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November 30, 2010

Yelpsgiving!

On the coattails of the Yelp Helps success, Yelp partnered with One Brick and The Earth House to bring Indianapolis Yelpsgiving: an all-volunteer Thanksgiving Day dinner done restaurant style with hosts, servers, bussers, three courses and menus to serve anyone & everyone in need of a meal & a place to be on Thanksgiving.

To boot, as part of the Yelp Shops Local Pledge this holiday season, the entire dinner was local, seasonal food from Indiana farmers, purchased fresh from the Indy Winter Farmers Market. What about the turkeys you ask? Local indeed! Fresh from an Indiana farm & purchased from Goose the Market. Many thanks to Wishard Health Services (CEO, Lisa Harris seen below, with Laura Henderson, Director of the IWFM), who made the all-local dinner entirely possible. Also, many thanks to Pogue's Run Grocer for sponsoring the local dinner, too!

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Over 50 volunteers on Wednesday night provided their homemade desserts and prepared the meal for Thursday. The Yelpsgiving team made its way over to the Tomlinson Tap Room (the All-Indiana Beer Bar) for a special after hours Grand Opening party.

Another crew of 50 volunteers kicked off Thursday morning finalizing preparations for the meal at Noon. Nearly 100 people enjoyed a full meal of turkey to mashed rosemary sweet potatoes with carmelized onions to roasted acorn squash & brussel sprouts, homemade applesauce, handmade stuffing from scratch to casually sipping coffee and noshing on sweets from the dessert cart.

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Many thanks to all involved, especially all the volunteers who made this a special Holiday for all!

Happy Yelpsgiving!

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Dublin Nov Elite Event: Coffee & Soap!

Posted by Annie

Dublin Yelpers are a hardy bunch and braved the Baltic conditions to make it to 3FE for an amazing coffee tasting experience and some hysterical improv which was a tonic to the current happenings in Ireland. Did you know that some coffee can taste like apples? Nor did we, ah education tis a wonderful thing.

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The fantastic Jordan who is also the Irish Latte Art champion explained to us what makes great coffee and why freshness is paramount to 3FE's philosophy of only serving their costumers the best coffee possible. We learned how to make filtered coffee and got to taste several different varieties.

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Champion barista Colin Harmon dished out yummy brownies from the display case as we learnt a new word from Jordan - Uber Boiler. Yes Uber Boiler, it's a sleek machine that can weigh and also get the right temperture of the coffee. 3FE was the first coffee shop in Europe to secure one, now that's how seriously these folks take their coffee.

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High on caffeine we then were treated to The Twisted Pepper's monthly event Soap Box. The Princes of Lagos improv group made us wet ourselves a little with their halirious antics. They got all the Yelpers involved in the action.

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Thank you so much to Jordan and Colin from 3FE for sharing their passion and knowledge with us. Thank you also to Eoin from Bodytonic who created the Soap Box night with The Princes of Lagos. You can check out the pictures taken by the talented Cian Brennan here! Post your thoughts or gossip from the night here! Read or write reviews about it here! Lastly thank you for coming out last night despite the snow and I can't wait till next month's bash!

All my best,

Annie L

November 28, 2010

Boston's HElite MANvent: A Tartan 'Stache Bash at The Haven

Posted by Damien S

Ah, November: the time for Thanksgiving, as in "thanks" Boston yelpers for "giving" great audience at two -- count 'em two -- Elite events this month. This Monday, an intimate crowd of fifty gathered at the only authentic Scottish restaurant in Jamaica Plain, The Haven. Our Tartan adorned Elites mingled beneath deer antler chandelier, sampled fine Highland (or Lowland?) fare, quaffed Narg and Belhaven Ale and sipped ultra rare, small batch Scotch.

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Jason Waddleton, Chef Wax and staff at The Haven filled bellies with sunchoke cullen skink, vegetable pies, Stilton bleu cheese on toast, warm cabbage salad and an all-in-one wonder brekkie, the sausage-wrapped Scotch egg. Dave from Burke was on hand, tasting out three hand picked bottles of single malt Scotch, each of which numbering less than 17 in all of Massachusetts. In true tradition, the daring ate haggis and neeps with their whiskey, and everyone drooled over sticky toffee pudding (Bryan R chirps "There was no off switch with those,") and deep fried Mars bars with maple whipped cream.

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To show support for Movember's Team Boston, Elites and staff alike donned real and designer faux mustaches bringing a little luxury to the upper lip and visibility to a most worthy cause. As always, resident photog Tatsu I put the memories to digital celluloid, the brilliant lads and lassies have writ the reviews and the Talk boards burned bright in the haze of the morning after.

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The only thing missing was Nessie, but then again, isn't she always?

There can be only one!

Damien S.

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Vancouver's Mathletes Vs. Athletes Party At The St. Regis!

Posted by Cyndi

On a chilly Thursday evening, shoulder pads met pocket protectors at a merry Mathletes Vs Athletes Elite event. Yelpers poured in as the snow poured on…fully enrobed in gloriously geeky or athletic attire!

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The venue—the 103-year-old St Regis—hosted us in their exclusive party space, placed inconspicuously below street level. It was a world of hardwood, pointsettas and timepiece photographs mixed with the yelpy vibe of bow ties, taped glasses and team uniforms.

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The fancy pub fare kept our energy high, with stuffed Yorkshires, pulled pork sandwiches and balsamic-drizzled vegetarian pizzas. We kept spirits bright while sipping on malbec, viognier and local lagers from Stanley Park Brewery and Okanagan Springs.

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Mathletes trivia showed the sheer genius of our left-brained crew, while the rest gurgled out of self-made origami cups and posed yelperiffically in our BC Lions-inspired photobooth. From the sociable staff to the kooky crew of yelpers the party was abuzz with jolly activity.

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Giant thank you to our sponsors and to all who braved the weather for the party. To those we missed, we can't wait to see you at the next Elite affair! For more athletic/mathletic radness see the Flickr account or our event reviews!

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SYOY lovelies!

Cyndi H

November 26, 2010

Yelp Gets Killer at The Cadogan Arms

Posted by Lizzie G

On a chilly Wednesday night in London, 50 lucky Elites took part in a 'killer' night at the wonderful Cadogan Arms in West London. As Elites started to defrost with ETM's house wines and beers freely flowing, hugs and hellos from fellow yelpers old and new got the party to a great start.

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It's only a game but... the night got seriously silly with "Killer" played over three tables in The Cadogan Arms's private billiard rooms.

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Before the game began, out came some seriously tasty morsels; mushroom, cheese and leek tarts, homemade fish cakes, mini fish and chips, sausage rolls and succulent pork belly with green apple sauce for dipping. Be careful not to drool on the tables now...

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After an hour of Jim Davison style antics, Fazan K, Ian P and Eric J were left to battle it out for the winning prize, a meal for two at The Cadogan Arms. After some serious chalking and potting, Eric J proudly held his cue high as the evenings winner. That's not all though, everyone who took part got a limited edition Yelp London t shirt!

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The night ended with some delicious chocolate pecan brownies and a chance for everyone to shoot some pool. It was a great night had by all but if you want more, check out The Cadogan Arms Yelp listing for their fantastic offer; A British sharing platter, a glass of wine orbeer and an hours pool for only £10.

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A huge thank you to Nadia, Lauren, Eddie and the fabulous staff from The Cadogan Arms for making this night extra special. This pub experience Elite event was utterly entertaining and delicious. Want more? Check out all the photos, from the very talented Alexandra Watson, read the reviews and catch up with all the gossip on Talk.

Until next time... SYOY
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Lizzie G

November 25, 2010

Toronto Elite Holiday Party at Madeleines

Posted by Vivek S

Ho, Ho, Holy Yelp-mas! Toronto's Elites savoured some yuletide flavour at the Elite Holiday Party at Madeleines. It was the perfect winter sendoff: the cookies were crumblin', the noshes were nibblin' and the drinks were most definitely flowin'.

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Held in boutique sweetshop Madeleines Cherry Pie and Ice Cream, Karen S was mesmerized by its uber-coziness. "Walking into the shop, I felt like I was getting a warm hug." That's Yelp love you're feeling!

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Besides the delicious hors d'oeuvres, a trio of spiked holiday drinks kept festive yelpers well-oiled all evening. Lamb's Spiced Rum added a Santa-strength kick to the apple cider and Illy espresso, and you really can't beat a Bailey's Irish Cream and hot cocoa combo.

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As a special treat, Elites got to perform feats of icing magic frosting and decorating gingerbread cookies to their hearts' content.

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Payam Z noted this "family run establishment" really "captured that warm holiday feeling that puts a big smile on your face." It's true; owner Kyla and her brother Dustin never let the delicious treats and cocktails stop coming, while their mother Barb held down the fort in the kitchen.

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A huge and gracious thanks to the rockstars at Madeleines, Lamb's Spiked Rum, Wendy H for her fabulous photography, and of course Toronto's Elite Squad for making this a kicking party. Happy Holidays!

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Vivek S

Toronto Community Manager

November 24, 2010

Yelp LA West Says Thanks-For-Giving!

Posted by Christina Y

An intimate group of very generous LA West Elites gathered at Joe's Restaurant in Venice on Tuesday evening to enjoy each others company as a reward for offering to volunteer their time to clean their local beaches.

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The famed restaurant offered up delicious nibbles for our giving Elites including freshly baked peanut butter cookies, onion tarts and pulled pork sliders. When they weren't getting their appetites ready for Thanksgiving, the Elites sipped on beer selections from Kona Brewing Company, including their Longboard Lager and Fire Rock Pale Ale.

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A few lucky yelpers went home with gift certificates to the restaurant and VIP tickets to the upcoming SoCal Soups and Sweets event.

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While the food and drink and company were certainly sights to behold, the most impressive part of the night was the group's excitement to get out there and clean their communities in conjunction with LA Works!

Those of you who missed this event can read the reviews here and browse some more photos from Santiago Valencia photography here.

Until next time - happy Turkey Day everyone!

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Christina Y

LA West Community Manager

November 22, 2010

Yelp Elites in the House of the Iron Chef: JG Domestic

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Shine those shoes and squeeze into your Spanx, it's time for an uber-swanky Elite-only event in Philadelphia. Local celebrity and Iron Chef America Jose Garces welcomed Elites to his newest restaurant, JG Domestic, on Sunday, November 21 for a kickoff to the holiday season like no other.

Located on the ground floor of the ultra-modern Cira Centre, the restaurant sources 100 percent of its product from American farms, ranches, dairies, fisheries, brewers and distillers. In that spirit, Elites were treated to a sampling of New American bites displaying chef de cuisine Dave Conn's facility with exquisite ingredients.  Wood-oven flatbread topped with Oregon chanterelles, black truffles, shaved cheddar and farm egg yolk made for an earthy bite, while the must-have Lobster Cappuccino tickled Elites' palates with an airy froth and intoxicating aroma.

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As crisply white-shirted servers circulated with trays of Chalone Chardonnay and BVCoastal Merlot, bartenders were hard at work hand-muddling and shaking refreshing Texas Eagle (SKYY vodka, Meyer lemon, honey) and warming Crescent (Four Roses bourbon, ginger, mint) cocktails. 

Chalices of locally-brewed (and cold as a November night) Yards Brawler made a happy pairing with JG's signature hickory-smoked Georgia pecans with maple and bacon. Appetizer and dessert! Brilliant.

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Not only were Philadelphia Elites required to come without a safety blanket (better known as a plus-one), Community Manager Felicia D demanded they discard their jeans and Iggles jerseys for something with a bit more polish.  They showed up in fine form, in three-piece suits, vintage dresses, feathered fascinators and natty tweed.  Official Yelp photographer Erika Letitia captured the sartorial splendor (and sexy house-made salami) in her stunning snaps.  See them here

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Today, Philly Talk is abuzz with excitement over this event, and the reviews are already pouring in. Freshly-minted Elite Rebecca S bubbles over: "I am so happy that I decided to go to this event, if not just for bragging rights, but because I had the opportunity to go outside my comfort zone to meet some of the most amazing yelpers in the Philadelphia area.

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proves it's not all about the food and booze: "Goodness Garces! What a fantastic event! First, let me talk about the physical atmosphere.  I love how JG created a natural environment in the bottom of a corporate jungle.  I really felt like I was walking into a terrarium."  

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You're no turtle, Melissa, but I'm sure JG's staff will be happy to see you back in their terrarium. Thirsting for more? Peep the reviews of the event here!  Click through the jump to see the full menu, as well.

Ciao for now,

Felicia

Felicia D, Philly Yelp Community Manager

Continue reading "Yelp Elites in the House of the Iron Chef: JG Domestic" »

NYC Elite Gangster Bash at East Side Social Club

We at Yelp New York don't normally encourage loan-sharking, extorting, pimpin' or illegal liquor distribution, but on Saturday night our private affair at East Side Social Club was anything but on the table. Elite mobsters and their molls, snuck through the dark entryway on 51st Street and into the deviant den where the booze and food flowed freely.

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The bartenders time traveled to the roaring twenties, brewing seriously scandalous Bootlegger Vodka cocktails. Whether you were sipping on a Thistle, a Patsy or a Moscow Mule, one thing was clear: temperance is overrated.

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Opened by Billy Gilroy, Executive Chef Nicholas Dipaolo's menu combines hearty dishes inspired by Italian flavors and ingredients with bistro fare. Staff served out generous helpings of steak and tuna tartar, mozzarella en carrozza, miniature meatballs, crisp zucchini, smoked salmon mousse on pumpernickel toast and olive tapenade topped with goat cheese. Zoot!

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Whether you showed your mug or not, better take a look at the incredible photos from Ben Lozovsky. And for all you well-heeled heathens that made it out, leave your own two cents right here!

And that's not all folks: don't be a wet blanket, be sure to get on the list for the upcoming Yelp Snow Ball at the Armory on December 9th!

SYOY,

Jane K and Yelp NYC

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Yelp Dallas's Secret Carnevale

Posted by Nikki B

Yelp Dallas lit up Mockingbird Station on Friday night with the biggest Yelp event in Dallas history: the Secret Carnevale! Almost 600 yelpers packed the indoor/outdoor space at PURE Dental for a night of curious characters, mystical mayhem, delicious delicacies and copious cocktails. There were no teeth cleanings or root canals at this party... no, sir! Read on for all of the dirty details...

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Five of Dallas's hottest restaurants set up shop outside to divvy out sweet and savory treats. Citizen Sweet gave one of their signature cupcakes to the first 100 people in the door; Empa Mundo's empanadas were a total hit; Pinkberry came loaded with a table of toppings and flavors; Sambuca 360 handed out mouthwatering finger foods; Trinity Hall's mini skewers flew off the table; and Zoës Kitchen laid out trays of hummus and pita.

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Also outside was a spectacle of entertainment. Two stilt walkers from Stilt Reaper roamed high above the crowd. Belly dancers from Authentic Belly Dancing Entertainment shook their hips and balanced lit candles on their heads. Kimberly from Cirque Duo performed amazing ground stunts with piles of hoops. And to top it all off, DJ Jonny5 kept the crowd going with his spinning beats.

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Inside, yelpers roamed the hallways to discover something different in every room. Room attractions included custom cocktails from Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka and Hudson Ferus Vodka, cold cans of Lone Star beer and tempting tea flavors from Honest Tea. Whipped Lightning, an alcohol-infused whipped cream, also handed out signature flavor samples. Yelpers also had their fortunes read by a palm reader and a crystal ball reader from Mystic Kathryn, provided by Pucker Up Impressions™. Franconia Brewing provided kegs of local brew for those who bellied up to check-in desk turned bar, staffed with bartenders from Raytini.

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A big thanks goes to Henry Lam Photography, whose photographers captured candid pics as well as fun scenes in the photobooth. Check them out here! Also, thank you to iDeal Events for providing the tables, chairs, linens and more. Raffle prizes for the event included cans of Whipped Lightning and gift certificates good for one month of belly dancing lessons from Authentic Belly Dancing Entertainment. Congrats to the winners!

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If that's not enough, check out the rave reviews here. And if you missed this scandalous soiree, don't worry... we'll catch you again in 2011!

 

Cheers,

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Nikki B

 

Yelp's Glam & Gore Gala in Minneapolis!

Posted by Annie D

Twin Cities Elites got all dolled up and came out in full force for the Glam & Gore Gala! The horror movie-inspired artwork on Cult Status Gallery's walls provided the setting for our biggest Elite Squad party yet. Nearly 100 yelpers came dressed as if they had stepped off the set of a 1940s black and white film!

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These dapper ladies and gents dined on brie and apple tartlets, tenderloin crostinis, smoked chicken profiteroles and sweet potato canapes from Common Roots' sustainable kitchen, fed their chocolate addictions with the help of B.T. McElrath's dark chocolate truffles.

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Elites didn't go thirsty—that's for sure! They toasted Alfred Hitchcock (multiple times) with hot mulled Fox Barrel Cider and ice cold Crispin Cider, Lonely Blonde ale from the local Fulton Brewery and wines from Natura Organic Wine.

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Elites jumped into the Mobile Photo Booth to snap pictures of pillbox hats and bowties all night long... and also donned some seriously scary masks, top hats and clown wigs. Photos here!

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Thanks so much to all the Elites and friends who came out on an icy Saturday for the party! Check the Flickr page for more evidence of the shenanigans from photographer Paul Jones and the crazy photo booth pictures. Still wondering what you missed? Check the reviews of the party on Yelp!

Until next time, SYOY!
Annie D

Annieglam

November 21, 2010

Yelp Leeds Gets Into The Spirit Of Things@Gerry's!

Posted by Rowena Harris

In these misty November days it's a tough thing to convince most of us to withdraw from the warmth of our cosy homes and out into the night, but on this fine evening nothing was stopping the lovely Leeds yelpers from getting fully into the spirit of things. It may have been the night the Christmas lights were switched on, by Shane Ward no less, but nothing was to get in the way of these fabulous folk and their fun.

 

5189945040_0495e66795 5189363919_0dd691c2c4The gorgeous tasting room, upstairs at Gerry's and our fabulous host for the evening, Chris M!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tyler K and Amy P pointing towards the drinks selection in anticipation...

 

 

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Wrapped up in their winter wear, folks arrived promptly at 7pm to the spectacular wine and spirit specialists, Gerry's of New Briggate, to get stuck straight in. There was no messing about as Chris M dished out some delicious cocktails for everyone, whilst they settled in and got nattering.

 

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Chris M pouring the freshly made cocktails whilst everyone grabs a seat.

 

 

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Without further ado, the sampling commenced as Chris M introduced yelpers to a world of new spirits. The night kicked off with classic vodkas, as everyone learned about how it can be made (with virtually anything that makes starch, don't 'cha know) and the sipping – and in some cases gulping – began. First off the mark was Chase vodka, delightfully smooth and incredibly drinkable vodka, followed shortly after by a sampling of Fair Vodka – one of the world's Fairtrade vodkas. Both can be just as delightful used as mixers but here at Gerry's things were straight up and to the point.

 

5189454859_73db7299ec 5189466297_e7000f51cf Amy P enjoying her cocktail and Ryan W awaiting the next sample!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5190339376_8ecbd8dc57_b 5190223074_aea69617b1Tyler K handed out the tasters as Susan M considered her latest sample.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As yelpers made their way through the next installments, playing the passing back game as the tipples were shared out, our amazing host talked everyone through both the history of the products and the distillery processes involved in creating them. Following the vodkas came an introduction to gin, the aromatic Blackwoods Vintage gin and the delightful Bulldog gin, both full of flavour and delicately infused, and finally the smooth Gran Centinario Anejo and delicious Herradura Reposado tequilas. Yelpers discovered that not only can tequila only be made in Mexico but it can be so much more than just a courageous shot, as they got their lips round the sumptuous samples.

 

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Everyone got a bit giggly as the samples started flowing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stuart C and Leanne B awaiting the next sample from Chris M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Matt R and Nikolai C getting their taste buds a-sampling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a short break in between the tastings, to fuel up on a delightful spread of crackers, cheese and grapes, everyone got chatting away, giddy as anything, before the last session ensued. To finish off the night everyone tasted their way through two delicious rums XM Royal and Santa Teresa Anejo Rum  and, as a grand finalé, some good ol' whiskey. Much to some of the hardened Scotch-drinkers' surprise a decent blend can go a long way –Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt in particular! And of course, to polish the evening nicely, a Gentleman Jack Tennessee Sour Mash was handed out for the send off.

 

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Shout out to Laura J, Ste C, Carla D and Mark E!

 

 

 

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As a final feature of the event everyone had a wee nosy at the impressive display of drinks on offer in the shop downstairs, many noting a number of tipples as Christmas looms, and then it was off to Sela Bar next door for the unofficial after party. As if that wasn't enough good cheer, people piled into the downstairs venue for one last long kiss good-night-cap before heading off home, full of warmth and good spirit-s.

A huge thanks goes out to the fabulous Chris M, and Gerry's, for fueling all with spirit-flavoured-knowledge, all of the fantastic staff involved, Matthew for his wonderful photography and of course everyone who came and got stuck in. What an immense night!

 

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Don't just take my word for it though, read the reviews and check out the Flickr for all the details! That's all for now so until next time catch you on t' interweb, Yelp style, soon!

Rowena H

Yelp's Over-the-Rhine Blowout Bash!

Posted by Alex Shebar

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It was almost a no-brainer to bring Yelp and the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood together – they just have so much in common! Both are up-and-coming in Cincinnati, both are fun and exciting and both are filled with fantastic people! Having them join forces, why it made for quite the blowout bash!

On Thursday night, over 70 yelpers adventured their way into OtR for a night of food, tunes and brews at Coffee Emporium. The roomy coffee bar was the perfect place for yelpers to come together and start the weekend off right … What? Thursday’s part of the weekend! Look it up!

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The host space was kept busy throughout the night, making anything from their wonderful drink-filled menu - from cappuccinos to Orange Julius to hot chocolates. People sipped in delight, driving away the cold night with warm drinks. As Jessica K put it, “Once I had my first cup, I was ready for more. We were sitting right next to the coffee bar so I was always up getting more. Three beverages in and I was feeling awake, warm and absolutely satisfied.”

Of course, drinking that much builds up an appetite, and Taste of Belgium was there to give a world-class dining experience. Armed and ready in the back of the room with a waffle and crepe station, the eatery made free, delicious treats for anyone asking – and people were asking! They also laid out an incredible spread of desserts, including possibly the best macarons ever created or tasted by man.

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For those not into coffee who needed something to wash down those tasty treats, Christian Moerlein was constantly filling up bright-red buckets with five different types of ice-cold beer for guests’ drinking pleasure.

The evening was taken up a few folksy notches by an unbelievable performance by Jake Speed (and his right-hand man, Kentucky Graham). Part bluegrass, part rock, part Cincinnati historian, Jake riled up the crowd with his tunes, his hat, his banjo, his washboard, his harmonica and his spontaneous performances off the stage and in the middle of the room - and let us not forget Graham’s mustache! It was enough to make you give out a giant, “Huzzah!”

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At the end of the night, yelper Robert M said it best: “How can you not love an event with free Moerlein beer, free waffles/crepes/cookies and great drinks from Coffee Emporium? Plus you had Jake Speed, who looked to be having as much fun or more fun then anyone else there. If you missed this event, you should be sad.”

But don’t just take our word for it, you can read all the reviews right here. You can also check out the other awesome pics by photographer extraordinaire Angie Livesay on the Official Yelp Flickr page.  

See you on Yelp and in OtR!

Alex S
Cincinnati Community Manager

November 20, 2010

Yelp Honolulu Lends A Hand With Yelp Helps

Posted by Emi H

What do get when you gather 400+ yelpers, 25 amazing non-profits and a slew of delicious eateries? You get Yelp Helps, a party of epic proportions thrown to inspire and excite locals about volunteer opportunities right in their own backyard!

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The Honolulu Yelp community came together at chic furniture store Pacific Home on a balmy Friday evening for an unforgettable night of connecting, networking and socializing for a cause! Armed with schwag bags full of Yelp goodies, eager yelpers met with non-profits to find their perfect match.

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Staffers from the Aloha United Way, Hawaii Foodbank, Boys & Girls Club, Hands In Helping Out, Oahu SPCA, Hospice Hawaii, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Life Foundation and many other worthy charities shared stories about their organizations and found loads of new volunteers. Good hearted guests filled out Yelp bingo cards which entered them into a drawing to win a two night stay at any Aqua Hotels & Resorts in Waikiki. 

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All that mingling can cause quite a thirst and luckily bartenders from Apartm3nt were on hand to mix up complimentary Kai Vodka cocktails, Tuaca white sangria and OneHope Wine chardonnay. Designated drivers got dizzy with fizzy rootbeer and mango flavored drinks from Waialua Soda Works.

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And what Yelp soiree would be complete without a host of delicious eats? Yelp Helps guests noshed on savory bites from Chai's Island Bistro, Whole Foods, Tanioka's Seafoods & Catering, Sergio's Italian Table, Hawaiian Grown Catering and Xtreme Tacos.

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Sweet tooths were satisfied with chocolate cupcakes from Cake Couture, mini-desserts from Otto Cake and delightful slices of lemon crunch cake from the Alley Restaurant. Guests got loose with spa treats from Heaven On Earth Salon & Day Spa and the groovy beats of DJ Northstar & DJ Willis.

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Missed out on this fabulous par-tay abound with smart & snazzy do-gooders? Check out the stellar reviews, colorful pics and talk about it here!

Aloha & SYOY!

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Emi H

Community Manager

Yelp Honolulu

November 19, 2010

Yelp Elite's First Bite @ Paxti's

After successful missions in Hayes Valley and the Marina, Paxti's Chicago Pizza ushered in their third project within the city limits of San Francisco in the cozy corridors of Noe Valley. Taking over the old Mi Lindo Yucatan space, Paxti's will be rockin' their renowned Chi Town deep dish beginning December 1st, but while the dust continues to settle with construction not yet completed, the fine folks behind the operation invited a handful of Yelp Elites to be one of the first to sidle up to the new digs last night. 

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With thin crust and deep dish pies coming out of the kitchen at a pace that'd make Jimmie Johnson's whip look like a go cart, Elites had the pleasure of sinking their teeth into an array of different menu offerings. From all sizes of pizza to salads and locally sourced charcuterie spreads (not to mention a plethora of wine and beer offerings), it's safe to say the seasonal battle of the bulge began last night, with Paxti's coming out the victor.

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Make sure to check out the new location once open to the public on December 1st, and keep your peepers locked on a Lafayette outpost that's slated to drop in early to mid Janaury.

For photos of the event, click here. For reviews of the cozy affair, click here.

Chicagoland Yelp Elites Go Far East on the North Shore!

Posted by Jelena Z

Chicagoland Elites sure know how to combat a case of the Mondays! This past Monday, Elites and their guests brought their appetites and curiosity to sophisticated Asian eatery, Koi, in the north shore suburb of Evanston.

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To start the evening right, guests were greeted with their choice of a welcome drink: Designer vodka cocktails courtesy of Zodiac, a glass of wine, or sake. Partygoers were then escorted to a private back room they could call their own, where an elegant feast awaited them. Assorted maki rolls, crabmeat won tons, vegetable rolls, edamame, and crowd favorite, spicy chicken wings, all made the cut. There was nothing coy about Koi's intent to please and appease!

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In between extreme mingling, noshing and cocktailing, guests jumped into the ShutterBooth photobooth to capture the essence of the party. The generous owners of Koi also donated three bottles of premium sake and wine for the raffle.  But even better, everyone was a winner: All guests took home a $20 gift certificate! Wondering what you missed? Read the glowing reviews here, peep Matt Ginger's photo prowess here and take a look at the ShutterBooth snapshots here (coming soon!).

SYOY!

Jelena Z

November 18, 2010

Vegas Elites And The Yelpmazing Race

Posted by Misti Yang

This week Las Vegas Elites teamed up at MGM Grand for the Yelpmazing Race. If the Amazing Race is a social game of tasks, flights and pitstops, then this journey was a social game of tasks, food, and food. Nine teams of 7-8 ate their way through five challenges at a selection of MGM’s fine and casual dining establishments. The tasks were as follows:

Fiamma: Finish 6 servings of a selection of their pastas... No hands allowed!

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Seablue: Create a signature salad, identify 6 wine varietals, and complete an iPad based challenge.

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Diego: Prepare their tableside guacamole, consume it all, and salsa dance!

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'wichcraft: With the guidance of a blindfolded team member, reconstruct one of their sandwiches while the rest of the team completes a word search.

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MGM Grand Buffet: Clean 40 tasting plates of the buffet’s sweet and savory selections.

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For the grand finale, everyone raced back to Rouge and assembled a puzzle of pieces they had collected along the way. Then they sipped on Skyy Vodka and nibbled on custom Yelp cookies and cupcakes. Ahh... the taste of sweet victory.

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Speaking of which, the winning team made off like bandits with a dining certificate for two to their choice of Fiamma, Seablue or Diego, 2 tickets to Ka or Crazy Horse, and a MGM cookbook. Everyone received a certificate of completion!
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Suki L puts it best: “Today was one the best times of my life participating in this wonderful Yelp Elite event called Yelpmazing Race at MGM Grand.”Easy to see why thanks to the beautiful shots captured by Juma Photo.

Read more about this yelpmazing time here and keep your eyes open for more pictures soon to come here.

Phew! Until next time, SYOY!

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Misti Y

Your Friendly Las Vegas Community Manager

Brooklyn Yelp Goes For the Grape.

Posted by peter d.

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Oenophiles out there: Have you ever made your own wine? If you grew up in Brooklyn, probably not. But as of this fall, Brooklyn now has its very own fully functioning winery, appropriately named...Brooklyn Winery! Not only that, but this urban winery also features an beautiful bar where the best of Brooklyn Yelp gathered on Tuesday night for an epic affair for the ages.

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Brooklyn-based band Roosevelt Dime had the room rockin' from the start, and of course the winery was offering complimentary selections of house wine (love that Sangiovese!) that people obviously couldn't get enough of (some quadruple-fisting was spotted, but we won't name names).

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The crowd kept coming back for the beer lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery, a nice seasonal selection featuring the Winter Ale, East India Pale Ale, Brown Ale and of course, the lager. And as an added touch, Original Sin Cider was on hand for those interested in alcohol of another fruit. As an edible attraction, there was a scrumptious spread of canapes and flatbreads courtesy of the new nearby nosherie, Radish!

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While no wine was made that evening, we certaintly crafted quite a few memories, many captured by Magnolia Photobooth. A huge thank you goes out to Brian, John and the Brooklyn Winery staff for welcoming the Yelp Elite for such an amazing event. Whether or not you made it out, be sure to check out the pictures and the reviews!

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Until next time,
Peter D
and the Yelp NYC Team!

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November Austin Elite Event: Dia de Los Yelpos

Posted by kelly stocker

It was a night of stunning visuals and cultural celebration. Dia de Los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday that occurs after Halloween where people gather to pray for and honor their dead, building elaborate altars and putting on processions or parades. Our event was a tad late – 14 days to be exact – but yelpers showed up to Maria Maria en masse to partake in the cultural holiday. Of course, this time it was more about free booze and free food... but we'll let it slide. After arriving and slapping on a name tag, there were decisions to be made: photobooth? booze? food? facepainting? listening raptly to the dreamy spanish guitar played by Esteban? (Okay so his name was really Steve Sarber but he'll always be Esteban to us!)

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Most folks settled into booze first, opting for a frosty Margarita provided by the muy deliciosa Camarena tequila or a frostier yet Imperial beer, with lime, natch. Jennifer G boasts "I think the bartender was trying to sacrifice me to the altar with the tequila drink he poured me." Some folks made a beeline to the food where they feasted (and in some cases waited for) duck tacos, quesadillas and chips and guac. In keeping with tradition, people had their face painted like calaveras (skulls) in creative and beautiful ways by Emily and Oether from BaldO painting. Everyone looked dead... in the very best way. Elite Kristina K was actually refused a cab ride by a totally freaked out cab driver!

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James Abbot, altar consultant, put together a stunning altar for folks to place pictures of loved ones who have passed on. In the middle of this sassy event, designer savannahred had six curvy couture models sashay through the party in showstopping DdLM inspired frocks. These ladies worked it -- rocking the proverbial red carpet and twirling around the huge tree in the middle of the restaurant. Heather F enumerates the excellence: "Delicious food, beer, margaritas, Spanish guitar, fashion show, photo booth and the list goes on!"

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Photobooth by Jonathan Garza caught people mugging for the camera (pics!) with guitar and sombrero and Hank Wizrodt filmed the entire affair. Coming soon to a YouTube channel near you... a party vlog! You too can experience all the Austin elite event glory thanks to the marvels of modern technology. We managed to go through all the food, all the booze, all the dignity we could and then adjourned to an after party at Lucky Lounge for $3 coronas and a band doing mashups.

Colin T wore the party all over his face the next day: "Today our HR lady was looking at me kinda fixedly... 'Are you wearing eyeliner'?"

Until the next fiesta maravillosa, SYOY!

Kelly 

November 16, 2010

Charlotte Elites Kick It '50s Style!

Posted by Nicole W

Charlotte Elites certainly know how to make it a Monday Funday as they gathered at Mattie's Diner for a '50s soiree. These plucky Elites feasted on delicious spiked milkshakes, endless eats and were treated to some super swing dancing that was outta sight.

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As Elites filled in to Mattie's Diner, they were wowed with the vintage decor and incredibly sweet staff. Sliding into booths or onto swivel chairs, these Charlotte vocal locals tasted some of Sparrow & Associates delicious liquor within their spiked milkshakes. Whether it was a Buttery Bourbon, Cherry Kick Float or a Spiked Elvis, these Elites dined on some delicious concoctions. Tiffany N very much preferred the Spiked Elvis, while Michael E favored the Buttery Bourbon.

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Meanwhile, to add some fire to their bellies, Mattie's served up incredible diner bites like buffalo chicken dip, deep fried bacon wrapped hotdogs, peanut butter banana french toast, soon to be famous meatlof, peach cobbler and homemade carrot cake. If an Elite wasn't full that night, they didn't come to the party! Anika G says, "The event was awesome! I'll be dreaming about that buffalo chicken dip."

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The night ended with some incredible swing dancing from Denise & Joe Polsgrove from Gottaswing Charlotte. Their punchy moves and aerial flips were absolutely amazing!

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Special thanks to all of the Mattie's staff who made this event one for the books! And major props to Jeff Portaro for catching all the action with his fab camera skillz. For all of the photo action, check our our flickr page. Plus, you can catch the skinny on all the reviews right here! Until next time, SYOY!

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-Nicole W
Charlotte Community Manager

November 13, 2010

The Mayor of St. Louis Meets With the Mayor of Yelp St. Louis!

Posted by Abby Schwarz

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St. Louisans have read about him in the newspaper and seen him at events around town, but what do we really know about City of St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay? This week, Community Manager Abby S sat down with the Mayor to find out more about the man behind City Hall!

AS: Congratulations on the city's launch of the single stream recycling program! For those who aren't familiar with the initiative, can you tell us more about it?

FGS: Recycling is a big deal and residential recycling isn't something we've had available to city residents until now – by Spring 2011, over 2/3 of the city will have residential recycling. We also have 58 drop-off locations as well. It's going to be a learning process for City residents, but once they get used to it, they'll find that they can recycle more and more.

AS: Way for STL to finally go green! You are obviously a busy guy! How and what do you do to relax after a long day?

FGS: With cell phones and email, it's tough to find time to stop working, but there are a few things I do to unwind: 1) Either a bike ride or a walk in Carondelet Park; 2) A light, hour-long workout at Powerhouse Gym in Shrewsbury; or 3) Walk my dog.

AS: Last meal on Earth (in St. Louis). Where would it be and what would you eat?

FGS: St. Louis has so many great places to eat, it's hard to choose just one! But I would have to say that I'd pick my brother's deli, Tommy's Sandwiches. Would go there with my family and indulge in either a Mediterranean wrap or an Uncle Mike's sandwich.

AS: You went to St. Mary's High School, but in what STL neighborhood did you grow up? What are your favorite things about that area?

FGS: I grew up in Lindenwood Park - my parents moved here in the 1950's and I spent almost my entire life there. My wife and I also raised our children here because it's such a solid, stable neighborhood. One of my favorite things about the area is driving up and down the street and reliving some fond memories of what happened here as a young boy. I did the math one day and realized that I've run up and down these streets about 10,000 times!

Some of the best businesses in the area include the library, Spiro's, Lorusso's and Babe's Tavern

AS: Yelp is encouraging everyone to shop local this holiday season. Where are some FGS approved shopping spots in STL?

FGS: There's nothing I hate more than waiting for a spot in a mall parking lot during the holidays! Place I do like are Crown Candy Kitchen, Bissinger's, Merbs for good, quick gifts. Have been meaning to check out STL Style down on Cherokee Street. And if you're looking for an "adult" beverage as a gift, definitely check out Randall's. They have the biggest supply in the region.

AS: Agreed! If someone were to review you on Yelp.com, do you think you'd get a 5-star rating?

FGS: I hesitate from reviewing myself, but I would give our City government employees a 5-star rating, especially in the way they've handled themselves during these tough economic times. With all of the tough budget cuts we've had to make, the employees at City Hall are working harder and delivering quality service. Even though there's fewer people working, you wouldn't notice since the quality of service has improved.

AS: What are three things in St. Louis that you couldn't live without?

FGS: It's difficult to pick just three... Can I pick at least four?

AS: For you? Yes, you can tell us about four.

FGS: First, there's the Arch. That monument defines our skyline. Forest Park is another - I go there often for events, my son's softball games, shows at The Muny, brunch at the History Museum. The Botanical Gardens because they're internationally renowned and it's such a beautiful, peaceful place. Finally, our public library system since it's one of the best in the country. One of my favorite branches is the one downtown - the architecture is so beautiful and its history is so rich.

AS: Great answers! Thank you very much for your time and insight. The Yelp St. Louis Community is excited to learn more about you.


FGS: My pleasure.

November 12, 2010

Yelp Cleveland Elite Launch Party

Posted by Cara

Yelp proved that it really don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing (or jazz) at the very first Cleveland Elite event, hosted in the cozy upstairs room of Reddstone!

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Elites and their guests sipped on the complimentary grape and orange-y goodness of Purple and Rang Tang Three Olives cocktails. As if that weren't enough, a full, fresh keg of tasty Magic Hat was tapped by the end of the night. It's safe to say that plenty of fun and libations were had!

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Host venue Reddstone served up light bites — featuring tangy bbq pork sliders, which Peter W devoured with delectable wraps and homemade pizza — that filled the bellies of all the cool cats and jive divas at this bash. Cleveland's own LaBella Cupcakes reminded us all that there's always room for dessert, especially decadent little treats that were almost too pretty to eat. Also, a big thanks to LaBella for the generous coupons good until the end of December (the perfect excuse to shop local for the holidays!)

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What's a jazz-themed party without a band, right? Yelpers chilled out by the cozy fires with their nibbles and bevs while listening to a live jazz trio. Peter and company — with a guitar, upright bass and drums in tow — played an acoustic set of smooth tunes that set the ambiance off right, especially for Roxanne O. Talk about the icing on the cupcake!

  
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Elites also basked in the glory of Yelp schwag galore! Mints, bottle openers, pins and Yelpstick filled the pockets of all who attended, so much so in fact that there were no leftovers to bring back home! I doubt anyone will be left with chapped lips or unopened beer bottles around these parts.


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Be sure to check out the photo gallery of the fun! Our thanks to Heather Muro for lending her amazing talents and capturing the good times. Oh, don't forget to review the event on Yelp if you made it out!

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A huge thank you goes out to all of the sponsors who made this first event phenomenal — and, last but certainly not least, thanks to all of the CLE's Elites who came out to made this lauch event a truly special night.

Until the next schindig... SYOY! (See You On Yelp).

Cara L

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Nashville Elite Launch Party @Yazoo Brewing Company!

Posted by Marcia

   
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Although Nashville was all abuzz on who was stepping out on the CMA black carpet, the Nashville Elites brought their curiosity and appetites to the Yelp + Yazoo + You = Nashville Elite Launch Party party.

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Yelpers and their guests were able to get their nosh on courtesy of the revamped Small Bites menu from Jackson's Bar & Bistro. Owner Tom Sheffer personally served the famished crowd with BBQ Chicken Sliders, phenomenal Packin' Heat Chili, and Beer Cheese Dip that was made with sharp cheddar which happened to be infused with Jackons' own Yazoo Pale Ale. Tonya L was certainly snockered from the dip alone!

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Guests also enjoyed a tour of Yazoo and all parts of the brewery to learn how crowd favorites Dos Perros and Sly Rye Porter are made. After the tour, Yazoo's own Neil McCormick convinced Jason S to try the Hop Project while Robin S became even more smitten with this Music City institution. The energetic crowd was practically swimming in their pint glasses!

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Our Yelp beer koozies made an appearance along with a hodge-podge of hilarious props at the photo booth, hosted by Claudia and Mark Cofer from Claudia Kay Photo. Sarah P and her crew opted to show their funny face with mustaches, specs, and frames while Peter K couldn't hold back laughs while cheesing for the camera.

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Thank you so much to all of the sponsors who made this first event a reality—and, of course, thanks to all of the Elites who made this kickoff such a fun experience!

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If you came out to play, don't forget to review the event on Yelp! And check out the rest of the photos at Claudia Kay Photo!

SYOY,

Marcia M

CMYazoolips

 

 

The Sweet Life of Yelp Phoenix

Posted by Lindsey Fosse

Last night, the sugar coated life of yelpers got a little sweeter when over 100 elites threw on their chef hats and showed off their pastry skills in the kitchen of Honey Moon Sweets in Tempe, Arizona.

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During a crisp November evening, Honey Moon Sweets opened their doors to give yelpers a taste of what it's like to live with a permanent sugar high. As yelpers gathered in the kitchen for the sweet bake-in, Four Peaks set up shop with their new cans of kiltlifter and the DJ got the group in the baking mood with classic oldies. Those with a sweet tooth quickly gobbled up desserts of every taste and shape including pumpkin, pecan, apple and chocolate pies, cakes for the chocoholics and vanilla vixens, bites for those with will power and several other treats like brownies and tarts. 

 

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Those eager to learn tips from the experts, parked at the cupcake decorating station and created masterpieces on their pumpkin, vanilla, chocolate or red velvet cupcakes. And with to-go containers on-hand, yelpers continued their sugar high throughout the night with a special midnight snack thanks to Honey Moon Sweets.

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While some took a break from consuming calories, executive pastry chef Joan and her team hosted a demonstration area and let yelpers watch the magical creation of a three tier wedding cake happen before their very eyes! One lucky yelper even got to leave with their very own cake for their next special occasion.

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Before these yelpers scurried home to pass out from their sugar high, a lucky few won tickets to Nascar, tickets to Broadway's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, tickets to A Taste of Chandler, a cake from Honey Moon Sweets and tickets to Rock Bottom featuring Skid Row! 

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A special thank you to Honey Moon Sweets for hosting the evening and providing special treats, Four Peaks for some delicious brew and to Esoterik Images for capturing some memorable moments of the night. Did you miss a piece of the pie? Check out the reviews!

See you next time!

Lindsey F

Yelp Phoenix Community Manager

Lindsey


Yelp Helps Makes a Difference in D-town!

Posted by Laura Levaas

What's better than a party for a cause? Or, 40 causes? We sure can't think of one!

More than 400 yelpers flocked to The Curtis Hotel Wednesday night to celebrate Yelp Denver's first event all about matching the community with awesome nonprofits: Yelp Helps. While mingling with local nonprofits and charities, yelpers and tweeps noshed on mini-cheesecakes, a variety of cheeses and fruits, veggies and dips, chips and guacamole and washed everything down with drinks mixed up courtesy of Tito's Handmade Vodka, Aspen Pure Water, Izze, Honest Tea, and Guayaki Yerba Mate.

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Attendees filled up two cartons of new toys for our Toys For Tots toy drive, lingered around the Fired Up For Kids booth getting their 2011 Colorado Firefighter Calendars signed, decoupaged their hearts out with Denver Handmade Alliance, and got their hearts pumping with Goldsprints sponsored by Denver B-Cycle and manned by @iamtheawesome. ShutterBooth Denver provided radical photobooth snaps, and R! Photography got all the photographic evidence of the evening.

Goodie bags boasted all kinds of treats, like goodnessKnows luscious snack squares (which you can now order online!), LaraBars, Cascadian Farm Organics samplers and oodles of coupons from TGIFriday's, Organic Pizza Company, and Backcountry Provisions. A slew of lucky yelpers won pies from Project Angel Heart's Pie In The Sky program, gift certificates from Bonza Bodies, errand service from Girl Wednesdsay Concierge and a tasty box of toffee from Enstrom's Toffee.

As best said by Kate G: The awesome Yelpy twists were there combined with a swarm of non-profits full of info, trinkets, activities and even crafts to entertain and seduce us into volunteering or donating. And how can I leave out the flock of fine firemen?? From the looks of it, that all worked together quite effectively. Thanks to all involved!

Tweet much? Throw our participating nonprofits a little tweet love. Here's a list of participating nonprofit twitter handles, and click here to check out all the amazing nonprofits in attendance.

Missed this do-gooder shindig? Want more? Check out the reviews, photos and ShutterBooth photos.

Until next time,

Laura L
Denver Yelp Community Manager

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November 11, 2010

Orlando Elites Slow Down at Orlando Brewing

Posted by Colleen Burns

Yes, Orlando just had their first Open Event last weekend but did that stop our Yelpers from coming out last night and “Slowing Down” at Orlando Brewing? NOPE! And this shindig was really laid back but there was no resting involved whatsoever, which was awesome!

Orlando Brewing is the only certified organic brewery in Florida. What does that mean? Only all natural, organic ingredients are used. We sampled three of their 19 available beers and everyone seemed to be extremely impressed with the flavors. The elite squad had the very first public taste of a brand new addition to the brewery, Rip Tide IPA. We also sipped on the Oktoberfest and as Ashley P.  said: “The third was a darker, chocolate flavored beer (they make tiramisu with it at Portobello [Biramisu here we come]), and it was hands-down awesome.”

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We also feasted on three different meatball sliders (beef & veal, turkey and pork) from the yummalicious, Portabello, located in Downtown Disney; A local gem hidden among the tourist hub. They also had various cheeses and meats that proved to be palette pleasing. For a sweet ending, we dove into the Ghirardelli® LUXE MILK™ Chocolates. LUXE MILK is made from the finest cocoa beans, highest quality ingredients and real vanilla and is 100% All Natural, delivering an unparalleled rich and creamy chocolate experience. Not one piece of chocolate was left over.


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Our ears were treated by local tunes from Orlando's own "Renaissance Man": Mr. Robert Johnson! Complimentary caricatures were created by amazing and magnetic local artist, Maria Bolton! Cornhole was also poppin’ in the parking lot.  Such a lovely evening with amazing yelpers and local hometown love.

 A huge thank you to all of our sponsors and those yelpers that came out to experience this local amazingness!

If you were able to attend, make sure to share your experience and if you missed out (shame on you) but check out all the reviews here and get ready for next year. A photo is worth a thousand words so don't forget to stop by our flickr page for all the action.

 SYOY,
Colleen B.

CBYelp



 

Portland's Yelp Elite had a FAN-Tastic Evening at Henry's 12th Street Tavern!

Posted by Don Bourassa

Yelp's got spirit, yes we do! Yelp's got spirit, how 'bout you?

Oh yes we do! Portland's Yelp Elite showed their true colors and team spirit as they came out en masse to Henry's 12th Street Tavern on Wednesday, Nov. 10th to enjoy libations, an extremely generous array of food, games of billiards and some good old fashioned Wii action.

Boxing P With their dukes up and their favorite fan gear on, Kimberly V and Kade M rolled in with the crowds to Henry's sweet hidden upstairs billiards room dressed in their favorite team colors and fan flair. Orian I's chants of "I want lemon drops, and cosmos too!" were answered by Henry's championship team of bartenders and servers. With the New Deal Vodka flowing along, the line for drinks may have at points been long, but the pours were strong. And while Stanley T and Bob S were cheering for beer, Lompoc's C-Son's Greetings, C-Note, Proletariat Red and Oktoberfest Marzen were going the extra yard to keep those hop-heads happy (hoppy?). FoodP Needless to say, by the time the fourth quarter came around, the drink fans had nothing but high-fives for Henry's professional drink slingers.

With all that vodka and beer flowing, sports fans can sure get hungry, but even champion eater Kobiyashi's stomach would have been no match for the endless display of delicious food offered up the Portland's ravenous crowd. With platters full of California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, locally-made Zenner's sausages, chili dogs, the signature gorgonzola fries, orange chicken, flatbread pizzas, hummus and tapenade crostini, and even full-on rib platters, the Henry's crew brought their A+++ game. In fact, even self-proclaimed legendary eater Matt M announced: "I can't eat any more ribs!" To which his wife and fellow Elite Kari M replied "I've never heard him say that before." Yeah, there was THAT much food. Anna and Nathan P Of course, not to stop there, the folks at Henry's passed out coupons for free gorgonzola fries upon return visits, so elites could come back for more when they finally get hungry again (which may be a few days from now).

With bellies full and thirst quenched, Portland's Elite community mixed and mingled while playing games of pool on Henry's multiple full-sized pool tables and rocked some Wii Tennis and Bowling on the projection screen in the back. At half-time, the best-dressed put on a cheering demonstration and the fans voted on who should take home top honors for their fan fare. While Sam W easily took top honors for his "I (burst) Boobies" clever fan gear (he won a Ukulele!), it was a tough race between the rest. Kimberly V and Kade M each walked off with a pair of patriotic boxing gloves to battle for runner-up honors. We just hope they keep the fighting fair (and offline!). Melvin T gets an honorable mention for being brave enough to rock full Lakers gear deep in Blazer's territory. With the prizes distributed, Yelpers ate and drank their way to the final buzzer, then off to the Red Cap for after hours. It may have been a regular season Elite Event, but there was no shortage of playoff atmosphere!

5166821045_6859d94df8_m Huge thanks go to Mike, Ashley, Brian, and ALL of the folks from Henry's And RUI for throwing an incredible event and seriously raising the bar for food at Elite events in Portland. Your team rocked the spot. A gigantic debt of gratitude goes to Sarah and Tom from New Deal Vodka for always bringing us delicious, locally-made cocktails. If you don't have a bottle of this inexpensive, delicious and LOCAL vodka at home, what are you waiting for? And to Zig (and Chris!) from Lompoc, a humongous thanks for not only bringing us expertly made portland brews, but beyond that offering up 4 delicious choices for Yelpers to choose from, and even one beer (C-Son's) that wasn't even on shelves yet! Of course I have to thank Phill, Hilary B and Monica S for all of the help with the event, and of course last, but definitely not least, to the Portland Elite Squad, without whom none of this would be possible.

5166813051_af95c0ffc9_m But don't take my word for it! Check out the reviews and photos from the event.

Until next time, keep up those amazing reviews, and I will See You On Yelp (SYOY)!

-- Don "We Are The Champions" B.

November 10, 2010

Boston Elites Get Their Grind On at Taza Chocolate

Posted by Damien S

Snozzberries are so 1971. Savvy yelpers in Boston know the real draw to any candy factory is the chocolate, and Taza's treats are second to none. The Somerville legend opened the doors of its revamped production facility and brand spankin' new retail space to 120 lucky golden ticket holders Tuesday. Guided tours by master chocolatier Mike and Taza co-founder Alex fed nuggets of edutainment to the hairnet-adorned Elites, covering all aspects of their old school, stone ground Mexican style of cocoa creation.

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In the retail space, Aaron from Russell House Tavern whipped up Karlsson Gold vodka, Averna, port and Taza chocolate extract cocktails for the mingling masses, while JJ and her Cuisine En Locale team passed "locavore friendly" snacks for between-nib nibbling. On the menu: Hungarian profiteroles with korozott, sage and cheddar puff pastry pinwheels with roasted hubbard squash seeds, napa cabbage chicken rolls drizzled with green tomato chutney, and the cocoa de gras, a layered beast of oat cookie, sweet onions, bleu cheese, bacon and caramelized Taza chocolate that "rocked" Alyssa J's "world to the point of near delirium." Gloop, there it is!

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From a dashing display that'd make 50 Cent jealous, yelpers sampled every product in Taza's shoppe and went home with a hand-wrapped Cinnamon or Guajillo Chile Mexicano chocolate wheel. April C left happy, calling this journey the event that "would make anyone, that's right ANYONE, want to be part of the chosen few who call themselves the 'Yelp Elite.'" Check's in the mail, April.

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Tatsu captured the photomagic here, the attendees are abuzz on Talk and the reviews are rolling in. Maybe next time we'll balance the karma dentata by taking over an orthodontist's office. The Drilla in Manilla? Attack of the Killer To-molars?

Nah, ruining your teeth is more fun.

Hugs and non-Hershey Kisses,

Damien S

L


November 09, 2010

High Rollers Pour into Underdog Wine Bar

Posted by Monica

Last night amid twinkling stars and climbing vineyards, Yelp East Bay elites decked out in tuxedos and little black dresses to enjoy a truly exquisite evening at Underdog Wine Bar. Underdog is the champion of the "underdogs" of the wine world. As a wine producer, they partner with viticulturists and winemakers from around the globe to craft and introduce unique, esoteric wines to people.  Not only is Underdog innovative when it comes to showcasing unique wines but they also have a truly lovely venue - which proved to be the perfect backdrop for the incredible Casino Royale themed Yelp Elite Event.

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Nestled among thriving vineyards, Underdog was lit beautifully by the low-hung moon. It's picturesque heated outdoor patio, was painted with yelpers in chic snug fitting black dresses, dapper black suits and white tuxes, as a plethora of delicious wines were poured by Underdog's personable staff. Yelp Elite's even got to meet winemaker, Darcie Kent, a Livermore producer!

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In Underdog's main wine bar area, Megan Slankard's soulful crooning (she even did an impressive Tiny Dancer cover) wisped yelpers off to serene heights, while sampling plate after plate of swoon-worthy appetizers (mini sliders with melted brie cheese, pork sliders, flat bread with caramelized onions and feta, and tuna tartare on light wonton chips). Later on, the evening would be graced by decadent desserts, like miniature chocolate tarts with coffee bean caramel and sea salt, caramel apple galettes, and walnut cookies in a cup of Syrah ice cream.

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In between Megan's lovely singing and the clink of wine glass toasts were joyous excited shouts which poured out of the Casino Room. That's right, you read that correctly - the casino room. Aces Up gracefully transformed Underdog's wine library room into a high rolling casino. Yelpers crowded around the game tables (Black Jack, 3 Card Poker and Roulette) betting on their favorite numbers and holding tightly to their winning hands as lady luck moved with ease throughout the space. Special thanks to the diligent and amiable staff that helped the night go off without a hitch and the festive and decadent yelpers who added to the night’s cheerful spirit! Don't take our word though, read the reviews and check out the rest of the photos (special thanks to our yelper photogs James M and Augusto L)!

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Nazdarovya!

Monica S

November 08, 2010

Erster Berliner Yelp Elite Event in der Galander Bar!

Posted by Tanja

Gestern war es endlich soweit: Die Berliner Yelp-Elite traf sich ihrem ersten exklusiven Event! Zum glänzenden Auftakt ging es für die fleißigen Yelper in die edle, klassische Bar Galander in Kreuzberg, in der sie von Dominik Galander und Lars Junge in die berauschende Welt der Spirituosen und der Cocktails entführt wurden.

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Als wandelndes Lexikon vermittelte der namengebende Gastgeber seinen besonderen Gästen nicht nur unglaublich viel anschauliches Spirituosen-Fachwissen, das mit Verkostungen untermalt wurde, sondern zeigte ihren auch, wie man richtig mit dem Shaker und sämtlichen anderen Barutensilien umgeht. Dies nicht nur in der Theorie, sondern vor allem in der Praxis. Es hiess also hinter den Tresen und los!

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Die Yelper wirkten (Dank der fachkundigen Hilfe von Lars Junge) fast wie Profis, als sie ihre Cosmopolitans, Mai Tais, Park Lanes oder etwa Magaritas selbst schüttelten. "Ein riesiger Spaß, der fortan jeden Berliner Bartender das fürchten lehren könnte, wenn einer von uns Yelpern sein Lokal betritt", wie Daniel B treffend formulierte während er an diesem Abend seine ungeahnte Leidenschaft für hochwertigen Tequila entdeckte. "So ein toller Cocktail-Workshop sucht wirklich seinesgleichen", schwärmte auch Mareen S. Ein rundum gelungener Abend des guten Trunkes, der allen Teilnehmern lange in Erinnerung bleiben wird. 

Yesterday Yelp Berlin invited some lucky yelpers to its first ever elite event. At the fabulous, classic bar, Galander, in Kreuzberg yelpers were introduced to the magical world of spirits and cocktails. Elites got behind the bar and learned to mix and shake a variety of drinks including mai tais and margaritas. 


Prosit & Cheers, 

Tanja B 

Community Manager Berlin

Yelp Orlando Did Good And Got Our Yelp Helps On!

Posted by Colleen Burns

Yelpers and almost 20 local organizations gathered for a phenominal event that was not only fun but inspiring as well. We took over the monumental Dino Digs in The Orlando Science Center which was a phenominal backdrop for such a monster  event. "This was a great event to raise awareness about the wonderful charities Orlando has. Especially right before the holidays this needed tobe done!" -Daya A.

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To keep things moving and pumping, we have live beats by DJ A-Rock, local artists, Steph Wood painting live, two hilarious stand-up comics giving us IRL LOLs Mike Charette and Jiggy. Also, Fresh Med Spas had some nice special treats to share with everyone. Orlando LIVE and their magnetic host, Peter Murphy, were there to grab all the excitement on fil and stream live for the entire event.

We had various local restaurants feeding us nom nom goodies including The Bees Knees Sweet Treats, Funky Monkey Wine Company, Bananas, Sprinkles Custom Cakes, Infusion Tea and Chocolate Provocateur.

All those delicious goodies of course require some fantastic drinks to accent the falvors and boy were we spoiled! We had the company that creates and promotes delicious, truly healthy, organic beverages, the refreshing Honest Tea. We also indulged in the sweet lusciousness of South Carolina's, The Original Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. We also sipped on some VnC Cocktails which are basically a "bartender in a bottle!" We had the refreshing Mojito and Pomegranate Cosmo that flowed freely. 

"Not only was I spoiled by some of the great local businesses, but I got to spend time with yelpers and learn about all these amazing volunteer options I didn't even know I had!" -Jessica R.

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A HUGE shout-out to all of our local non-profits that came out and represented their organization to the fullest with games, silent auctions and mascots in full uniform! Great big hug to One Brick Orlando who helped us rock this entire event. 

If you were able to attend, make sure to share your experience and if you missed out (shame on you) but check out all the reviews here and get ready for next year. A photo is worth a thousand words so don't forget to stop by our flickr page for all the action.

 SYOY,
Colleen B.

CBYelp

November 04, 2010

Atlanta Elites Play Dead at No Mas! Cantina

Halloween isn't the end of costumes for Yelp, as evidenced by the impressive spread at Dia de los Yelpos, a Day of the Dead celebration at No Mas Cantina on November 2nd. 100 Yelp Elites and their guests, many tricked out in true skeleton style, came out to mourn lost loved ones in the most festive and fun way they knew how: with lots of food and margaritas!

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No Mas had a full spread set out for us with tamales, quesadillas, sopa, chicken mole, queso, and more! A true feast for even the hungriest members of the afterlife, with blood orange margaritas full of 1800 Silver Tequila to wash it all down. A photobooth provided by the crew at LeahandMark.com allowed the memories of the evening to be recorded in time forever... and ever.

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Even if you weren't able to make it out to this fabulous fiesta, you can check out all of the reviews here and the full set of photos from LeahandMark.com here. See you at the next one!

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November 03, 2010

Movember Mustache Bash at Mugshots

Posted by kelly stocker

So when you put on an epic party like the one at Speakeasy in September, it's hard to figure out how to continue your winning streak. Turns out you just have to throw together an event featuring copious beer, food and facial hair. Mix in a charity element (Movember), some pint glasses and a polaroid camera and elite yelpers will roll with it. The event sits at a solid five stars and even Camron R "found some time between his 27 hour a day job and making out with supermodels to share some of his thoughts on the latest Yelp Event."

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Tuesday night was election night, it was rainy, we were downtown and still Austin elites showed up to don mustaches and drink delicious Lone Star at Mugshots. Lauren W fell in love with "this great bar! The bartenders were fantastic, the jukebox loaded with great tunes, and the photo booth was super fun." As the beer flowed, yelpers mingled around the shotgun-style bar, sat and chatted in dark corners, showed off their mad pool skillz and mugged for the (promptly broken) camera. Karen C writes "What a perfect way to end a rainy day. I had a blast playing pool, drinking cold Lone Stars, and scarfing down homemade smoked turkey, brisket, and banana pudding from Blue Ribbon BBQ."

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Folks went back for seconds and thirds of Blue Ribbon Barbecue's amazing food. Owner Bobby Cavo sliced freshly smoked brisket and had barbecue bites of other assorted meats. His fresh banana pudding led to broken promises to diet buddies and waistlines as Yelpers harfed down as much as they possibly could. On the other side of the bar, Tasty Bite served up vegan and veggie options. Their pan-asian rice dishes satisfied our love for things that are a. yummy b. easy and c. exotic. And total bonus: We got takeaways!

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At the end of the night, forty five people signed up for participation in Movember and received Yelp pint glasses. We raffled off bacon flavored car air fresheners, spots at the super rad Casino Royale and two passes to Fun Fun Fun fest. I think we can all safely say that the elites brought the party Tom Selleck style -- that is to say with mustachioed magnificence and more than a little panache.

Until the next one, SYOYelp!

Kelly 

Chicago Elites Celebrate the Launch of Hot On Yelp!

Posted by Jelena Z

Last night, over 200 Chicago Yelp Elites came to celebrate the launch of Hot On Yelp at stunning host venue, Loft on Lake. Elites were privy to the kickoff of 22 spa and salon deals going live on the site, available for purchase at the event!

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To commemorate the week-long sale of exclusive beauty deals, yelpers indulged in signature martinis by Zodiac Vodka, bubbly kissed by the oh-so-decadent St-Germain liqueur, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir wines from The Naked Grape, as well as hard cider from perennial favorite, Crispin. All bases were covered on the libations front thanks to the deft hands of the D'Absolute Catering staff!

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Not a sweet tooth in the house was left unsatiated: Pastries Not Potatoes passed tray-after-tray of whimsical desserts including mini-cupcakes, shortbread, and chocolate truffle cheesecake lollipops. The Confection Diva fulfilled fantasies of housemade toffee, and Ghirardelli Luxe indulged guests with their smooth + silky almond milk chocolate.

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While guests rubbed their appropriately decked-out elbows, DJ Roma Soul cranked the global music-laced beats and got the party movin'. The extreme(ly) talented makeup artists from Mario Ink/Glam Live showed off their celebration of the female form: Two models artistically and elaborately bathed in body paint.

The gorgeous Loft On Lake got good glow with extraordinary lighting from Art of Imagination... you can see the results of Matt Ginger's amazing camera work here. In between paparazzi shots, guests posed (and then posed some more!) in the ShutterBooth. To read all about the lovely evening, click here and don't forget to peep all of the spa and salon deals here. Remember, Hot On Yelp deals are valid for an entire year, but they're only on sale through Wednesday, Nov. 10th at midnight. Get your pamperin' and prettyin' on now, and we'll see you soon!

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Your Hot On Yelp CMs,
Colleen C and Jelena Z

Sacramento Gets Hot on Yelp!

Posted by Olivia L

As the Giants took victory in the World Series, Sacramento was watching with glee -- all while getting massaged, made over and tan at the Hot on Yelp launch party at Aura Monday night.

In between rub downs, they sipped on delightful Lemondrop cocktails and Martinis by boutique artisan Cold House Vodka (the only local, Sacramento Valley distiller), as well as fruity 360 Bay Breeze cocktails by the world's only eco-friendly vodka — 360 Vodka. In fact, the entire Cold House team was on hand for chatting about recipes and how to make your own moonshine. For the avid sports fans, a flat screen tele showing the epic win and complimentary draft beer were close at hand.

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While yelpers perused Aura's large gorgeous two-story space, they fueled up on a wealth of seriously amazing — and never ending —  passed bites from Aura including chicken picatta, chicken parmesan, salmon (SOOOOOOoooo good), and two kinds of their piping hot gourmet pizzas.

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Once everyone had a drink in hand, and some delicious fare in their bellies - Sacramento yelpers got to getting pretty, while DJ Smilez (find him on Facebook) killed it with bumpin' tunes from Miss Gaga and Mr. Jackson to name a couple. Downstairs, Reanna Skin Care & Make Up Studio transformed faces and happily gave make-up tips while The Spa Simply Skin showed up in force with three beds to give heavenly massages and Vitamin C peels.  Spanish Fly Hair Garage are always a crowd pleaser, making sure ladies and gents left with rockin'  5 star 'do's. Last but not least, EyeCandy Sunless Spa did on site spray tan demonstrations, and even managed to sweet talk Sacramento's own Alex C into stripping down (and with flair, we might add) to his skivvies to get bronzed in front of a hooting and hollering Yelp crowd! Our cheeks still hurt from that one. Way to be a team player.

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And to keep the hotness going after the party's end, four lucky yelpers Jessica W, Jim A, Yvonne N and Lynette M won month-long unlimited passes to Asha Yoga in Midtown.

Thanks and hugs always to our dynamic duo, Debbie P and Darren M who were fly like a G6, shuttling CMs, shuttering cameras and shuffling decorations for the night. See Darren's pics here for easy download or check them out on our Flickr page.

Have you not written a review yet? It's OK. You still have time. Check them out here. Thank you all for coming — it was fabulous being able to really get a chance to talk with some of you!

We will close in the words of Paul J: "Yelp events are like Vegas. Just when you think you are not going to top what you did before, you go out and do it again — but better!!!!"

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Cheers,
Jessica T and Olivia L

Dia de los Yelpos Rattles & Hums at Philadelphia's El Rey

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What is that sound?  A whisper of dry leaves... a barely discernable clack clack clack of bone on bone... then a sudden burst of mariachi music and joyful dancing.  It's Dia de los Yelpos

Philadelphia Elites were treated to a special night of celebration at El Rey, famed restaurateur Stephen Starr's take on a south-of-the-border bizarro diner.  Prison art? Check. Fresh guacamole topped with crispy grasshoppers?  Oh yeah. Pitchers of margaritas marrying sharp Sauza tequila with house-made tamarind, pinapple, mango and guava mixers and Modelo brews at the ready? Abso-fuerte-lutely.

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Yelp snapper James David Saul mixed in, capturing Yelp Elites up to their usual shenanigans. With buckets of Tecate and Mexican Coke at the ready, more than a few of the crew went to work on Wednesday in less-than-prime condition.  "I absolutely decimated the local insect population thanks to the addictive guacamole topped with fried crickets," writes Christopher R.  "I think they need to start taking lessons from their cousin Jiminy, because they definitely failed to act as my conscience when I reached for my billionth can of Tecate.  Yesterday may have been the Day of the Dead but this morning felt like Dawn of the Dead."

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Peep all the the professional pics by Signor Saul and then check out the reviews of this fabulous fiesta here

Til' death do us party,

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Felicia D

Philadelphia Community Manager

November 01, 2010

Do-gooder Yelpers Come Together For Yelp Helps In San Antonio!

Posted by Krys Theilen

A call out to Alamo City yelpers who want to do good and help local non-profits find much needed volunteers resulted in an incredible night to remember!

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This spectacular event took place with the most amazing back-drop of the San Antonio Museum of Art. It was outdoors on a beautiful south Texas night, and yelpers were treated to "perfect weather and a sky full of stars!" -Breanne S.

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Our incredible sponsors also included Freetail Brewing Company, who sent a seemingly unending supply of some of the city's most delicious locally brewed beer! And let's not forget the "culinary expertise" (Shawn M) of Cafe Des Artistes who fed us all night long with delicious bites a plenty! The Cafe provided yelpers with a spread that could have gone on for days! And we weren't shy – we wiped them out of their delicious selections! Next time you're downtown, visit this incredible venue!

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The final layers to this epic night were the musical selections of A Day Like No Other and incredible gift bags sponsored by Tasty Bite.

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This night was truly special. But, don't take my word for it. Peep the reviews and pics!

Until December, sweet yelpers... SYOY!

Krys T

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Honolulu Yelp Elites Have A Yimpin' Good Time

Posted by Emi H

Whoever said "Yimpin' ain't easy" has surely never been to a Yelp Elite party in Honolulu! 200+ costumed Yelp Elites partied it up at downtown hot spot, the Venue, for a "Yelp Yimps & Yos" pre-Halloween bash. The swank performance space offered up the perfect background for an epic evening of Yelpadocious mischief! 

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Dressed in an array of amazing costumes, yelpers sipped up Van Gogh Vodka cocktails and downed Mehana & Hawaii Nui beers. As Elite Cy C so eloquently advised, "If you don't want a hangover, don't stop drinking! Once you stop drinking thats when you get a hangover!" So that's how he does it...

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As if an endless stream of booze wasn't enough, downtown pizza kings JJ Dolan's doled out an array of savory pizzas and buffalo wings. Halloween is all about paying for your dentist's new Beamer so yelpers created a few more cavities by gobbling down mini red velvet cupcakes served up by the cupcake and cookie masters at the Hokulani Bake Shop!  

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Throughout the evening party goers bobbed to beats by the always enigmatic DJ Capecod (dressed as Andy Warhol) and were mesmerized by the dazzling hula hooping troupe Hula Coupe. Elites even tried their hand at showing off their hip undulating hula hooping skills on the dance floor. Uh...keep your day jobs folks!

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San Francisco CM Ruggy J flew down from the motherland to host the night's costume contest where the winners won gift certificates from Bar 35, Brasserie Du Vin & BambuTwo. It all came down to a Slash doppelganger (of Guns 'n Roses fame, of course), a shirtless man with nothing but a pair of stunner shades & a Shake Weight, a flamboyant pink unicorn, and a homemade Deadmau5 costume that stole the show!

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Missed out on the spooktacular time? Read the party reviews, gab about it on Talk and spy the loud & proud party pics here!

Aloha & SYOY!

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Emi H

Disco Diva & Community Manager, Yelp Honolulu

 

Silicon Valley Yelp's Spooktacular Halloween Bash!

Posted by Connie Chang

Over 250 Silicon Valley Yelp Elite had a frighteningly fun time last Thursday night at the biggest and baddest Halloween bash in all of SV at Level 236 in San Mateo! Yelpers came in their spookiest, silliest or sexiest costumes and tore it up on the dance floor.

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Guests indulged in devilishly decadent bites provided by neighboring restaurant Attic, screamingly scrumptious vanilla and chocolate pot de cremes by Sweet and luscious libations provided by Blue Angel Vodka and Pale Moon. Many were plooming away inside the plush Ploom Lounge. And everyone had the opportunity to be captured in super fun party favors by Action Flipbooks! Check out the thrilling montage featuring everyone's awesome 7 second videos here!

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Three cheers for the staff at Level 236 and Attic for hosting our wickedly wild bunch, even way after the event was over. Kudos to our fantastic photographers Carol L and Ian L for capturing fun shots of everyone in their costumes, especially the surprise Joon Y brought to the party! An added highlight of the evening? Getting to catch the Giants World Series Game 2 at Attic, and relishing in their win of 9-0 against the Rangers!

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And of course, special thanks to all the yelptastic Elite for making this one last YEE to remember! I'll definitely be reliving it through all the howling fun reviews and photos.

It's now time to take my final bow... much love from Miss Silicon Valley Yelp,

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Connie C

O'Byrne's Beverage House Says Boo!

Posted by Annie

As darkness descended on Saturday night the Yelpers made their way to the ghoulish interior of O'Byrne's Beverage House where the staff tricked and treated Dublin's Elite Squad to a nightmarish night.

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There was a large projection that played scences of famed horror flicks like "The Shining" to the "Little Shop of Horrors." The music that played over it was classic tunes of that genre like the piercing sound in the shower scence in "Psycho". A large table dripping with candle wax and fruits held the selection of beers for us Yelpers to pick from.

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The Yelpers sampled beers such as Headless Dog, Leffe, Blonde Frog Ale and many more. The selection of craft beers in O'Bryne's Beverage House is extremely impressive and there is something there for everyone. Best of all they kindly gave each Yelper a goodie bag with Lithuanian beer SVYTURYS and a branded glass - nice!

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Thank you so much to the O'Byrne's Beverage House team - they did a terrific job. You can review the night here! Catch up on the gossip of the night here! And lastly you can check out the great photos that the talented Cian Brennan took here! Till next time, see you on Yelp.

All my best,

Annie L