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Trivia quiz nights at Long Island pubs

Marianne Nash, Denny Fantini and Cathy Goodrich discuss

Marianne Nash, Denny Fantini and Cathy Goodrich discuss the possible answer to a question on Trivia Night at Brown's Tavern in Locust Valley. (Jan. 21, 2010) Photo Credit: Michael E. Ach

"Who was the motivational speaker, dietitian, personal trainer and author known for the 'Stop the Insanity' motivational book and catchphrase?"

"Which of the following baseball pitchers is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame ... ?"

These are among the questions being fielded by the crowd of trivia game players at Cafe Mojo in West Islip on a recent Wednesday evening. Before long, quizmaster Jackie Hartman, a London native who owns the cafe with her husband, Mark, starts playing five-second clips of popular songs in a "name-that-tune" style challenge.

"Love this!" says Nancy Koentje, 50, of West Islip, an X-ray technician who is a regular at "Pub Stumpers" night. "It's a great way to get out, socialize and keep the mind sharp."

Weekly trivia quiz competition nights have cropped up at several restaurants and pubs around Long Island. Here's a guide to where you can test your trivia skills.

191 Higbie Lane, West Islip, 631-661-2233,

When: 7 p.m. Wednesdays
Cost: Free
The prize: "Mojobucks" to use at the cafe.

With eight teams in regular competition, almost every seat is taken when trivia night gets under way. Still, Hartman says, walk-ins are welcome to join in. Players on a recent night ranged in age from 20-something to 50-something - and the atmosphere was jovial, laid-back. "Sometimes, I quiz myself on music by listening to satellite radio," says Mary Ellen Durante, 48, a medical assistant who lives in the neighborhood.

8 E. Main St., Patchogue, 631-447-0519,

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays
Cost: $5 a team
The prize: Winners take the cash jackpot and other prizes.

The "Brains of Long Island Trivia Challenge" involves four rounds of questions during play. Teams must sign up between 7 and 7:15. 

3593 Montauk Hwy., Sagaponack, 631-537-2271,

When: 8 p.m. Thursdays
Cost: $10 a team
The prize: Three top-placing teams divide the cash jackpot.

Townline catering manager Sigrid Venedetti leads the fairly difficult rounds of trivia - questions are rooted in culture, history and geography. Even regular players, who range from their mid-20s to mid-40s and beyond, end up befuddled by a good portion of the trickier puzzles.

4 The Plaza, Locust Valley, 516-676-5793,

When: 7-8:45 p.m. Thursdays
Cost: Free
The prize: Gift certificates to the restaurant.

Games consist of three rounds of play followed by a "final question" that can help players catch up on the scoreboard. Fair warning: Reservations are a must if you want to get a table in the dining room during trivia nights. Make them no later than two days in advance.

287 Main St., Huntington, 631-673-3099

When: 8 p.m. Thursdays
Cost: $5 a team (whether solo or group)
Prize: Winner takes the cash jackpot.

Six rounds of trivia challenge players - who have the option of competing as individuals, pairs or larger teams. The restaurant's $9.95 prime rib dinner deal is popular during quiz time.


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