Trivia Thursday: Putnam’s Pub & Cooker

I’m sure there’s some kind of clever caption about the Irish flag and the impending St. Patrick’s Day holiday, but I just can’t come up with it

  • Subway stop: Clinton-Washington
  • Walk from subway: 8 minutes
  • Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
  • Location: 419 Myrtle Ave, on the corner of Clinton Ave
  • Trivia Nights: Wednesdays at 8:30pm

It’s been two weeks, or 14 days, or 336 hours, or 20,160 minutes, or 1,209,600 seconds (roughly) since our last Trivia Thursday. I don’t know how you tell time and this isn’t a song from Rent, so let’s just say it’s been a fortnight and call it a day. With that passage of time it could mean only one thing. It’s time for another Trivia Thursday! This week’s is a doozy, because if you search for trivia in Brooklyn this will often come up as the top one in the borough. And I have to say, having been to many trivias in many different states and no other countries, I have to agree that this trivia is among my favorites. So you’re likely at this point at the edge of your seat, wondering what it is. Might I direct your attention to the title of this particular post. Oh, you don’t take directions from blogs? Okay, then I guess I’ll tell you what the place is in the body of my blog, as all the best authors do. All the best authors have blogs, right? Oh, they have vlogs now? Noted. Anyway, we’re talking Putnam’s Pub & Cooker in Clinton Hill!

An illuminated beer always makes the losing at trivia a little more palatable

What makes trivia at Putnam’s so great? Well, for starters, even if you’re not there for trivia, they have a nice offering of food, drinks, and merriment. They have oysters for those who need to order oysters every time they see them on a menu (that’s me I’m describing), they have a nice list of beers on tap, and if you’re feeling funky, why not order some cheeseburger spring rolls? Feeling cheap? Show up before 7 and you can take part in the centuries old tradition of happy hour! So even if you don’t win at trivia you can still feel like less of a failure at life for scoring them cheap eats and booze!

Putnam’s trivia is of course very popular so it’s no surprise that my team, “Glance Steinbaum, DDS, At Your Service,” didn’t even crack the top ten, but the way you play the game can be strategic and all ride on that last question. For example, if we had gotten the last question right, we would’ve been in the top 5, but the world is full of coulda, shoulda, wouldas and you just can’t dwell on them.

Sometimes you just get a sheet of looseleaf paper at trivia. Sometimes you get something a little more complex. As they say, “different strokes for different folks.”

So how does the trivia all work? What is this “strategy” that you speak of? Well, if you have very good eyesight you can try to look at the picture above to figure out the rules. Or I can try to break them down for you in a way that won’t be too boring to read when you’re not actively participating in trivia. There are four rounds of five questions. The first four questions for every round are between 1-4 points but you get to decide how much you want to wager for each question. “Well, then I’ll just wager 4 points for every question to maximize how many potential points I get,” you’re thinking to yourself. You just think you’re so smart don’t you. You probably are the kinda person who thinks they’re the only ones who don’t pay for cable anymore and just use Hulu and other streaming sites to watch TV because you’re SO SMART. Well you’re not because that’s not how the points work in this trivia. You have to wager 1, 2, 3, and 4 for every round, so aside from the 5th bonus question that you don’t get to pick the value of, each round maxes out at 10 points. Which brings me to the fifth bonus question in every round. The first round it starts out at 5 points, then it gradually grows in intensity with every round, making the very last question worth 10 points, which could be the ultimate in game changers. Are you following me up to this point? It’s actually not that confusing. I just tend to explain things using the maximum amount of words.


In case you forgot, let this picture serve as a reminder that Putnam’s is a bar


Let’s say there are some questions that you feel like you might know, the answer is at the tip of your tongue, but you could really use some audio or visual assistance in locating that answer from the deep recesses of your brain. Don’t worry, they got you. The categories for each question, the questions themselves, AND the answers are all shown on a TV screen by the bar. Each question also comes with an  accompanying song that’s meant to either act as a hint or throw you off the scent. When will it not be a hint? You’ll never know, until they reveal the answer and then you’ll know. And when all is said and done, what are the prizes? Just a $100 bar tab for the winner, no big deal. And second and third prize aren’t too shabby either with a $50 and $25 bar tab respectively. 

What also makes this such a well running trivia is that it’s not run by some big wig quiz master company. These questions, clues, and misleads come straight from the brain of the MC, meaning that they understand what they’re asking you, why they’re asking it, and they’re equipped to fight anyone who might contest an answer. I don’t actually know about that last part, but I always appreciate it when the person asking the questions at trivia actually knows the answer and can explain to you why it’s right.

So if you’re looking for probably the best bar trivia in Brooklyn, or at least the most involved, complex, and brain straining trivia, I found it for you. And if that’s not your bag, the weather’s getting nice and they have outdoor seating so you can watch from the great outdoors as the trivia participants toil away indoors. And as always-

Keep r-i-d-i-n

-Off the G

One comment

  1. One limb Rudy · March 10, 2016

    I think a nice time to visit here is when the weather is fine & one can take their oysters out to enjoy the sun.


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