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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Trivia Night

Davis students test their smarts at various trivia nights

When people picture the bar scene at Davis, they likely think of memories of G Street Wunderbar’s “funk night” or Froggy’s karaoke. While many still attend the famous Tuesday trivia night at Sophia’s Thai Bar and Kitchen, this bar activity seems to be in a different category of socializing than others. The appeal of trivia night is its perfect synthesis of energetic and relaxed atmosphere, as users turn off their phones, sit with their selected teams and try to recall all of the necessary knowledge that they have accumulated over the years.

Different to other bar games, trivia night requires strict teams of smaller numbers. Attendees must choose the group they want to play with in a friendly and collaborative manner. Because of this, trivia is often more intimate than the large social scene of other bars, as players sit in silence and anticipation for the pubmaster’s question instead of talking loudly or dancing to music. While attendees might find friends on other teams, those friends will be their friendly competition that they can talk to during breaks in the game, but for the most part will stay with their team.

Popular trivia nights in Davis are offered almost every night of the week: Monday’s from 7 to 9 p.m. at de Vere’s Irish Pub, Tuesday’s from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Sophia’s Thai Bar and Kitchen, Wednesday’s from 8 to 10 p.m. at University of Beer, Thursday’s from 9 to 11 p.m. at Woodstocks and Sunday’s from 6 to 8 p.m. at Davis’ new brewery, Three Mile Brewing.

While trivia night at Sophia’s and other bars are for ages 21 and up, Woodstocks and de Veres offer trivia for all ages. Each location has specific rules for the game regarding team numbers, drink minimums, difficulty and prizes. Usually, the teams range between five and eight members with prizes that include gift cards to use at the location or a bottle of wine. Although different locations range in enforcement of their phone policy, most attendants respect the rules and don’t think twice about putting their phone away for two hours of questions, contributing to the comfortable and intimate atmosphere of the game.

Sophia’s Thai Restaurant was the first bar in Davis to begin the beloved trivia night tradition in 2005 and almost always reaches its limit of forty teams during the summer and spring, according to Davis Wiki’s page on trivia nights. With a range of undergraduates, graduate students and other professionals in Davis, trivia night offers a chance for teams to share their diversity of knowledge and information amassed over the years.

Jacob Ganz, a fourth-year history and political science double major, and regular first place winner at Sofia’s trivia night expressed his love for trivia night as one rooted in friendship and the cult following of trivia night’s pubmaster Kevin.

“My favorite thing about trivia night is the camaraderie,” Ganz said. “It is so much fun to get together with your friends for a couple of hours during a busy week and not think about school. I love that the trivia is challenging and that Kevin is so much fun with all of [his] inside jokes and quirks. From the team names to the bartenders knowing more of the answers than the teams playing, I love Sofia’s trivia. The most satisfying feeling is winning trivia and taking a photo with Kevin which is truly the highest level of achievement possible in Davis.”

For many trivia night goers, planning teams includes choosing different fields of knowledge that individual people have in order to make a well-balanced team. As friends go through and decide which of their teammates have expertise in what subject, team members grow in intellectual validation and confidence as they realize that the random knowledge they might know is actually applicable and appreciated.

For fourth-year sociology major Nicole Smith, seeing the range in knowledge of her team is her favorite part.

“I love that trivia night brings people together of different skill sets and of different backgrounds,” Smith said. “The best rounded teams perform the best, and I love that it encourages a well-rounded friend group.”

For Smith and many others, the variety of knowledge present on all trivia teams is not a result of pulling together random people to create a versatile team, but the opposite. It’s a testament to how everyone’s interests and passions can come together for two hours and pass a clipboard around to their friends that might know more about literature, science, or pop culture than others.

Camron Clifton, a fourth-year food science major, explained where his knowledge for trivia often comes from, and the most rewarding part of knowing an answer.

“My favorite part of trivia is getting a group of my friends out there and trying to remember as much random stuff we’ve learned in our 20 years of going to school or random pop culture knowledge,” Clifton said. “Sometimes you forget something and it makes you irrationally angry, other times you remember some random fact from your random GE you took freshman year. Trivia is a great night at the bars because it’s all about getting a small group of friends together, having a couple drinks and testing your wits. Especially when you know other teams and can talk trash. Overall it’s very wholesome and super laid back.”

For most bargoers, trivia night is a tradition that cannot be replaced by any other bar activity because of its unique ability to bring friends together and give them an activity to test their intellect, put their phones away and flaunt their knowledge all while having fun.

Written by: Rosie Schwarz — arts@theaggie.org


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