Drink specials, music and tasty food lure folks to the bars in the Vista and Five Points for fun and games.
Or do the fun and games lure them for the drinks and food?
Many bars in Columbia’s biggest entertainment districts have weeknight events and specials – half-priced wine, $2.50 pitchers and $2 margaritas. Trivia and bingo are popular at several local bars, but there are a few other attractions as well. We’ve put together a small sampling of bar fun to liven up your weeknights.
World of Beer in the Vista is all about choices – after all, they do have more than 500 beers to choose from. And on Mondays, they have two activities: Tap It and Run Club and Open Mic Night. The first is a group run at 7 p.m., then half-off selected draughts. At the same place at the same time, there is Open Mic Night, where according to the bar’s website you can “jam or enjoy live tunes.”
902 Gervais St., Columbia. (803) 509-6020, www.worldofbeer.com
Art Bar: Comedy Roulette is a free show at this popular Vista bar.
“It’s open-mic comedy,” said Patrick Fowler of Tomorrowquest Theater, who runs the show.
Between the five-minute routines, organizers play improv games with the crowd. Signup begins at 8 p.m., and Comedy Roulette begins at 9:30 p.m.
“The comics like it here,” Fowler said. “They like the intimate space. They can judge if the comedy is good or not.”
1211 Park St., Columbia. (803) 929-0198, www.artbarsc.com
Hump day is a popular night for fun bar events, so here are two:
Village Idiot in Five Points offers Trivia Night starting at 8:30 p.m., but folks start showing up at 7:30 p.m. to secure a table.
“During the semesters, it is standing room only, and people have great time,” said Kelly Glynn, owner of Village Idiot.
There are six rounds of three questions. Categories include geography, sports, pop culture and current events. Prizes are given for first, second and third place as well as best team name.
“It’s fun to go out with friends for a few drinks and dinner and have a fun activity,” Glynn said. “ Competing for free stuff always entices people to play.
“We have a live Master of Ceremonies who makes it a unique experience. Our MC has lots of experience and a great rapport with the teams. Teams also like that we enforce no cheating, which makes the competition heavy.”
2009 Devine St., Columbia. (803) 252-8646, www.villageidiotpizza.com
Tin Roof in the Vista starts 30 Second Rocks at 8 p.m. It’s free, and is described as a hybrid of bingo and trivia.
“It’s music trivia bingo,” said Scott Murff, general manager.
“You are provided a bingo card with songs from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s and today. You compete for prizes, gift cards and cash.”
It’s a very popular event when the state legislature and USC are in session.
“It’s something different than your average trivia,” Murff said. “We also have a great host and staff that make it fun.”
1022 Senate St. (803) 771-1558, www.tinroofcolumbia.com
Flying Saucer’s bingo isn’t exactly like the game your grandmother played in the church fellowship hall. Because it’s played in a bar.
Otherwise? It’s pretty much the same.
“It’s like an old-time game of bingo,” said Eric Wolfe, general manager of Flying Saucer. “You’d be surprised how much people enjoy it.”
The Vista bar actually began with Beer Bingo, which required more than a passing knowledge of beer. They discovered that regular bingo was more inclusive.
Patrons along the bar play with folks sitting at restaurant tables.
“It’s crazy how simple it is and how much fun,” Wolfe said. “It’s something people like to do when they get together.”
Bingo starts at 7 p.m. There are prizes.
931 Senate St. (803) 256-2055, www.beerknurd.com/locations/columbia-flying-saucer
The Mechanical Bull at Moosehead Saloon is actually available whenever the bar is open, Wednesdays through Saturdays during the summer. It doesn't open until 9 p.m., so it’s a later-night fun activity. It’s $5 a ride.
The 16-foot bull is operated by a human who adjusts difficulty according to the skill of the rider.
It adds a lot of fun to the bar, owner Matt Shmanske said. “The bull seems be a top attraction for birthdays and bachelorette parties.”
Even those who don’t ride enjoy watching.
“It’s a very friendly bull pit,” Shmanske said. “People are very welcoming, clapping and cheering and encouraging to riders.”
And the people riding?
“You hear a lot of laughing and a lot of screaming.”
2020 Devine St. (803) 708-4984, https://m.facebook.com/MooseheadSaloon