The Bar: The Wild Rose (Capitol Hill, 1021 East Pike Street) is a Pike/Pine Corridor staple right alongside The Cha Cha Lounge and The Comet Tavern. It's an LGBT-centric bar -- The Wild Rose usually goes all out every year for Seattle's Pride festival, with 2010 being no exception -- but friendly to any passerby who wants to take advantage of The Rose's sizable food and drink selection and formidable dance floor.
Its Monday night patronage might be a pretty far cry from The Rose's frenetic weekend night crowds, but a tightknit sense of community from trivia regulars keeps the relatively small crowd lively and fun.The Host: Carrie has been hosting trivia at The Wild Rose for almost three years now. She's the best kind of budding quizmaster; she is dedicated to her home turf but has also hosted guest events for the likes of the ACLU and admits an interest in expanding into other bars. When I asked her what her quiz sources were, she chuckled and just mentioned "The Internet." She has help scoring and fact-checking in the form of an excitable woman named Zandi, who will only refer to herself as a sidekick to Carrie's passion.
The Quiz: The night's entertainment consisted of four rounds of ten questions with one visual round, this week focussing on video game consoles' controllers . The week's other categories included current events, a multiple choice round involving music theory and, of course, general knowledge. The video game round might have had alot of competitors rolling their eyes, but there has to be some respect given to the attempt to include all gaming generations from the Atari 2600 to the XBOX 360. This wide net proved par for the course, with questions often skewing a little young but not to any alienating degree.
In an innovative turn, the quizmaster will come around to every team and provide hints to exactly ONE question of the night, letting teams genuinely wrestle with that one question that's on the tip of their tongue and offering them sweet catharsis before announcing the answers. It's a nice touch that provides a connection to the quizmaster that's more personal than the average performer/audience dynamic.
That attitude persists as Wild Rose takes the most creative philosophy towards prizes I've ever encountered, even including the deep pockets of trivia franchises like Geeks Who Drink and All Star Pop Culture. Naturally, first place takes the pot built by the two dollar buy-in of every team member involved with the quiz. Second place gains a $10 bar credit, while third place gains a specially crafted stick-figure cariacture guided by a short conversation with the quizmaster herself. Finally, fourth place gains a pick out of the various scraps of ephemera that Carrie had deemed just worthy enough to not throw away. With so many sub-par trivia nights offering all or nothing, it's sheerly astonishing that such a rewarding trivia night has to cancel itself on a few occasions simply for lack of competition.
Drink Specials: Trivia Night just happens to coincide with the Wild Rose's Micro Monday -- meaning the Rose's microbrew offerings are only $2.50 throughout the quiz. This combined with the myriad prizes of the night makes The Wild Rose's trivia night one of the biggest values I've yet to review.
The Verdict: Not only has The Wild Rose's trivia stuck around for years now, but cheap microbrews and a prime Capitol Hill location makes it downright criminal that the crowd has topped out at eight teams. Simply put, if more people came to trivia at the Wild Rose, I believe less people would hate trivia nights.