Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Bimini

Where: The Bimini, 2010 W 4th Avenue

When: 7pm, Mondays. It might start a little late in the face of a hockey game, but at least you'll have a distraction while you're waiting for the quiz to start.

Web Presence: Nice Guys Trivia, who run this party, have a Facebook page you can follow.

Team Info: Bring as many as you want, as far as I can tell.

Format: Similar to the Calling's old Monday night quiz, it is 8 rounds, split up into 2 halves of 4 rounds apiece. The entirely Vancouver Province-based "In the news" round remains, alas.

Prizes: Beer, beer, beer and more beer. I think there is also a 12-week long trivia "season," and I'm not sure what the grand prize for that is. A trophy? A plaque? I'm not certain, but I think that free beer is a pretty safe bet. I think you might also have a chance at winning some swag here as well.

Food and drink: The usual Donnelly pub fare - 2.5-3.0 on Yelp level food, and drinks that are a bit pricy if you navigate away from the safe shoals of the specials. Fortunately, the drink specials are really good. $3 beer? Now that's a newsletter I subscribe to!

So I finally, finally got the chance to go down to West Fourth and try out the quiz night at The Bimini. I don't tend to frequent Donnelly pubs that often - their style isn't really my style, but I was glad I was finally able to make the bus ride down to Kitsilano and enjoy the bumping quiz at the Bimini.

Much as the former quizzes at The Calling, this is run by the nice guys of, well, Nice Guys Trivia. It has been at least a year or maybe even two since I last took in a Nice Guys quiz, and it seems they've tightened up their game. The quiz is much the same as I recall, and very similar to the boys at Falconetti's quiz - A picture round, a general knowledge round, a music round, multiple choice, break. More general knowledge, more music, "In the news," and then Bonus questions, which is a nice way of saying questions that are tougher than average. They also add some beer into the mix, with two games of pub standard "Head or tails" for pitchers and pints mixed into each half. Fun fact: In Russia, this game is called Орёл или ре́шка - "eagle or lattice" which is way, way cooler. Independent of country, it is also a pretty good excuse to stand up and stretch.

The man gets around
Now, the main complaints I had back when I bitched out the quiz at the Calling were that it took too long, the music round was simple, and the "Today in the Province" round was a joke. I'm very happy to say that almost all of these have been fixed - the quiz started late due to a (fairly dull) Habs loss, but we ended on time, and the Herculean labour of marking 25 teams did not seem to stretch on nearly so long. The music round had a few groaners, but was a lot better than I recalled. I do wonder if Johnny Cash's American Recordings are owned by every single quizmaster in town, though. They're good, but it seems I hear them all the time in music rounds. Finally, what about the "In the News" Round? Well, two out of three ain't bad. At least they didn't ask how much a flight to Cancun was this time, but I think they can do better than this. Unless of course, they get a kickback from Postmedia to mention their colourful picture book every week. In which case, keep it up and make some paper.

The questions remain more on the "everybody have fun" end of the spectrum as opposed to "let's bust some trivia chops" end, which is a good fit for the location/crowd. The atmosphere here is great, as the place is swarming with teams - most of whom seem to be wise to the strategy of reserving a spot ahead of time and then showing up as the quiz starts. Competition was fierce, and the top teams had some impressive scores, if unimpressive names. If you're playing to win here, make sure you know your music - out of a (roughly) 90 point quiz, a little over 40 of the points came from recognizing songs and artists. Get yourself a music expert or two and a copy of the Province and you just might waltz away with it. Even if you don't swing with the quizerati at this event, you can enjoy the charming hosts, Ed and Jeff, Perhaps you could just play a game of pinball, pool, or foosball in the surprisingly well-stocked games room. Or maybe, just maybe enjoy a three dollar glass of beer or two. There are worse things to do on a Monday night.

If you read just one paragraph, read this one: A fun, lively quiz, where you stand a pretty good chance of having a fun time. It tends a bit towards the easier side, and make sure you read the Province before showing up.

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