Eating out involves more than food these days: the dining experience has grown into an interactive activity that builds community, and trivia nights have hit Maple Grove by storm. Many restaurants, bars, pubs or taverns feature some kind of trivia contest event. It’s a great way to get out and have some fun during the work week, after hours.
Besides the great food and good times, there are prizes! Step up to the microphone and shout out your best answer. Whether your guess is right or wrong, one thing is for certain-trivia makes for good entertainment.
Wednesdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Brace yourself for intense team spirit, camaraderie and lively group participation. Sporcle Live Trivia Masters deliver a fun-filled pub trivia experience. The shows are always free, welcome to all and yes, prizes are part of the game. The first place winners are awarded a $20 gift card and the second place winners receive a $10 gift card. “We usually have a pretty good crowd. People come for the good atmosphere. We are an authentic Irish pub,” says Josh Bianco, general manager and bartender. In keeping with the Old World theme at Claddagh, the beer selection includes Boddington’s Pub Ale and Shocktop Wheat Ale and others that can be difficult to find elsewhere. Wednesday happy hour specials from 9 p.m. until close keep the party going with half-price appetizers, $2.50 house and $3 domestic taps, and $4 house drafts and house wines. Let your appetite take flight with an Irish-inspired dish like the shamrock wings coated in Claddagh’s signature shamrock sauce: 6 pieces $6.99, 12 pieces $12.99, 18 pieces $18.99. 7890 Main St. N., 763.773.7400.
Thursdays, 7:30-9 p.m.
“What famous candy bar was named after the Mars family’s horse?”—Snickers. “How many ridges are on the edge of a dime?”—118. Prepare to answer trivia questions like these during Scotty T’s Team Trivia Blast. Check-in begins at 7 p.m. on Thursdays for a lineup of spellbinding entertainment with a splash of impressive cash prizes. The stakes are high for the trivia blast title, leading up to a grand prize of $250. After winning the third round of trivia, teams are eligible for the blast-off round of five questions to snag the big cash prize. Choose your answers carefully: the difficulty of the game intensifies as the evening progresses. During this friendly but fierce competition, a few refreshments are in order. A trivia night would not be complete without some award-winning pizza to share with your team. The popular classic deluxe combo is a crowd pleaser with plenty of cheese, sausage, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, green pepper and diced onion. Wash it all down with an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink like 1919 Root Beer for $2.75. Pizza: large 15-inch $20.29, medium 13-inch $17.59, small 11-inch $14.99. 7951 Elm Creek Blvd. N.; 763.416.4446.
3 Squares Restaurant
Tuesdays, 8-10 p.m.
“Think it’s just trivia? Think again.” This is the mantra of the Geeks Who Drink. These entertainment and trivia hounds run the show on Tuesday nights at 3 Squares. Questions cover everything from celebrities, TV, fast food, word play, sports and pretty much anything else that sparks interest in the moment. Nothing is sacred and anything can be asked. Lively questions provoke plenty of friendly competition among teams with names including Reading Rambo, First World Problem Children, Team Awesome, Hey Blinkin, Periodic Table Dancers and Late to the Party. Prizes of $30, $20 or $10 go to the top three ranking teams. Sudden death rounds can spark heavy tension as the pressure builds. For those who like numbers and like to keep track of things, the Geeks follow up with trivia results posted on their website, geekswhodrink.com/651. During eight trivia rounds, players can find nourishment from selections off the extensive 3 Squares menu. Bar snacks are only $5 during happy hour. The potato-cheddar filled Polish dumplings and pierogies with horseradish sauce and crispy fresh-fried onion slivers, beer-battered cheese curds with apricot chipotle jam, or barbecued pork sliders are popular favorites. Happy hour drink specials feature $3-$4 select beer taps and $5 specialty cocktails. 12690 Arbor Lakes Pkwy. N., 763.425.3330.
Thursdays, 9-11 p.m.
Trivia is all about people and Rob Rossol is the rockstar MC personality at Granite City. “The guests just love him,” says manager Bob Lovelace. “He’s our guy…very interactive. It’s his personality.” Rossol gets the crowd going with his friendly and engaging entertainment style. His challenging brain teaser riddles and bar trivia topics keep players on the edge of their seats. Regular teams including Russell Wilson’s Divorce Attorney make a comeback, and new upstarts are welcome to join in the fun, too. Everyone can play trivia answering questions about different categories including the NFL and celebrity lives: think Bill Murray clips. Most play in teams and the games are free. The results are posted with photos on TriviaMafia at triviamafia.com/granite-city-maple-grove-thurs. After winning a trivia competition, some groups have been known to break out in a synchronized river dance— impressive celebration, indeed, even if their answers are more in line than their dancing efforts. All this excitement can make you thirsty. The late evening happy hour goes from 9 p.m. to close and features $3.25 beer taps and $5 signature cocktails and wine. For a bite during the game, try the spinach and artichoke dip with ciabatta toast or the Idaho nachos. $6 each. 11909 Main St., 763.416.0010.