Mondays Make the Bars Funagain
I’m a pretty boring 23-year-old — my idea of a fun night is sitting around a table with my friends playing Dungeons & Dragons (fifth edition, of course).
So when I go out for a night on the town, I’m typically looking for a place with nice, big tables and plenty of seating, and I grab my game of Settlers of Catan to take with me.
One bar in town is known for its weekly board game night — The Barn Light.
Every Monday night at 7 pm, The Barn Light brings in Cary Madden of Funagain Games to host a board game night. “It seems like people are looking for more direct human to human contact and interaction,” Madden says.
Each week Madden selects 20 to 25 games from his shop to bring to the bar. “I generally bring stuff that you can play at a bar and learn fairly easily,” he says. He teaches the rules to those interested and lets patrons peruse the constantly rotating collection. “The combination of adult space and play and alcohol — that’s a pretty irresistible cocktail, right there.”
If you want to find your own game to bring along when you head to the bar, Madden suggests something abstract and relatively simple — the fewer pieces, the better. Dixit is a good option: Made up of cards depicting strange, surreal or cute scenes, the game starts as one player says a phrase that comes to mind when they view the scene. Other players select a similarly surreal card from their hand that matches the verbal cue, and then everyone guesses which card the first player put down.
Another great option for the bar is a game created by the web comic Cyanide & Happiness called Joking Hazard. Similar to the ubiquitous Cards Against Humanity, players compete to combine cards for the greatest humorous effect. These cards, however, are comic panels instead of words. “You’re building a three panel comic,” Madden says. — Kelly Kenoyer
Board Game Night, hosted by Funagain Games, is 7 pm every Monday at The Barn Light, 924 Willamette Street, thebarnlightbar.com. FREE. Funagain Games is open 11 am to 11 pm Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm Sunday and 11 am to 6 pm Monday at 1280 Willamette Street.
Wednesday Pinball Knights
A warm Wednesday finds Darren Dorman giving the lowdown about Pinball Knights at Blairally Vintage Arcade. He tells me, “We are changing the rules to align with the IPFA. We should be certified soon.”
“The International Pinball Flipper Association.”
Of course pinball has a governing body that believes “the sport of pinball has been dormant for far too long.”
For many, Pinball Knights are all about the memories. “My dad would take me to play Captain Fantastic as a kid and now I get to play it at Blairally,” Dorman says.
“You can’t put a price on nostalgia,” says co-owner Chad Boutin. “It’s about things that can’t be duplicated.”
And if you want to take a deeper daylight dive into the games, pinball doctor and Blairally neighbor Chris Nash holds mechanics classes Tuesday mornings.
“We measure the tilt, replace bulbs, scrub flippers, install new legs and wax tables. We keep up constant maintenance and game rotation to ensure a good experience,” Nash says. “We open the machines up for people. They get to feel different parts, see what they’re doing and observe how the machine works.”
“It’s about learning, coaching and getting people involved in the community,” Boutin says. — Matthew Denis
Pinball Knights Tournament at Blairally Vintage Arcade are 8 pm to 11 pm Wednesdays, 245 Blair Boulevard, 541-683-1721.
Drink Wheel Thursdays at Agate Alley
Thursdays at 9 pm, Agate Alley Bistro morphs from serving Asian-influenced Northwest fare to imparting the college experience. Oil landscapes and owl eyes on the wall witness this strange migration as the cute, upscale restaurant fills with college celebrants for Drink Wheel Thursdays.
Every half hour, volunteers spin the “drink wheel,” a plastic pointer declaring the next $2 well drink. Lines snake through hallways of the converted house, bodies fill crannies and behinds rest on throwback furniture.
“We’re a chameleon establishment,” says general manager Tony Schmidt. “We like to let loose on Thursdays.”
Brown rum-and-cokes, clear gin-and-tonics, amber yellow tequila shots, cherry-red vodka-and-crans form islands of monochromatic drinks fashioned by Schmidt and two intrepid bartenders: local rocker Calysta Ruper-Anderson smiling and lining up drinks, and bejeweled Bue Brown calling out cocktails with a booming laugh.
The night blurs, multitudes of assignments and unpaid labor fade in fuzzed light.
Get there early to get a good spot. And be responsible — take a cab home. — Matthew Denis
Drink Wheel Thursdays at Agate Alley are 9 pm to 1 am Thursdays, 1461 E. 19th Avenue, 541-485-8887.
Cards Against Humanity Game Night at the Brew & Cue
In far-flung northwest Eugene (just few miles up 99), Brew & Cue pub supplies inappropriate humor Thursdays with Cards Against Humanity. If you enjoy twisted humor and fat burgers, it’s worth a visit.
Under the equal opportunity Duck and Beaver decor, teams face off with host Charley Davis serving as judge and jury. “I give first, second and third places. Part of the trick is figuring out what I find funny,” Davis says.
He doesn’t always choose the raunchiest answer, but he is almost always going to give serious consideration for the card that gets the loudest laugh.
Black card: “What two things does the NSA want to talk about?” White card answer: “Destroying the evidence and grandma. What’s grandma getting into this time?”
After each round of questions, participants add tickets earned for funniest cards to a prize drawing for sponsored swag.
“My garage grew too small, so when I had the chance, I bought the bar,” explains owner Patrick Parbin. “Now I can drink with all of my friends and get paid for the service.”
The Brew & Cue is a welcoming sports bar with a number of TVs, video slots, dart boards, a dining area and two pool tables; it’s filled with offensive humor on Thursdays. — Matthew Denis
Cards Against Humanity Night at Brew & Cue Pub is 7 to 10 pm Thursdays at 2222 State Hwy 99 N., 541-461-7778.
Sunday Broadway Revue Burlesque
The Broadway Revue Burlesque Show turns Sunday nights at Luckey’s Club into a bawdy carnival. At its best, the show is an over-the-top, playful celebration of the sexual dance: scant costumes, heavy makeup, wobbling body parts and a hooting, encouraging audience.
“We put on a unique show,” says troupe member Taylor Maiden. “It’s inclusive, it’s fun and it happens in a safe space.”
When Maiden saw her first burlesque show at John Henry’s, she fell in love with the extravagance.
“I’ve been in theater my whole life,” she says. “Doing burlesque gives us the chance to participate in all parts of theater. We get to choose our own costumes, props, dance and music. And we get to create the show together.”
Maiden and the revue have performed for nearly nine years now and moved to Luckey’s Club in 2013. The troupe whips up a whooping crowd with strip teases, piano ballads, boas, platform heels, Derby caps, tightie-whities and boxer briefs.
The Broadway Revue even requires audience performance — twin strip-offs each show, with audience members competing either one-on-one or in pairs. Through it all, there’s no concern for sloppy debauchery because BRB keeps it “classy as fuck.” — Matthew Denis
Luckey’s Broadway Revue Burlesque Show is 9 pm to midnight Sundays at 933 Olive Street, 541-687-4643.