The food is modest, the beer is cheap and the trivia nights are just plain fun.

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It’s trivia night at Tim’s Tavern, and teams are huddled around the tables, downing pitchers of cheap beer. “I think better with drink in hand,” brags one patron.

It didn’t help her with this question: Which Shakespeare comedy is the only one with a nonhuman animal in it?

Her teammate was of no use either: “Don’t look at me. I used Cliffnotes in high school.”

They didn’t know the answer (“The Taming of the Shrew”), but they had the time of their lives, laughing and pounding pints of Rainier and fill-to-the-rim pours of $7 whiskey.

Sandwiched between Greenwood Avenue North and Aurora Avenue North, Tim’s Tavern is an institution, around since the post-prohibition years, though the space was rumored to be a speak-easy during Prohibition as well. It was Jack’s Tavern and later Mackey’s Tavern and now Tim’s Tavern.

Tim Arnot bought the bar five years ago, knocking down the wall to put in a stage for live bands and open-mic nights.

He kept the “Cheers” vibe by inviting patrons to bring chilis, deviled eggs and their mom’s secret recipes for potlucks during Seahawks games. The grizzled patrons loved that he didn’t turn this tavern into another hipster hangout like on Capitol Hill.

Tim’s is a dive, all right, complete with a dozen pull tabs and a sensory overload of a boxy room, with sports banners and beer signs invading every corner of the walls and creeping up to the ceiling.

The kitchen is modest and thus, so is the food. There’s some floating pickled eggs in a jar and some pepperoni sticks behind the bar.

Nachos come in two varieties. “7-Eleven cheese or fresh grated cheese?” the barman asked.

“Uh, 7-Eleven,” I answered. Out came chips blanketed with a yellow glob that resembles melted Cheez Whiz with jalapeño peppers. Damn if it didn’t look like a 7-Eleven nacho.

If you’re lucky, there will be pulled pork and ribs when Tim works the smoker on the patio.

But this was trivia night. Ain’t nobody got time for that now.

Name two of the three movies that Denzel Washington starred in that were remakes?

Answer: “The Taking of Pelham 123,” “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Man on Fire.” The last drew head-slaps and “oh” from patrons who forgot about that action flick.

A few minutes later, it’s time out for karaoke. One patron who didn’t need any liquid courage obliged with “Sweet Caroline.”

The bar man sang, “So good” with the crowd while pouring a Manny’s.

After the bathroom breaks, trivia started up again. There’s a science question, something about roots and geology.

A dude at the bar shook his head. “Did these just get a lot harder or did I have too much to drink?”

Tim’s Tavern, 602 105th St., Seattle, offers happy hour daily 4-7 p.m. with 50 cents off on beers and well drinks. $7 special on a shot and a beer at all hours. Trivia night is every Thursday from 7-9 p.m. (206-789-9005 or