Category Archives: nightlife

CHB Visits Chance II


Cleaning out our drafted post queue, I realized I never published this short review of Chance II on Fulton near Clinton.  Back in December, we stopped in at PACC‘s holiday party, held at the then brand-new Chance II on Fulton!  While it was a private event and not a regular night at the bar — and so I can’t attest to a regular night — the staff was strikingly friendly and the light up bar is pretty cool (see above).  The space will be great for parties, and has a small upstairs area as well.

Have you been?  What did you think?

CHB Interviews: Jess Liese, Host of Rope's Trivia Night

I’m a huge fan of LOST.  So when I heard that Rope’s next monthly trivia night was going to be LOST-themed, I just had to know more.  I chatted with trivia host Jess Liese about her event, and what to expect on February 3.

1. How often does Rope hold trivia night?

Trivia happens once a month, usually on the first Tuesday. For February, though, we’re postponing it until Wednesday so that it won’t conflict with the Lost premiere. A good number of trivia regulars are avid fans, and I figured if President Obama can rearrange his schedule to accommodate Lost fans, so can I!

(…and okay, fine, I didn’t want to miss it either.)

2. What are the rules?  How many people per team, and what’s the prize?

Teams are typically 3-5 people, though we’ve had as few as 1 and as many as 8 playing on one team. Basically, there are four rounds of competition – two where I read the question and your team writes down the answer, a music round, and an “identify the pictures” round. After the second and fourth rounds, I tally up the correct answers and review the standings, share snarky wrong answers, and hand out a couple of prizes.

Prizes are many and varied. Everybody pays $2 each to play, and the winning team gets everybody’s money, with shots or rounds of drinks going to the runners-up. I offer bonus questions occasionally, which earn teams the chance to spin our Bonus Prize Wheel. Most of the wheel prizes are either free booze or free candy, but there are a number of really oddball things (mostly junk I find at the dollar store near my office) up for grabs as well.

At the last trivia night, I found so much cool stuff at the dollar store that I wound up giving a prize to every team.  There were some very awesome plastic robots and I should have just bought the whole lot. But part of the fun is coming up with stuff to give out, so I’m sure I’ll find something just as cool this time around. (I’m looking to stock up on Lost-themed stuff for February, so expect some polar bears, backgammon, and Virgin Mary statues.)

3. How did you end up running Trivia Night?  How long have you been at the helm?  What’s your “day job?”

I’ve been hosting trivia at Rope for about five months now. Years ago, a bunch of coworkers and I regularly attended a weekly trivia night in the west village, and after awhile I started hosting that on occasion. Eventually the bar closed, I changed jobs, and I never did find new trivia as awesome as that had been. Fast forward a few years and one of my ex-coworkers, now tending bar at Rope, heard they wanted to re-establish a trivia night there. She immediately thought of me. I was excited to get back into it, especially as they’ve let me design my own game and bring in theme nights.

By day, I work for an educational publisher, developing content and features for online reference databases. My trivia credentials are many and varied, though. In addition to previous hosting experience and basically getting to absorb useless facts for a living, I competed on Jeopardy about four years ago. (Unfortunately, I didn’t win, but I only missed one question!) I keep trying out for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and passing the test, but their contestant pool is a lot smaller. I guess I’ll stick to this side of the trivia podium for the time being.

4. How do you pick your questions?  Is it difficult to bring fresh material to quiz night on a regular basis?

Initially, I thought it would be. But actually, coming up with questions is the most fun part of the whole experience. Usually I have a theme night, and if not a theme night then theme categories. In November, I hosted a night devoted to my favorite trivia category, U.S. presidents, which brought a huge crowd of history teachers and assorted pedantic trivia nerds. It was so much fun, and came so naturally to me, that I’ve been coming up with themes ever since. It is far easier to come up with, say, ten questions about medically-themed TV shows than it is to come up with ten questions about anything at all in the world.

5. Where do you live, and how did you come across Rope?

Technically, I don’t live in the neighborhood. I’m a short G train ride away in Park Slope.  I’ve been hanging out at Rope on and off for about five years, though, and I love the area. I was coming to the neighborhood even way back when I had to take two trains and a bus to get there!

6.  Tell us a little more about Rope – the clientele, the vibe, etc.  What makes it a cool place to grab a drink?

Rope is exactly the kind of bar I have been wanting to hang out in since I was old enough to want to hang out in bars. Come to think of it, it’s probably good that I don’t live in the neighborhood, because I’d probably be an alcoholic if I did. It’s cool but not elitist, the drinks are thoughtfully prepared but won’t kill your budget, the music is listenable but not overwhelming. The crowd is basically a cross-section of local residents – not just hipsters and Pratties, but people who’ve lived in the area for decades, young professionals, regulars. It’s really the kind of place you can visit once or visit daily and you won’t feel out of place either way.

Also, they have DUB pies and there is nothing not awesome about that.

7. Give us the 411 on the LOST-themed trivia night in conjunction with the season premiere.  Can non-Losties participate?  And while we’re at it, who is your favorite Other?

The great thing about LOST, and one reason I’ve been so addicted to it throughout its often-infuriating five seasons of “let’s explain this one tiny thing you don’t care about while introducing six other new questions” and “let’s spend half a season focusing on characters that don’t further the plot only to kill them off when we realize you’re on to us” is that it pulls in so many elements of history, science, literature, philosophy, and pop culture in a way that adds to the suspense and mystery.  So if you’re into any of those things, regardless of whether or not you’re a Lostie, you’ll probably get a few questions right, as I do plan on exploring that in at least one round. (Although it may benefit you to have a rabid fan on your team!)

And I don’t know how anybody’s favorite Other is NOT Ben Linus. That dude owns the entire show.

8. Favorite restaurant in the neighborhood?

Big fan of Graziella’s and the General Greene (which I realize is about two blocks out of the neighborhood…hopefully it still counts!).

9. If you could change one thing about the nabe, what would it be?

It is perfect in all ways but one – it should be closer to a major train line. I’d move there in a heartbeat if I could be close to a number train or the Q.

10. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would you be and why?

Raspberry basil with a vanilla-mascarpone swirl.

A note to CHB readers from Lesterhead- Bring your A game to this event.  I have been watching LOST since it began and my knowledge is no joke.  See you there!

Vandalism at Loft 45

Apparently, the Chocolate Bar on Waverly near Park is now called Loft 45.  This notice popped into my inbox this past weekend:

You should check out the vandalism that took place at  Loft 45 (formerly the Chocolate Bar @ 45 Waverly Avenue) on Saturday evening.

I walked by yesterday, and it looked like most of the windows had been smashed.  Anyone know what happened?

New Year's in the Nabe

Here’s a (incomplete) Fulton-focused roundup of some of the parties and special offerings happening locally next weekend to ring in 2010:

To Prep:
Greene Grape
: Free sparkling wine tastings [Dec 29 and 30, 5-7 pm)

Dec. 31:
Stonehome Wine Bar
: Prix Fix 4 courses for $55

Olivino Wine Bar (Fulton bt Vanderbilt and Clinton): Free glass of bubbly at midnight

“The Castle @ Fulton Street” Platinum New Year’s Eve Gala: 8:00pm
December 31, 2009
93 Irving Place (corner of 1057 Fulton Street)
Host: Wellington Sharpe
Cost:  Single $45, Couples $80
Complimentary Champagne as the ball drops, Noise Makers, Party Hats

Music by D Exclusive…. Let’s Welcome 2010 with Gratefulness & Togetherness
For tickets call 917-709-3462 or 917-743-1684 or 718-230-0011

Family Friendly:
Pratt Steam Whistles
(which I have still never seen!)

Know of more?  Add ’em in the comments.

First Friday at RePop: 12/4

This just in from RePop:


We can’t believe it, but the holidays are already here again.  Why break tradition?  Put your merriest foot forward this Friday and take a look at some real buried treasures!

The New Jewels of Miss Ellie will be on view from Dec 3 – 7, for a special trunk show event.

This season, you will find the best impulse gifts to delight your mom, your girlfriends, your babysitter or yourself: the Curious Cocktail Ring: Rare Birds, hands-holding-bouquets, angels and insects: one-size-fits every finger, $29-40 each. Old World Lockets are also the perfect personalized gift.

John Mathias will be showing  “Crushing Silence” a collection of photographs and paintings that evoke a quiet and mysterious beauty in landscape and still-life. Images of a post-human world in reverent abstraction from the beaches to the concrete canyons of the city.

This limited collection is vibrant and haunting, offering an ideal gift or decorative option for any interior in need of a conversational splash.

Meet the artists at our First Friday Christmas Party, Dec 4, from 5pm – 9pm.  Join us for some good wine, scrumptious appetizers and delightful conversation in one of the most eclectic and festive atmospheres in town!

68 Washington Ave.

Karaoke at Tamboril

It once seemed like there were no local options to do karaoke in the neighborhood.  Now we have another karaoke locale!  Tamboril is now offering karaoke on Tuesdays, plus 2-for-1 happy hour drink specials from 5:30 – 7:30.

opening soon on myrtle!

527 Myrtle Ave (bt Grand and Steuben)
Brooklyn, NY 11205-2605
(718) 622-5130

Halloween at Habana

Free Habana Halloween Kid’s Party!
October 31st from 12- 6pm
Bring your little monsters and ghouls down for our free Habana Halloween party. Candy, games, crafts, prizes and more!
Monster Bash Dance Contest with DJ Juice E: 4- 6pm
Costume Contest @ 5pm

THE OFFICIAL Halloween and Last Call Party
Free – No Cover
Sat. October 31st from 9pm- 4am

Help us celebrate the end of another great summer at Habana Outpost on Halloween night with DJ Juice E in the Lowpost lounge (below Habana Outpost) There will be free giveaways throughout the night and a costume contest at Midnight!
Where : Habana Outpost
757 Fulton Street (Corner of South Portland ) Brooklyn NY
718 858 9500