22 nightlife hotspots in Grand Rapids for trivia, karaoke, and more

22 Nightlife Hotspots in Grand Rapids for Trivia, Karaoke, and More

Photo courtesy of Canva

By Lisa Green

November 1, 2023

Here’s where to have fun after dark in West Michigan.

Beer City, USA isn’t just a fun catchphrase—it’s entirely earned. Anyone familiar with Grand Rapids’ Beer City Ale Trail, which contains more than 80 different breweries, will tell you as much. After all, that’s more craft beer per square mile than almost anywhere else on Earth. And with all these breweries, logic follows that Grand Rapids would be the center of bar-related diversions like trivia nights.

No one is quite sure where organized bar trivia came from, but it’s believed the first pub quiz originated in the 1970s from a company in the United Kingdom called Burns and Porter. It’s also possible the true origin could go as far back as the 1930s. In the United States, bar trivia saw a resurgence following the COVID-19 pandemic, likely as a way for struggling bar owners to get business back through the doors.

In Grand Rapids, business is certainly booming. Maybe it’s tactics like these that helped the city become the first region in Michigan to recover to pre-pandemic job levels.

Of course, Grand Rapids also has plenty of other entertainment options to go along with all the adult beverages, including karaoke nights, comedy nights, bingo nights, euchre card game nights, and vinyl nights, among other offerings.

We’ve rounded up some of our local favorites for nightlife recreation in River City.

Downtown and John Ball Park

Stella’s Lounge

53 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

Trivia: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Music Bingo: Thursdays at 7 p.m.

Stella’s Lounge is an infamous whiskey bar in downtown Grand Rapids with more than 200 whiskeys on deck. It has a distinct retro vibe, with graffiti walls and an ’80s-style arcade. Stella’s is known for its burgers, having won REVUE Magazine’s Best Burgers in West Michigan for eight years. They feature a pub-style menu with plenty of vegan offerings. Stella’s hosts trivia and musical bingo, both organized by King Trivia, for gift certificate prizes.

Fulton Street Pub and Grill

801 Fulton St. W, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/CytJJQxohoX/

Trivia: Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Karaoke: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 9 p.m.

Open Mic Night: Sundays at 9 p.m.

Fulton Street Pub is an informal bar that has been a hotspot for nightlife in Grand Rapids for 80 years. It focuses on providing nightly entertainment and features a great patio. The menu offers drink specials and pub-style food. Trivia players compete for a gift certificate prize. Karaoke uses Karafun and trivia uses QuizQuest.

K-ROK Korean BBQ and Karaoke

169 Louis Campau Promenade NW, Suite 1A, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/Co5ET76rVZt/?img_index=1

Karaoke is popular in Korean culture, and Korean barbecue is a popular US import. At K-ROK, you get both in one unforgettable experience.

Unlike your typical bar karaoke night in front of strangers, the Korean tradition of karaoke, known as noraebang, involves renting private rooms just for your family and friends. K-ROK has rooms available Tuesday through Saturday, with rates starting at $50 per hour and a maximum capacity of 12 people. Enjoy K-ROK’s twist on Korean barbecue, which they call “Korean soul food,” and remember to sip some soju while you’re at it.

Z’s Bar and Restaurant

168 Louis Campau Promenade NW, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/CuFghzoLJbT/

Trivia: Mondays at 7:30 p.m.

Karaoke: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10 p.m.

Located directly across the street from K-ROK, Z’s Bar claims to be the best bar in downtown Grand Rapids—and they’ve got some great entertainment options to back up the claim. They offer both trivia and karaoke nights alongside a food menu with a wide variety of tempting appetizers and entrees. Trivia is hosted by My Trivia Live.

Rumors Nightclub

69 Division Ave. S, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/CnH3VLMr_m7/

Karaoke: Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Rumors is Grand Rapids’ resident LGBTQ+ nightlife destination. The club hosts karaoke twice a week, and patrons must be at least 21 years of age. Also check out the frequent drag shows, drink specials, and awesome dance floor.

Grand Rapids Brewing Company

1 Ionia Ave. SW, Ste 100, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cv0SUkcRDKZ/

Trivia: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Grand Rapids Brewing Company claims to be the oldest brewery in Beer City, USA. They also have an awesome game room and weekly trivia, with pizza and other pub favorites served up in a rustic atmosphere. Trivia provided by King Trivia.

Eastown

Harmony Brewing Company

1551 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/CyjWSf-vrj4/

Euchre: Mondays at 7 p.m.

Trivia: Wednesdays and Sundays at 7 p.m.

Vinyl Night: Thursdays at 8 p.m.

Comedy: Fridays at 9:30 p.m.

Harmony Brewing Company is a brewery that uses locally sourced ingredients to serve up wood-fired pizzas and other comfort food, as well as great beer. But what’s really awesome about Harmony Brewing is their packed entertainment schedule, with something different booked every night. Try out euchre night, one of two different trivia nights, comedy night, vinyl night, or live music. Trivia provided by QuizQuest and Geeks Who Drink.

Mulligan’s Pub

1518 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/ClmKRl_vwcn/?hl=en

Trivia: Mondays at 9 p.m.

Karaoke or Open Mic: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (alternating biweekly)

Comedy: Sundays at 9 p.m.

Mulligan’s is a nostalgic neighborhood dive bar that focuses on cheap drinks and live music. But aside from the music events, there’s plenty more variety of entertainment to be had. Mulligan’s features karaoke and an open mic on Wednesdays during alternating weeks, as well as weekly comedy and trivia called the 2 Bit Trivia Show, with vulgar content and great prizes, offering an experience that’s ultimately, as they call it, “offensive and educational.”

Creston, Belknap, and Northview

Rezervoir Lounge

1418 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/CtXiDs8rIH0/?img_index=2

Trivia: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Euchre: Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Rezervoir Lounge is an atmospheric bar often used as a private party space. They have 24 craft beers on tap and plenty of fun to be had. Trivia night and euchre night take place following Taco Tuesday and Burger Wednesday, respectively. The menu features made-from-scratch Cajun and Creole offerings as well as a brunch menu. Trivia is provided by Trivia Cat.

Cheer’s Good Time Saloon

3994 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cs2-WEIOrEY/?img_index=1

Trivia: Wednesdays at 8 p.m., Thursdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 7 p.m.

Karaoke: Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.

Cheer’s Good Time Saloon has three nights of trivia and two nights of karaoke in a cozy atmosphere. Cheer’s features a large deck outside and plenty of comfort food inside, like their trademark Sizzlin’ Sizzler steak and tons of sandwiches. Fun-loving patrons will adore the large menu of shots and cocktails.

City Built Brewing Company

820 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste. 155, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cr5cYGwvi3f/

Music Bingo: Mondays at 6:30 p.m.

Trivia: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Grand Rapids’ only Hispanic-owned brewery is City Built Brewing Company, known for its menu of Puerto Rican-inspired cuisine and creative beers. But this taco hotspot also has game nights on Mondays and Tuesdays in which patrons compete for gift cards. Trivia is provided by King Trivia.

The Score Restaurant and Sports Bar

5301 Northland Drive NE, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/CymKvpFvaSG/?hl=en

Trivia: Mondays at 6:30 p.m.

Music Bingo: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

The first palm trees to ever be planted in Michigan can be found at a sports bar with some pretty awesome game nights. At The Score, you can play a round or two of trivia or musical bingo, possibly while enjoying the palm-shaded patio and thinking warmer thoughts. The food menu features what they call “the best burger in Grand Rapids,” as well as great barbecue, wings, nachos, and all your sports-watching favorites. They also host other events like live music and fundraisers.

West Side

River City Saloon

1152 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

Trivia: Mondays at 8 p.m.

Karaoke: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m.

Comedy: Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

River City Saloon is best known as a free music venue on weekends, but there’s some cool stuff going on during the week, too. They describe themselves as “like the bar on the TV show Cheers,” where the staff is always friendly and you’re only a stranger the first time you walk in the door. “After that, you’re family,” the website reads. Probably the best time to experience such a familial atmosphere would be during their trivia, karaoke, or comedy nights.

Cesar’s Pub

4072 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids

Trivia: Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Karaoke: Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., and Saturdays at 9 p.m.

Boombox Bingo: Thursdays at 7 p.m.

Cesar’s Pub is a newer bar that aims to be your friendly neighborhood pub with extraordinary opportunities for fun. Five nights out of the week, they serve up quality entertainment to accompany their menu of bar fare. Cesar’s also features free pool and shuffleboard, as well as a big TV for the big games.

Long Road Distillers

537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

https://www.instagram.com/p/CzGqaRfL09O/?hl=en

Trivia: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Long Road Distillers was the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, and it’s one of the best attractions on the West Side. It’s also one of the best places to play trivia. Enjoy a world-class craft cocktail or the burger of the week while you answer fun questions. Trivia provided by Sporcle.

Kentwood and Millbrook

Broad Leaf Brewery and Spirits

2885 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., Kentwood

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cygl9t8qSrs/

Open Mic: Mondays at 7 p.m.

Trivia: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Karaoke: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Vinyl Night: Thursdays at 6 p.m.

Broad Leaf Brewery is the weird cousin of Brewery Vivant, as they have the same owners, who proclaim to brew “adventurous ales” and mix “cosmic cocktails.” They love community and creativity, and that’s evident in their entertainment options. In addition to a live music schedule, they also have an open mic, karaoke, trivia, and a vinyl night for the DJ fans. The last Sunday of each month features an adult book club that consists of “Cheap reads. Good eats. Beer treats.” Trivia provided by Geeks Who Drink.

Bar Down Grill

6209 Division Ave. S, Grand Rapids

Trivia: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Bingo: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Karaoke: Fridays at 8 p.m.

The Bar Down Grill is a sports-themed family restaurant and bar serving up pizza, burgers, and wet burritos. They also have three themed nights of events, which include bingo, trivia, and karaoke. Trivia provided by My Trivia Live.

Twisted Bull

3230 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

Karaoke: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9 p.m.

The Twisted Bull isn’t just a country bar—it’s the most popular country bar in the region. So if you’re ready to get some country crooning on, you’ll love Twisted Bull’s karaoke nights. They also offer live music on Friday and Saturday. One special offering exclusive to the Twisted Bull is the namesake mechanical bull, and on Mondays only, you can enjoy free rounds of pool with any purchase.

Gipper’s Bar and Restaurant

2929 Kraft Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

Trivia: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Karaoke: Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

Open Mic: Thursdays at 6 p.m.

This neighborhood bar near the Gerald R. Ford Airport has a bit of everything, whether you’re coming, leaving, or just staying. All of Gipper’s food is made in-house and from-scratch. There’s a bar inside and another one outside on one of the largest outdoor patios you’ll find, where they host live bands when weather permits. But the biggest attraction here is the trivia, karaoke, and open mic nights. If it’s an off night for those, you can still find pool tables and cornhole boards. Trivia provided by Sporcle.

Metro Area

Grand Armory Brewing

17 S. 2nd St., Grand Haven

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cys-WeIr4LG/

Trivia: Mondays at 7 p.m.

Vinyl Night: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Euchre: Sundays at 2 p.m.

Grand Armory Brewing is located in a 113-year-old historic building in downtown Grand Haven. This craft brewery features 20 different taps of rotating craft beer. But the best part is their themed nights, including trivia, vinyl night, and a euchre afternoon. Check out their brand-new arcade machines for extra fun, or their rotating offerings of live music. Trivia provided by Trivia Cat.

The Curragh Irish Pub

73 E. 8th St., Holland

https://www.instagram.com/p/CyMCxkAuk_6/

Trivia: Mondays at 8 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 p.m.

Boombox Bingo: Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Karaoke: Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

In nearby Holland, The Curragh is an Irish bar with plenty luck o’ the Irish for anyone who’s looking for a fun bar night. This horse-racing-themed pub has plenty of Irish beer and whiskey, as well as craft beer, cocktails, and more, including traditional Irish fare on the food menu. But the biggest attraction is the venue space and all the fun that fits inside, including karaoke, trivia, and Boombox Bingo. Trivia provided by MI Trivia.

Sporty’s Bar

6 S. Beechtree St., Grand Haven

Vinyl Night: Thursdays at 7 p.m.

Karaoke: Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m.

Sporty’s Bar is a hometown hole-in-the-wall dive bar, but it’s got some of the best karaoke you can find. Aside from the weekend fun, there’s also pub food and beer on tap. Check out the periodic live music and jam sessions as well. Also check out Hump Day Funk Day on Wednesday for the best funk music you can find.

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CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | THINGS TO DO

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