Tyla Davis of Poland runs multiple cribbage leagues and other bar games in the area, including the league at Side By Each Brewing Co. in Auburn. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

If you’re out at a bar and having a whole lot of fun in Lewiston or Auburn, chances are pretty good that Tyla Davis is somewhere in the background pulling the strings. 

Davis, of Poland, has become something of a Queen of Games in the area and her empire is growing bigger all the time. 

On Monday nights, she’s at Gritty McDuff’s in Auburn hosting Drop-in Cribbage. 

On select Wednesdays, you’ll find Davis at Obscura Cafe & Drinkery on Lisbon Street in Lewiston hosting either cribbage or themed trivia for the revelers. 

On Thursdays, she’s at Side-By-Each Brewing in Auburn where she alternates between teaching her own brand of knitting to the revelers and running a cribbage league.

On the second Friday of each month, she’s back in Lewiston, at Rusty Bus Brewing for theme trivia that’s based on popular movies and television shows. Some Saturdays are for a newish kind of game called Pop Culture Trivia Bingo at Rusty Bust Brewing.


The first Sunday of the month? Pop Culture Trivia Bingo is back, but at Side By Each Brewing this time. 

All of Tyla’s Sundays are also dedicated to more knitting classes and for the cribbage league. 

It’s rather dizzying trying to keep up with the lady’s schedule, and bear in mind that this is a woman who maintains a job as a marketing consultant as well as a marriage to much-loved cribbage maestro Keith Davis. 

We caught up with Tyla during her seven minutes of weekly free time and asked some questions about her dedication to barroom entertainment. Somehow, she found time to respond. 

How did you become the Queen of Games in Lewiston-Auburn? To be honest, it kind of just happened over time, stemming from a desire to help local businesses that I care about. The first organized event I held was at Side by Each Brewing Co. (SXE). My husband and I consider SXE a second home and go there several times a week. We often sat at the bar and just played cribbage together. One day, Casey Peacock, their taproom manager, approached me about creating an organized cribbage league. I had no idea how to organize an event, but we kind of figured it out as we went along. That first cribbage event was canceled after seven weeks when the world shut down due to COVID. Once businesses were able to open again, I believe cribbage league was the first event they brought back. It’s a great way for a bar/restaurant to make money with very little overhead. A little over a year ago, Gritty’s approached me about doing a weekly cribbage tournament. They wanted to do something different than SXE, but still host cribbage. From there, we started two more cribbage groups, at Obscura Café & Drinkery and Rusty Bus Brewing. 

From there, we expanded to trivia events. I go to trivia frequently and have always enjoyed the themed trivias more than general knowledge trivia. So when Obscura Café and Rusty Bus Brewing asked me about hosting monthly themed trivia events, it sounded like a lot of fun! And it has been. And the most recent “trivia” experience is now Pop Culture Trivia Bingo that we host at Side by Each and Rusty Bus Brewing. 


I also teach a knitting class at Side by Each and am getting ready to start a second one at Rusty Bus. It’s a way to teach something that is a great hobby of mine, in a way that is better suited for a bar than a classroom. It is definitely NOT your grandma’s knitting. 

I would be at these events no matter what because I love being out in the community, I love supporting local businesses, and I always enjoy having a good time! If there is an opportunity for me to help these businesses make some money . . . then I’m all in! 

Did your family play a lot of games when you were a kid? We really didn’t. The extent of my game playing as a young ‘un was learning to play cribbage at the Catholic School I attended prior to high school in Rumford. I would also go visit my grandparents with my dad several times a week growing up, and they ALWAYS watched “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” To this day, I still love the “Wheel of Jeopardy” hour! But I’ve always been competitive and, regardless of the type of competition, I love to get involved and be a part of something where you have to use your brain to be on top. I was never a great student in school, but trivia and puzzles were always something that I did well at. Plus, I’m a super pop culture nerd, so to be able to mix my love of all things TV,  movies, and music with brain power, all while supporting a local bar or restaurant . . . all of those things are right up my alley! 

Which event gets the rowdiest? Probably the Pop Culture Trivia Bingo events. The bingos have an interesting social dynamic because players aren’t necessarily in competition with anyone else, but sometimes they act like they are! Even though everyone has a unique bingo sheet, they sometimes keep the answers to themselves hoping to get an advantage of getting a bingo before someone who may have the same entry on their sheet, but doesn’t realize it. Also, people love to holler out when there’s something that resonates with them and it’s hilarious!

For example, we just did a “Movie Quote Bingo” a couple of weeks ago at Side by Each Brewing. I used the quote “Surely, you can’t be serious” and immediately everyone hollered out “… and don’t call me Shirley!” So even though they were looking for the movie “Airplane” on their sheets, it gave an opportunity to shout out other quotes from the same movie! And then there’s a lot of trash talking for when there’s a popular movie that someone may not have seen. The energy is just fantastic!

Considering you keep running scores and standings for all this, how do you stay organized? I am the queen of spreadsheets and calendar events! For recurring events, I’m easily able to keep my schedule blocked off so that I don’t overbook myself. And I work very closely with the leaders of these bars/restaurants to come up with new fun ideas that we can promote and drum up interest for!

And spreadsheets . . . man, I love a good, multi-tabbed spreadsheet. I manage all of our cribbage leagues and scoring grids for trivias on spreadsheets. They are easy to set up and maintain and makes my scoring management really easy. Most importantly though, I ask my husband to manage the scoring during a trivia while I read the questions. So I get to say what I want and have a microphone, while he gets to take the blame for teams that don’t like their scores. And I’m crystal clear that folks should yell at him and not me when they don’t like their scores! 

What’s going on with your life when you’re NOT hosting one event or another? Oftentimes, I’m spending my “free time” preparing for the next event. I may have to design posters or video wall graphics, I may need to develop questions, or do lesson plans for my knitting class. . . . It all takes quite a bit of time! The bingos specifically, take a long time to prepare. First, in order to make a bingo set, you need 75 unique instances for a full set. And there are eight bingo games with all different categories. So to create a bingo event, you need 600 total unique entries (like 600 movie quotes from 600 different movies). . . . Then you need to generate the bingo sheets and get them all printed. Evergreen Custom Printing in Auburn is my printing partner and we wouldn’t be able to have any events without him printing all of our creative assets for an event! 

When I have truly free time, I’m usually playing cribbage, knitting or making my own cleaning products, bath products, and cooking. Tyla and idle time don’t mix well! 

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: