Trivia Spot of Auld – Red Rock Downtown Barbecue (Ypsilanti, 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.” 


In 2012, my trivia team started playing trivia games regularly. And we started “exploring” different trivia spots that opened up, especially in our neighborhood. Red Rock Downtown Barbecue in downtown (duh) Ypsilanti was one of those spots. It offered trivia shows starting at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. We never played here every week, but would stop in from time to time. Now that I am working earlier shifts at work than I was back then (and am a few years older), those 9 p.m. shows interfere with my “beauty sleep” too much! I kid, of course. I’m lucky if I can be soundly asleep by 3 a.m. on some mornings and drag my sorry butt out of bed by 4:30 a.m.! Well, more like 5, really… #confessionsofanightowelworkinganearlybirdiejobandonlysurvivingbytakingafternoonnaps

What to say about Red Rock? Well, as its name implies, they serve barbecued food. It really smelled delicious in there most of the time, and it had a very well-stocked women’s bathroom (they even offered free feminine supplies in a little basket, which is NOT the norm for most bar bathrooms). This joint used to be a bar called T.C.’s Speakeasy before it became Red Rock, and I think I may have been in there once or twice when it was called that.

As for Red Rock, they had a full bar with a vast selection of craft beers (which were on special on Tuesday nights), and the prizes were $20 gift certificates for first place, $10 gift certificates for second place. We were not allowed to use them on booze, though at first, we were able to use them on booze. I do not pay my trivia team to eat for f—s sake! I pay them in beer money. This (along with the 9 p.m. start time) was one of many, many reasons we never latched onto playing here regularly.

When we did play here, we tried to sit in the same general area near the host because there was a male server there who generally offered decent service. On one night that we played, we were waited on by a female server who just didn’t “get” the trivia vibe. She came up to our table frequently to loudly talk to us while we were in the midst of answering trivia questions – or trying to hear them on the mic. We were all pretty much ready to scream by the end of this trivia night! She didn’t seem to last too long there as a server, as I recall.

The two-room layout of the place would have made it very, very easy for trivia teams to cheat here. It was literally impossible for the trivia host here to be able to keep an eye on all of the teams playing here.

One random memory I have is of one of our players, Alex (who was 25 at the time) going to the female trivia host to flirt with her. She politely said she was already dating someone, but she told me one-on-one that she was flattered – and thought he was kind of cute! Yes, he was kind of cute – if bright-eyed, smiley Wisconsin blondes were your thing! He wasn’t really my type (pffft I’m married anyway…), but if nothing else, he made our team look a bit better in photos!


Alex is second from left…

He has since found a “mate” and has moved away to Seattle, so we had to find a new “Alex” for our team after he left (which took us a couple of years, LOL). Now the role of “Alex” is filled by Evan, whom is almost exactly Alex’s age (go figure).

If I said this was the first time one of my players hit on a trivia host I’d be lying! One of my players tried making smooth with female trivia host at Max and Erma’s in Livonia a few years ago when we played a theme night based entirely on zombie films (boy do I miss those free theme trivia nights)! Then there is Brad, whom was always sweet-talking that host at the YpsiAlehouse (Jesus do I need to keep a leash on these guys – and if I tried would they just enjoy it)? Ah, memories…

Another random memory I have from Red Rock is  answering a hockey question correctly when I had no “sports” people on my team. “What former NHL player, known for a particular defensive style of play helped lead his team to a Stanley Cup win in 1970?”

I remember this player’s name being mentioned in old Peanuts comics. And that was pretty much all I knew about him. And he turned out to be correct! Yes, I probably squealed a little when I got that one correct!


Damn, this player was kind of cute! Must be in those days before helmets were mandatory.

Read a recap of that game here. 

While playing at Red Rock, we acquired a “part time” helper named Scott, who played with us in a few tournaments (helping us win a little money in one of those). Strangely enough, he was also the same age as Alex…and Evan. There was a little joke on the team about me “picking up” male trivia players in bars, which is why a fellow female player called me a “whore” at a trivia game a couple of years ago. Who ME? Truth be told, she was a couple of drinks in and can get a little feisty when she’s in that state. At a trivia game last summer, she made an off-color remark when playing on an all-women’s team with me – “We don’t need the guys…and their wagging dicks.” Oh…MY!!!! Proof that when you get a group of women together they can be as bad – or worse – than a group of guys! For the record, I did not respond to her  comment!

Sadly, Red Rock no longer offers trivia nights. But we stopped playing there by 2013, anyway…Want to read about another former trivia spot? Check out this blog I wrote.

I’ll keep posting these “trivia spots of auld” blogs as I write ’em! Coming soon – Heidelberg, Ann Arbor…



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