Stacked & Folded hosts Thursday trivia nights


Natalie Wu/The Daily Northwestern

Henry Maltezos and Willa Barnett tally trivia answers in between rounds. Stacked & Folded hosts themed trivia nights every Thursday.

Natalie Wu, Web Editor

Stop by Stacked & Folded Social House on a Thursday night and you’ll see the restaurant packed with students crowded around for one thing: trivia.  

At the center of the chaos are Weinberg senior Willa Baƒbarrnett and DePaul student Henry Maltezos, who host the game every Thursday at 7 p.m. Stacked & Folded began hosting themed trivia nights about a month ago and the event has only been getting bigger, according to Barnett. She first came up with the idea with another server after witnessing the popularity of trivia at Bob’s Pizza.

“There’s such a huge market for it, obviously, and people just want stuff to do after COVID,” Barnett said. 

Though Bob’s may have claimed the trivia scene in the past few months, Stacked & Folded is not quite the same. 

Every Thursday, the questions center around a different theme. This past week was 2000s themed, and the week before included movie trivia.

“I think the themes have really helped us to differentiate from other trivia places because we try to keep the questions different every time,” Barnett said. 

The event lasts about an hour and includes a halftime mini-game. Seating starts at 6:30 p.m. and winners get their meal, except alcohol, paid for, Barnett said. 

The questions themselves target a college-aged crowd. Barnett said she works with Maltezos for a couple hours each week to research and come up with next week’s questions. 

“I wanted to make one where I could ask more pop culture questions, which would be kind of fun,” Barnett said. “I thought that was a hole that was missing.” 

So far, Barnett said the trivia nights have been a great success. She added that students from Evanston Township High School, Northwestern and even DePaul come for trivia.

Resident Will Pingry said he first heard about the trivia nights through a text from Maltezos, and has since gone to three. His team, “FC crystal palace,” was Thursday’s defending champion after winning movie night the week before.

“We just decided to go one day and had a blast, so we kept coming back,” Pingry said. 

The trivia nights have also been huge for business, Stacked & Folded’s General Manager Chris Rimer said. 

Even before COVID-19 limited in-person events, Rimer said Stacked & Folded had trouble “attracting the college crowd.” But this year, an increasing number of students have been coming in to try the restaurant.  

“It’s a different vibe,” Rimer said. “It’s a completely different energy around here than it was even before the pandemic.”

Rimer said the unexpected popularity of trivia nights impacts guests who order takeout or come for a more traditional meal. But he called every week a “learning process” and said he hopes increasing staffing will help.

In fact, Rimer said he is so enthusiastic about the success of trivia nights that he and Barnett are considering starting another event: open mic nights on Wednesdays. He said that customers can come and perform an act of their choice on a stage or watch the performances. 

“We’ll provide two to five minutes for someone to do their material — whether they want to sing, dance, tell jokes, whatever,” Rimer said. “Just come in and do your thing.”

Rimer says he still has to figure out the logistics before committing to an open mic night, but “these are good problems to have,” he said. 

As for right now, Rimer said he hopes trivia nights at Stacked & Folded will become an Evanston staple. 

“People love trivia, and it really helps our sales so that’s awesome,” Rimer said. “I can’t say enough about how great that is.” 

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