Best Bars for Trivia Nights

September 15, 2011 9:00 AM

Photo Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

By Vanessa Willoughby

Put on your game face and test out your trivial knowledge; these local bars are known to host the area’s best trivia nights. Whether it’s in the comfort of a dimly lit, smoky bar or an exclusive and hip neighborhood hangout, these venues offer a night of friendly competition.
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Photo Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

The Half Door
270 Sisson Ave
Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 232-7827
Hours: Mon to Thurs & Sun, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
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Sometimes, there’s an unappreciated greatness in the magic of simplicity. Complete with a stellar menu and live music, The Half Door in Hartford offers a relaxed and amiable atmosphere in addition to a colorful influx of devoted locals. Every Tuesday, The Half Door hosts trivia night. Hailed as one of the area’s favorite Gastro Pubs, The Half Door caters to a varied crowd.

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Photo Credit: Hanafin’s Irish Pub

Hanafin’s Irish Pub
310 State Street
New London, CT 06320
(860) 437-9724
Hours: Mon to Thurs & Sun – 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Located in the heart of downtown New London, Hanafin’s Irish Pub offers a full menu including traditional Irish dishes such as Bangers and Mash. Additionally, Hanafin’s features live music just about every Friday and Saturday night. Every Wednesday night, Hanafins hosts a trivia night. Due to its proximity to Connecticut College, Mitchell College, and the Coast Guard Academy, Hanafin’s tends to cater to a younger, college-age crowd.

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Photo Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Anna Liffey’s
17 Whitney Ave.
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 773-1776
Hours: Mon to Thurs & Sun – 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

A year after opening in 1997, Anna Liffey’s was voted the best bar in New Haven for 1998. Anna Liffey’s is known for its casual and relaxed atmosphere, in addition to its traditional Irish menu. In addition to being a local favorite, Anna Liffey’s has gained recognition overseas; the bar was awarded the Perfect Pint Award from the Head Brew Master of the St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. The bar alternates between live bands and a DJ. Tuesdays marks trivia night, so be sure to round up your friends, kick back, and have a great time.

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Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Tigín Irish Pub
175 Bedford Street
Stamford, CT 06901
(203) 353-84444
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, Early open for sports – 2 a.m.; Sunday, Early open for sports – 12:30 a.m.

An advocate of tradition, Tigín Irish Pub serves authentic Irish food, including Irish pork sausage (banger), White Pudding, and Irish bacon (rasher). Additionally, many patrons enjoy the outdoor patio during the summer nights. Patrons flock to Tigín on Tuesday Trivia Night; the bar is just about jam-packed with eager competitors.

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Photo Credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

The Anchor
272 College Street
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 865-1512
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Infamous for its vintage-looking jukebox and its offbeat, disarmingly funky appeal, The Anchor in New Haven has been a staple on the bar scene since the 1940s. A notable favorite among the college-age crowd, especially resident Yalies, The Anchor lacks the pretentiousness of some of New Haven’s other bars. Tuesday night is Trivia Night.

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Black Bear Saloon
124 Temple Street
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 562-2327
Hours: Mon to Thurs & Sun – 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Another hot spot for Yalies and college students, Black Bear Saloon is a 3,000 square foot pub-style restaurant that boasts 27 flat-screen TVs, a full service kitchen until 1 a.m. nightly, and Trivia Night every Tuesday.  Be forewarned: if you’re looking for a dive-bar with a cozy atmosphere and Cheers­­-style hospitality, you might want to avoid the sports-loving raucousness of Black Bear.

Vanessa Willoughby lives in Waterford. A recent graduate of The New School’s MFA program, she also blogs for the entertainment and music website,

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