CARLSBAD — Nights are a little quieter in the Carlsbad Village now that the tourists have headed home, but things liven up on Tuesdays when people gather for friendly competition over trivia at a local bar.
Avid players — some Carlsbad residents, some not — team up for trivia at O’Sullivans Bar and Grill, 640 Grand Ave., every Tuesday evening. Carlsbad native Tom Shuck hosts the game and has for nearly two years.
“People really like playing trivia because it’s something different,” Schuck said. “There are a lot of live bands that play in Carlsbad, but no one else is doing this.”
Several teams, many of them comprised of repeat players, fill the bar’s back room for two hours of quickly fired trivia question. Shuck covers at least half a dozen topics on a given night, ranging from beers of the world to board games.
“I learned pretty quickly that people like a high volume of questions, or else they get bored,” he said. “What’s so cool about this is that people are going to talk about things they normally wouldn’t discuss over a beer.”
Trivia players give the game their all, hoping to win the first-place prize of $20 off their tab. Local merchants have also donated prizes to be awarded to the highest scoring team, Schuck said.
“Every single Tuesday we leave the kids at home to come play,” Laine Carter said. She played alongside her husband Lance, and friends Oliver Puddick, Paul Boulanger and Erica Mignone on Nov. 16. “It’s close to home and it’s fun.”
As live trivia has gained in popularity at the bar, Schuck has noticed the impact it’s had not just on the game, but also on the surrounding community.
“People that normally wouldn’t come to the Village on a Tuesday night now come and spend the evening here; it’s great for all of the merchants around here,” Schuck said. “I’ve noticed a lot of people that have come here for a meal and end up staying to play.”
Schuck became O’Sullivan’s go-to trivia host after he left a career in the radio industry. While he had played the game in Ireland before, he had never played stateside and was eager to take his emcee skills to the local stage.
“It started out as a little thing — I was unemployed and had no clue what to do — and it’s turned into a career for me,” Schuck said. “I had no idea what I was doing at first but now I have a good rhythm going.”
Join Schuck and other residents for trivia every Tuesday night at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, starting at 7:30 p.m.