Trivia trend takes over Cheney

Local businesses host weekly games

By Al Stover, Eagle Life Editor

Easterner Graphics
Easterner Graphics

Surrounded by half-full glasses of Batch 19 beer, EWU student Jaime Mahoney and her six teammates huddle together as they try to answer questions like, “What is the chemical name for laughing gas?”

Mahoney is one of several EWU students who plays trivia at The Basement on Thursday nights. The Basement is one of three Cheney businesses that offer free trivia to their customers.


The Basement

The Basement, located on 315 First St., has trivia every Thursday night at around 9:30 p.m. According to Al Pjosek, the general manager who also runs trivia, the bar began hosting trivia last spring quarter and has had an increase in customers every Thursday night.

“Some nights it takes a hit when events [like the Carrie Underwood concert] happen, but we usually get the after-crowd,” Pjosek said.

For the game itself, there are three rounds with two additional bonus rounds. Teams are given slips of paper to write their answers while Pjosek announces the questions, which also appear on the projector screens above the bar and on the right wall.

Despite the echo of pool sticks cracking against the cue ball and the increasing chatter from the other patrons, Mahoney and her teammates, known as the “Harlem Shake Weights,” played through each round with little trouble.

Mahoney began coming to trivia after reading about it on Facebook. She enjoys The Basement’s casual atmosphere.

“It’s really relaxed,” Mahoney said. “Sometimes trivia can be stressful.”

There is around a 20-minute break in between rounds. This is a chance for teams to engage in conversation.

Brett Dustin is one of Mahoney’s teammates. Although the questions were difficult, he also enjoyed The Basement’s casual atmosphere.

“It’s kind of serious, but people aren’t cutthroat about it,” Dustin said.


Eagle’s Pub

Across the street from The Basement, Eagle’s Pub has trivia every Tuesday and Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. hosted by Ryan Jensen. Despite the pub serving hard alcohol, minors are allowed to come in and compete in trivia.

The game consists of 10 categories with three to four questions. Categories range from general topics like animals to specific subjects like “Breaking Bad.” If teams are struggling to come up with answers, they can wait until a random person blurts out the right — or in some cases wrong — answer.

Once the round is over, Jensen hurries from one table to another and deals out raffle tickets for correct answers. In between rounds, Jensen has a raffle for prizes and plays music. Teams win bonus points if they guess the songs correctly.

EWU student Zack Ranck has been playing trivia at Eagle’s Pub for a year. In addition to it being fun and competitive, Ranck likes the pub’s open space and Jensen’s style of hosting.


The Mason Jar

The Mason Jar, located next to Eagles Pub, holds trivia on the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m.

Unlike The Basement, The Mason Jar’s trivia night, which started three months ago, allows for customers of all ages to play. It only has one round with specific categories, each with five questions. Players are given a sheet of notebook paper to write down their answers.

Rachel Cervas, who studies exercise science, had intended on doing homework until her friends brought her to The Mason Jar trivia night.

“It was fun,” Cervas said. “I liked learning things that I don’t know why we would know, but everyone else seems to know. I [also] liked the team atmosphere.”

Beth Robinette, who is the trivia master at The Mason Jar, holds a glass of red wine in her hands as she reads the questions to the teams. When the round is over, teams switch their papers and mark correct answers. As friendly trash talking between teams fills the room, she stands on a chair, reading the answers from her MacBook.

For Robinette, The Mason Jar’s trivia night is an alternative for families who want to relax and bring their children with them. Being trivia master also gives her a chance to “ham it up.”

“I like being the center of attention,” Robinette said. “It’s my favorite part about it.”