, I go to a college
coffeehouse. And when I want to play trivia, I go to a bar. And never
the two should meet.
(I actually started to kind of like the
guitarist. He played everything from the Supremes to Lady Gaga to Billy
Joel to John Mayer. That’s a winning combination in my book.
Nonetheless, this didn’t seem like the right venue for him.)
were at least 5-10 minutes of musical interlude between each question
which is super unsatisfying if you came there to play. Trivia is
played in rounds with each and each round has a common theme like Mardi
Gras or cats (!). Questions were about medium difficulty, although we thought they were sometimes phrased poorly, making them harder than they should be.
than the format, our main gripe was that it just didn’t feel like a
trivia bar. At most of the places we play, trivia is the main event.
There are a lot of regulars and everyone is excited about trivia. At
McFaddens, we honestly didn’t know if any other teams were playing. No
one seemed particularly interested in trivia. (McFaddens also had a
big buffet set out for Mardi Gras, which no one seemed particularly
interested in either. Maybe we caught the place on an off night, but the whole place just seemed kind of blah.)
On the plus side, Tuesdays are McFadden’s are Viva Tuesdays. Coronas are $2, Cuervo shots are $3, and tacos are just $1.
McFadden’s Bar & Saloon
1206 N. State Parkway, Chicago
1.5 paws (out of 4)