By Samantha Lambert
Can you name the top five bestselling albums of 2016 in order? Do you know the name of the only U.S. president who was a bachelor? The exact number of James Bond movies that have been made? Do you know how many Super Bowls the San Francisco 49ers have won?
If you can answer all the above without Googling the answers, come out and test your knowledge at Helen Back Again in Niceville at their Tuesday Trivia Night.
Helen Back has five locations (so far) in Northwest Florida. The sports bar and pizza destination is the brainchild of Chris Sehman, a native of Maryland who came to the Emerald Coast 25 years ago and opened the first Helen Back location on Okaloosa Island in December 2000.
At the time, Sehman was running another restaurant-bar and struggling to manage two places at the same time. After working 18 days in a row, he said to himself, “I have been to hell and back.” Shortly after that, he heard Lance Armstrong on sports radio talking about the Tour de France and having been “to hell and back” while competing in the race.
“It was a light bulb moment,” says Sehman. “That’s how the name Helen Back came about, and it caught on quickly.” He subsequently closed that other place.
In 2013, he took over a building on John Sims Parkway in Niceville that formerly housed a Mexican restaurant. After demolishing and redesigning the interior, Sehman opened Helen Back Again in September 2013.
Trivia Night started in December 2016. Guests can play as a team or alone. There are six rounds of trivia, with halftime and end-of-game major questions. First, second and third place prizes are given to the winners. You can usually find 40 to 50 people there most Tuesdays and at least eight teams playing.
“Business is awesome on Tuesday nights,” says assistant manager Chloe Sampley, a native of Niceville. “Trivia Night really pumps up the crowd. There is a mix of college students, middle-aged and older (people) playing trivia. It’s steadily growing.
Joni and Brent Snyder of Niceville are Trivia Night regulars. “I really like the food especially the pizza and the holi bolis,” says Joni. “Trivia Night is a good way to get together with friends and make new friends.”
“The salads are really good too,” adds Brent.
Kathy and Jack Harcourt from Virginia Beach, Virginia, came out to Trivia Night weekly while spending the month of March in Destin. They really enjoyed playing trivia, as well as Helen Back’s food. They even came in third place one night while playing with the Lambert family of Fort Walton Beach.
Tuesday is also “Guys Night,” with $10 sausage pizzas and $2 select draft beers for the fellas from 7 to 10 p.m. The restaurant is also a strong supporter of the local military—the bar at the Niceville location is dedicated to the EOD.
Helen Back Again is located at 1128 John Sims Parkway in Niceville and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.