Monday, 24 February 2014

Trivia Night At Malone's

Looks like the Malone's quiz is no more. Requiescat in pace, The quiz at Malone's.

Where: Malone's, 608 West Pender Street 

When: 8pm, Tuesdays. Reservations neither required nor needed. 

Web Presence: The events section of their website confirms the dates of the quiz, if you're confused. 

Team Info: The team limit is 8, and some of the tables seem large enough to support such. 

Format: 8 Rounds and a bonus round, just like that at The Manchester. You can also pull up to 5 bonus points for drawing a picture, so bring someone who can draw, I guess. 

Prizes: $25 gift certificate to Malone's, which can't be used until the next week. While a good plan to get people coming back, it might not do much for someone who's just dropping in for a week. 

Food and Drink: Meh. It won't kill you, but neither will it thrill you. They do have drink specials for trivia night - A Steamworks Pilsner for $4.13. You could do a lot worse than that. 

Freshly arrived from vacation, and having no duties relating to employment at all, we decided to spend our Tuesday night catching up with friends, all the while checking out a new pub quiz. I've known about Malone's for awhile, but due to a decent schedule, I never really got around to checking it out. 

The crowd was thin compared to most other quiz nights, with only about 5 tables competing. I think the quizzers were outnumbered by non-quizzers, which was a first for me to see at a quiz in Vancouver. This could be a result of a slow night, a quiz that hasn't quite gained enough traction yet or maybe since Malone's is attached to The Cambie Hostel, and as such functions as a impromptu meeting place/pre-game/common room for travellers, most of whom aren't hanging out at a hostel for pub quiz. The sound system only seemed to work on one side of the bar, and even then it was pretty fuzzy and tough to hear over the ambient music (no, not like Brian Eno). It appears to be a quiz tolerated but perhaps not encouraged by the management, based on the atmosphere. 

The questions themselves were pretty good. A decent mix of pop culture and more eggheaded stuff. They had a pretty fun photo round were you provided silhouettes of fictional characters and you had to identify them. Art, the quizmaster, erred on the side of sanity and accepted "Tom Hanks and Wilson," based (on can infer) on the assumption that the name Chuck Noland never stuck in anyone's head. Everything followed a similar flow to that of the Manchester (I think they are both run by Nice Guys Trivia, who specialize in Donnolly pubs, but I'm not exactly sure), but the music round was orders of magnitude harder. Instead of getting a point for knowing that a song was either done by Guns N Roses, OR that it was titled "Sweet Child 'O Mine", the quiz was instead fastidiously awarding half points for knowing that the song was "Manic Monday," and that the band was Reliant K. While I'm not a fan of arbitrarily difficult questions - I agree with Mike re: The Cove's facebook only questions - I do like deep knowledge questions like that where you have to earn your points. If I was a Reliant K fan, I'd have been very happy to get that. 

Another plus for this quiz is that it goes fast, and that there are a lot of questions. I approve of a "No fucking around" approach to a quiz. It will save us all time in the long run, and we've got a finite supply of that. There's a lot of questions, and you don't manage to feel rushed, or bored due to extensive downtime. The balance is deftly struck. 

The food is borderline average bar stuff, but the drink specials are decent. One suspects they don't have your proper 20oz pints per CAMRA standards, but that's a rare bird indeed.

In conclusion, this felt like a good quiz run in a decent locale that was more or less indifferent to its existence. The amiable and speedy quizmaster runs a tight ship, and I was happily surprised to have as good a time as I did. In a head to head with Relish, I don't think it has quite the atmosphere yet, but the questions were solid, in one reviewer's opinion. We were also told that they will be running the equivalent of a "Quiz of Champions" sometime in the future. I don't have the information on that yet, but one can assume the prizes will be larger, and the competition fiercer. We'll make sure to keep you posted.

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