Morning Buzz

Not So Trivial

The power of the weekly hang

Caroline Siegfried
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Nick Killian, Charlie David, Bob Camps, Caroline Siegfried, Amanda Pope, Patrick Grant, Allison Wagner, Walden Pemantle, and Anton Banta

IN-QUIZ-ITIVE MINDS The crew participating in trivia on a typical weeknight. Pictured, from left: Nick Killian, Charlie David, Bob Camps, Caroline Siegfried, Amanda Pope, Patrick Grant, Allison Wagner, Walden Pemantle, and Anton Banta.

I’d like to start off by telling you a Real Science Fact, supported by countless studies, including research from Harvard, Stanford, and the NIH: Strong social connection is one of the most accurate predictors of a person’s long-term wellness.

I’m not sure how we all got this weird idea that socializing is for the weekends, but I wholeheartedly reject it. On a recent Wednesday night, some friends and I were at Rudyard’s, gathered around a firepit (it was a toasty 66 degrees, which is how you know we’re real Houstonians). A woman came to sit nearby, and we struck up a conversation. She told us she came to unwind after the workday. She said she was a big believer in the local bar as town square, church, community center – we laughed as we explained to her that our friend group had in fact been created at a nearby local bar.

A few months ago, the group of us was tangentially acquainted – most of us had gone to Rice, so we knew of each other. At most, friends of friends: enough to nod hi at a party. And then, one by one, we had all become regulars at the Thursday trivia night at Griff’s Irish Pub, a local Montrose dive. We’d progressed from “Maybe you know my friend Sarah?” to a tight-knit crew, together every weekend. Thanks to our weekly tradition, perhaps aided by a little alcohol, we’d become real friends. It’s very Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, no?

But the week before, the completely unfathomable had happened: Griff’s burned down. It was a cinematic tragedy – the bar that made us all friends burned to the ground. We were in mourning. As we described to our new friend Jessica that Wednesday night, Griff’s was our sacred space. I think if any of us knew how, we’d be rebuilding it, brick by brick. “Now we’re lost,” we deadpanned. “Wanderers, drifters!” She was sympathetic. We told her we were on the hunt – looking for our new town square, so to speak.

As much as I’d like to believe that our little crew would see each other every week regardless, I know we need our Thing. A unifying force. Have you ever carried a very, very large empty box up a set of stairs? It’s not hard, but you can’t quite get your arms around it? I always end up knocking down a few picture frames. That’s how I think of the small, quotidian forces of living: they don’t seem heavy, but they’re unwieldy. Swinging around and pushing things out of their place. Life is full of meetings that run too long and groceries you forgot. There’s something supremely comforting about having one immovable social event. I think of my weekly trivia the way that other women think about getting their hair dyed every month. It’s maintenance – perhaps it will be a little inconvenient. Maybe it’s difficult to make the time for it this week. But friendship requires some upkeep.

My advice to you (backed by real science, apparently): keep your pantry stocked; put your friends on your grocery list. Do you need another metaphor? Do yourself a favor and make a weekly plan with some friends.

As for us, I’m not sure what we’ll do now. It has been proposed that we head down to the ashes of Griff’s with a bottle of liquor, but I don’t think we’re at that point yet. And now that I’m thinking about it, I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.

The good news is that Griff’s plans to rebuild – but in the meantime, we need a new anchor. It could be trivia night, or pickleball, Settlers of Catan, book club, reality TV, etc. We’re still deciding. Wish us luck finding our new Thing. It’s for our health!

TRIVIA MASTER Houston’s own Jeopardy! contestant Eric Kerr-Heraly and his wife Lauran compete with friends at Watershed’s trivia night. Eric is a teacher at Incarnate Word Academy. From left: Leslie Santamaria, Eric Kerr-Heraly, Lauran Kerr-Heraly, Joe Small, Angela Hernandez, and Sarah Franklin.

Trivia Nights

Out of an altruistic concern for your personal health and wellness, I’ve gathered a list of places around Houston where you can try out trivia. It’s fun, and maybe even (gasp!) good for you. Lots of bars offer food and drink specials to go with their trivia nights, which are often free, so it’s a wallet-friendly event. If you don’t have a group, it’s still fun to go by yourself and make friends with the bartenders and the regulars. Make your own Cheers.

Memorial Trail Ice House

Tuesdays, 7 p.m.

Memorial, 6202 Washington Ave.

This laid-back ice house has a half-acre of outdoor seating, lawn games, and steak nights on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Under the Radar Brewery

Tuesdays, 7 p.m.

Midtown, 1506 Truxillo St.

This warehouse-y brewery is at the border of Montrose and the Museum District, just a block away from local fav Axelrad.


Tuesdays, 7 p.m.

Meyerland, 820 W Bellfort Ave.

Head to Watershed on Tuesdays and you might spot a local celeb – recent Jeopardy! contestant and Incarnate Word Academy teacher Eric Kerr-Heraly heads here every week to keep sharp on his trivia skills. He says the trivia night has a “fun group of regulars” and encourages people to join.

Moonshine Deck

Tuesdays, 7 p.m.

The Heights, 1239 W 19th St.

This popular Heights bar has themed trivia nights – past themes have included Mean Girls, Friends, Harry Potter, and Marvel. Moonshine also offers a drink special: half-off loaded Topo Chicos, aka “Ranch Waters.”

Front Porch Pub

Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.

Midtown, 217 Gray St.

Amidst the flash of Midtown, a pub has survived! They also have bingo night on Mondays, along with steak nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.

Downtown, 705 Main St.

This downtown hang has plenty of beer and a full pub menu.

Little Woodrow’s Rice Village

Tuesdays, 8 p.m.

Rice Village, 5611 Morningside Dr.

One of the few casual bars in Rice Village that actual Rice students may go to, along with anyone who works at the Med Center.

Ribeye & Rye

Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.

The Heights, 2307 Ella Blvd.

Previously known as The Barking Pig, this bar and grill rebranded as Ribeye & Rye in 2022 with an expanded menu.


Tuesdays, 8 p.m.

River Oaks, 2111 S Shepherd Dr.

An unassuming Irish pub with bright green awnings, dark wood, and a cult following (open since 1983).


Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

Montrose, 2010 Waugh Dr.

A classic Montrose haunt open since 1978, with plenty of regulars and yummy bites. Their garlic knots are criminally good – be aware that you may gain a garlic-knot fixation.

CounterCommon Beerworks & Kitchen

Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

Bellaire, 5413 Bellaire Blvd.

Bellaire’s new family-friendly brewpub.

Porch Swing Pub

Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

The Heights, 69 Heights Blvd.

This divey bar has some dedicated trivia night regulars, so be on time to grab a table. Don’t miss the eponymous porch swing on the front patio!

Richmond Arms

Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

Galleria/Uptown, 5920 Richmond Ave.

British pub. Lots of beer. $2 per person to play.

Nett Bar

Wednesdays, 8 p.m.

The Heights, 4504 Nett St.

Pro tip: make sure to get a “train shot” – whenever a train passes by, head to the bar for a $1 shot. But don’t head to the bar for every train shot. That’s a recipe for disaster; but more importantly – you might miss a trivia question. When you get finished with trivia, there’s plenty of other activities, including cornhole, bocce ball, and giant Jenga.

Pluckers Wing Bar

Wednesdays, 8 p.m.

The Heights, 1400 Shepherd Dr.

Known for their chicken wings, Pluckers also holds a Wednesday trivia night with $4 mugs of Miller Lite.

Little Woodrow’s Midtown

Wednesdays, 8 p.m.

Midtown, 2306 Brazos St.

In addition to Wednesday trivia, the Little Woodrow’s in Midtown holds their famous Turtle Races on Thursdays. Turtle racing “season” starts in March! You’ve got plenty of time, though – it lasts until November. Not to brag, but I have been the “bucket girl” twice (that’s the person who lets the turtles out to start the race). I’ve got the koozies to prove it!

City Orchard

Thursdays, 7 p.m.

Sawyer Yards, 1201 Oliver St.

Airy, wood-filled cider and beer taproom.

Astral Brewing

Thursdays, 7 p.m.

Northside/Independence Heights, 4816 N Shepherd Dr.

Indoor/outdoor brewpub with a spacious warehouse feel.

The Owl Bar

Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.

Rice Village, 2424 Dunstan Rd.

This local favorite first opened on Kirby, then moved to a location on West Alabama, and now has moved to a location on Dunstan St. Wherever it is, it’s a classic. $6.50 wines & pints.

The Maple Leaf Pub

Thursdays, 8 p.m.

Midtown, 514 Elgin St.

This Canada-themed bar features hockey décor and poutine.

Game night at home

For those who don’t love the chaos of bars, one good alternative is a little card game/board game night with friends. I recommend setting the day, time, and place – make it a Tuesday at 8 p.m. at X person’s house. For me, one of the best parts of a weekly plan is that no decisions need to be made about those little details. I highly recommend my family’s two favorites: Code Names and Ransom Notes.

Trivia Time

I’ve had a lot of people tell me they’re “not good at trivia.” I think that is silly – perhaps because I am quite bad, and very much enjoy it. In the interest of demonstrating the fun of trivia: enjoy our buzzy little quiz!

Roughly how many homes in total (throughout Bellaire, West U, Tanglewood, River Oaks, and Memorial) receive an issue of The Buzz each month?
a) 15,000
b) 30,000
c) 43,000
d) 58,000

How many wings does a bee have?
a) 2
b) 4
c) 6
d) 8

On average, how much honey does a worker bee produce in its lifetime?
a) 1 teaspoon
b) 1/8 teaspoon
c) 1/4 cup
d) 1/16 teaspoon

One of the first examples of the modern magazine was created in 1663, by a theologian and poet from what area?
a) modern-day Germany
b) modern-day England
c) modern-day France
d) modern-day Italy

*ANSWERS: 1) d; 2) b; 3) d, 4) a

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