A Ram Van ride and a short walk took me and my friends to McGee’s Pub and Restaurant on 55th Street between Broadway and Eighth. This is the pub that MacLaren’s, the bar in “How I Met Your Mother,” is based on. The walls are covered in HIMYM pictures as well as memorabilia from “The Late Show with David Letterman.” This was a favorite hangout of a couple of Letterman’s writers, who later created HIMYM. However, we did not come to McGee’s for the HIMYM vibe; we came to reminisce about a different show.
Every Tuesday, and some other specially-scheduled weeknights, McGee’s plays host to trivia nights put on by a company called Trivia, AD. We were at McGee’s on a Wednesday for “West Wing” trivia. Trivia, AD hosts events at bars and restaurants all over the city. The company has trivia events dedicated to “Friends,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Boy Meets World” and pretty much any other show that you are obsessed with or have binge-watched over the course of a lazy weekend.
For “West Wing” night at McGee’s, we were brought to an upstairs room with its own kitchen and bar. We had access to the full menu, but we were not required to order anything. You enter the competition with a team of four, so you will have to find a few friends who are as obsessed as you.
There are several rounds with different formats including general questions, quote attributions, minor character identifications and true and false. At the end of the event, the organizers ask the participants about the difficulty of the questions so they can make them easier or more difficult for the next event.
The atmosphere at McGee’s was fun and energetic. Although Trivia, AD has events all over the city, I would suggest starting with one of McGee’s events. McGee’s usually hosts “HIMYM” and “Friends” trivia, but the calendar of upcoming events also includes Harry Potter and “Seinfeld” trivia nights.
The convenient location and timing of the events (usually Tuesday evenings), as well as the reasonably priced food, make McGee’s an ideal location for a low-key night in the city.
Trivia nights are a great way to spend a night with friends, test your knowledge of whatever show you claim to be an expert on and enter into friendly competition with strangers who are just as obsessed with [insert character’s name here] as you. There is no cost to enter, nor is there prize money. The events are just for fun. So, pick your show of choice, find a few fellow diehard fans and study up.
If you do plan on going to McGee’s, call for a reservation (online reservations are not guaranteed). Be sure to call early, as the events usually fill up quickly. Check out McGee’s and Trivia, AD’s websites for more information and specific dates of upcoming events.