I have some big news and some semi-formed news that I will attempt to keep you informed of as I learn more.
After almost a year, Drinker's Tavern on Market St. decided to pull the plug on the quiz, citing low receipts. Not that it was ever a quiz hotspot, but lately we've had two of the worst recent weather nights on Tuesdays, the presidential election and so forth... challenges on top of challenges.
Frankly it's a poor match for the event and I was always pleasantly surprised that they had me there that long. I don't think it's a bad bar, just a weird quiz destination. When the management group that runs the place called me, I thought that was the least likely of their multiple bars they'd suggest putting me in. No other quiz has given away that much valuable stuff for that long (iPhone! PBR bike! tab! T-shirts!), and no other venue put that amount of investment into fliers and such. No one can say they didn't try.
Thanks especially to Sean and Dave for being so cool about having us, and to Sean for the immediate, professional heads up.
It's just an awkward spot to have a quiz. People looking to drink in Old City are generally not looking to use their brains much.
I had some good times hosting there and met some nice folks I never would have otherwise, but it was also the venue with the rudest, most obnoxious drunks since Frank's on the rare times I had to deal with any of them. After one quiz I was ripping a racist (he didn't just heckle, he had to rip Mexicans while doing it), drunken yuppie type a new one for being so awful to me and the other customers during the quiz. His buzzed explanation/defense was to shrug his shoulders and say "I make a lot of money." And that settled accounts in his mind. You just don't get that much in other parts of the city, and those and related Old City moments I will not miss. There was a moment back in about 1995 when the neighborhood had something going for it, but that's a topic for another day...
Often visiting tourists would win the quiz, never to be seen again. I recall winners being from England, Virginia and Florida. How do you build from that?!
I am lobbying Lyon's Den for the return of the quiz, likely on Monday nights. They gave it a break to see if Monday Night Football would be a bigger draw, and since the end of football season all parties who need to discuss setting things up again, including me, have been a bit lax about it. With the new seating arrangement and vastly improved kitchen I could see this thriving. Let me get on the stick on that.
I had an interview to do a Sunday night quiz in West Philly last week, I should hear back very shortly. I also have feelers out for a Tuesday night replacement, one in Center City and the other in the NE. I will update as news becomes available.