Best Of

Best Trivia Night: Steel Barrel Taproom

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"Trivia Monday has kind of become a staple" at Steel Barrel.

It's raucous at the Steel Barrel Taproom in downtown Spokane, where their weekly Monday night trivia is kicking off. And this isn't your average low-key trivia event. It's loud, vulgar and energetic.

The night's trivia topics include biopics, "who said it," and "anatomy music," according to Mike Duke, the 31-year-old host. And with loud music bumping, Duke working the crowd up, attendees whooping and hollering, it's lively from the start.

"This one, I think, is a little more party atmosphere than other trivias," says Joe Potter, one of the co-owners of Steel Barrel Taproom. "We are a 21-and-over establishment, so that's good in some ways in that we can get a little risque with the topics and Mike can swear over the microphone."

"I'm very social with the crowd," Duke says. "Being able to be R-rated kind of helps, especially when you get some of the knuckleheads that think that they're funnier than I am. It helps to be able to dish it back and take the heckling."

The trivia nights first got going roughly two years ago, Potter says, after they started opening up the taproom on Mondays. They also got connected to Duke, who had recently moved to Spokane and had experience running trivia nights on the west side of the state.

"We wanted to ... make it a destination day of the week and pull people in on Mondays," Potter says.

Now they've typically got four to five teams that show up every Monday. Potter says that Mondays have also become their busiest weekday.

"Trivia Monday has kind of become a staple here, a mainstay," he says. "It's really built to be a good experience whether you win or don't."

Duke says that he tries to put creative spins on the various trivia topics. For instance, for President's Day, he ran with a "zTV and movie presidents" topic. He also lets the third-place team pick a topic-set for the following week — so long as they commit to showing up.

"I consider it a performance art more than a job," Duke says. "I genuinely want everyone to have a good time and I think it shows."

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