Trivia Spot of Auld – Heidelberg (Ann Arbor, MI)

This is part of a series of blogs I’m doing about places me and my trivia team have previously played but stopped playing…to see more of those, look for the category “Trivia Spots of Auld.” 

We started playing at a German bar/restaurant called Heidelberg in downtown Ann Arbor in late 2015, and continued playing there until about the end of June in 2016. On most nights, it was just my husband and I playing (though I played solo a few times, too).  We had decided in October, 2015 to try to find a new trivia spot after about three years or so of playing just about every week at the “Corner Brewery” (officially known as Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery). Heidelberg would not wind up becoming a permanent spot for us, however! After we stopped playing here, we made The Wurst Bar in Ypsilanti our “new” weekly spot, where we played regularly for about 1.5 years. The Heidelberg no longer hosts weekly trivia nights. Games were 7 p.m. Tuesday nights when we played there.

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Heidelberg, in downtown Ann Arbor. We played trivia in the basement. The main floor was the restaurant (the kind of place you could take your dad for dinner if he wanted to get his schnitzel fix), and the upstairs was kind of a “night club” atmosphere. We attended a Halloween party in the upstairs “club” in 2006. A couple of friends and I were a trio of advertising mascots – Mike was the Geico caveman, I was a Capital One barbarian (what’s in YOUR wallet), and Sam was the “can you hear me now” guy from Verizon. I came close to winning a prize at Conor O’Neill’s that night! A group of Ghostbuster guys edged me out…(well played).

About the trivia scene at Heidelberg…there were never a shit ton of teams playing here – it was a largely “college” crowd. The main competitors were a “lone ranger” who sat at the bar (played barhop a few nights a week) and another team called My Drinking Team Has a Trivia Problem. We were a barhop team at the time too, so we never made any real effort to “win” this as a spot (the barhop rules have since changed and teams no longer get “free passes” to tournaments).

We were fairly successful here, though! We wound up winning enough prize money to virtually drink for free every time we played here (excluding tips). The pitchers of domestic beer were $5 each, and my husband and I could usually polish off two of those on a trivia night fairly easily. With the first place prize being a $20 gift card and a second place prize being $10, you can do the math! I STILL have $11 on a gift card I haven’t used! Every time I suggest trying to use it, I am vetoed…

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This was in our “favorite” booth at Heidelberg. Then one day that light bulb went out and was never replaced…Stuttgart is Germany’s sixth most populous city, with a population of 2.7 million in its main administrative region and another 5.3 million in its outlying metropolitan area.

You were always ACUTELY aware that you were in a basement when you played trivia games here. It could get downright “sultry” on some summer nights. Sometimes they even had buckets to catch drips! Even rigorous cleaning with bleach couldn’t expel the overwhelming “dank” of the place. And you could just tell the basement was the afterthought (not the place you’d bring Daddy for his beef rouladen and German potato salad, or Aunt Virginia for…whatever German food she enjoyed eating). The stage area used by the host was also a makeshift storage area for the restaurant. There was a creepy hallway leading out of the back of the stage area, too. I was chomping at the bit to be able to really explore this place (though I’m not sure I would have liked what I found).

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I hear the German food at Heidelberg was really good! We even ate one night we came out here, but we opted for regular “pub grub” (chicken fingers, various deep-fried goodies, etc.). We only ate on this night because my old high school friend Bill was in town. I’ve never been a big fan of German food, aside from liking spaetzle, buttered noodles, etc. (my mom said recently that I’ve always been a bit of a starch fiend, LOL). Nope…I’ve never been a huge “carnivore!” Which partially explains why I’m not huge on German food!

German beer, on the other hand? Yeah, baby! I am SO in the mood for a good Oktoberfest beer right now! Why oh why don’t the German Park people do Oktoberfest parties in the fall (questions abound)? We went to an Oktoberfest party at Original Gravity over the weekend, and overall, they did a pretty good job! Except instead of bringing in a live bluegrass/folk band they should have just used canned polka music in keeping with the “German” vibe. Also that one loud, drunken bald  OSU fanboy in the embellished jeans should have been cut off eight rounds ago (ahem)! But that’s all I’m gonna say about that (otherwise it was a pretty good party). Cheers!

Coming soon  – The Wurst Bar, Johnny’s Grill and more!

 

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