Take a shot on Mulligan’s Sports Bar & Restaurant in Little River, and you won’t be disappointed.
There’s an old joke about how you get a 90-year-old woman to say the “F” word: Have another 90-year-old woman yell out, “Bingo!”
No such behavior was on display at Mulligan’s Sports Bar’s wildly popular — and successful — trivia night, but the competitive spirit was very much alive.
Each Tuesday evening, Phil Annie’s bar attracts an overflow crowd of mostly locals, often 100 of them, to gather at tables for entertainer Lou Pratt’s version of trivia. Lou’s show commences at 6:30 pm, and the place starts to fill at around 5 pm — right in the middle of happy hour, when food and drink prices are discounted.
Our party arrived at 5:25 pm, and there wasn’t a parking space to be had on the pavement; hence, I found myself on the dirt, where more than a few other vehicles had to park. Mulligan’s main bar is a large, welcoming space with high-top seating on one side and tables and chairs on the other. While the table side was filling up pretty quickly, the high-top side was already at capacity.
We had been advised by Gabby, our organizer, to get there early, have some dinner and then enjoy the rest of the evening. But she also advised that the prime rib was to die for.
She was absolutely right. Father Dave had high praise for his favorite (pork chops) too. Even the new friends we met, Laura and Marcel, Jersey transplants and previous Mulliganers, were dedicated prime ribbers.
The meat came in one of three portions (8 oz., 12 oz. or 16 oz.) and it came to the table exactly the way you ordered it. You can get that prime rib any night, and Thursday nights are devoted to discounted prime ribs all evening.
The beer choices were unremarkable for the most part, but the New South IPA helped Dave, me, our wives, Laura and Marcel to come within striking distance of a trivia win, but more about that comeback later.
Phil, a Hokie from West Virginia, wanted me to see the rest of his place, specifically the downstairs. He advised that the area, which looks out over a pond, was originally the eighth hole of a golf course, which helped me (given the quality of my game) understand the name Mulligan’s.
The local Rotary and Lions Clubs meet in the space regularly.
Asked how COVID affected the business at Mulligan’s, Phil says, “We had to close for two months and resort to just to-go and delivery. It’s come back some now, but there are still a lot of local folks who don’t want to risk being out, so our to-go service is still pretty active.”
Apparently, the 100 or so folks upstairs at trivia had no such concerns about going out, and I returned to my partners to await the final scores, which were done in Final Jeopardy fashion.
We bet all of our points in the history category, the question being, “What was the name given to Civil War General Sherman’s tactical strategy?”
I told my tablemates, “Scorched Earth.” And for one brief shining moment, we exulted in the lead. But alas, the lead fell to another table eventually.
I don’t even know what the prize for winning would have been, but I didn’t care. We had great fun and great prime rib.
Remember, if you go on a Tuesday, go early.
Even if you have to go Scorched Earth for a spot in the parking lot.
Want to go?
Mulligan’s Sports Bar & Restaurant
1359 U.S. Highway 17, Little River