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June 14, 2011

Yelp Chicago's On A Boat!

Posted by Johnny Todd

The most wonderful time of the year for most folks comes at the end of the year. This isn’t true for Chicagoans. After 15 months of winter, this is the most wonderful time of the year. And, what better way to celebrate this most wonderful time of the year than with a perfect summer evening aboard the Spirit of Chicago? Two hundred invited members of the Yelp Chicago Elite Squad got the chance to enjoy Yelp’s Three-Hour Tour.

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This was no ordinary tour. Thankfully, Gilligan was nowhere to be seen, but the Howell’s would have felt right at home with the accommodations. Fresh from a million dollar renovation, the Spirit of Chicago has never looked better. From gleaming dance floors to jaw-dropping decks, the old girl still has it. And, she showed it off from the beginning.

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As soon as Elites checked in, they were treated to a professional portrait complete with life preserver  and view of Lake Michigan in the background. Fresh from the photo shoot, dazzled Elites boarded the private deck and were greeted with perfectly chilled glasses of Lulu B Chardonnay. Wine in hand (or down the hatch), Elites made their way to expertly laid-out table settings of white linens, abundant silverware, Yelp sunglasses, and Elite Squad watches. What’s the time? It’s time to get yelped!

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But, what’s a table without food? Touring Elites wouldn’t know because they didn’t just have food; they had a buffet. Hungry Elites were sated with mouth-watering Thai Beef, Caprese Pasta Salad, Pineapple Chicken, Tilapia, Twice-Baked Potatoes, and many more options. Is there any wonder why so many went back for seconds (or, thirds? No names. Andre). This isn’t to mention dessert courses of chocolate fondue, fresh fruit, cheesecake, brownies, and other delectables. To accompany the fantastic food, Lulu B  Cabernet Sauvignon and Magners Cider (Original and Pear). No matter what they sipped, mouths and bellies were happy!

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Not satisfied with only happy noses and tongues, the Spirit staff decided that Elites’ ears and eyes must be treated as well. How? Glad you asked. In addition to superb wait skills, the staff of the Spirit can entertain with the best of them. Several servers serenaded Elites to stylings of Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift and Jason Mraz. Those who didn’t sing got out on the dance floor and Dougied and Wobbled to the amazing tunes spun by DJ Chris Somera. For the non-dancing fools of the crew, the top decks showcased a view of the Second City most never get to see. Sunset against the backdrop of the Chicago skyline could only be topped by watching a fireworks display on Lake Michigan against a pitch-black sky. Perfect.

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If you weren’t there or want to relive the evening, the expert eye of Colin Lyons managed to snap every moment of the 5-star night. Gaze at his stellar shots here. If you’re a fan of the written word, take a peek at what guests said here. It’s said that Chicagoans suffer through winter to get to summer. The Three-Hour Tour was proof of that. It was the most wonderful time of the year.


Your Captain,


Johnny T


Damian Plaza

I must agree that the night was spectacular. The weather permitted for a wonderful evening with Elites and just a beautiful night. What an evening and to have wonderful conversations, I must admit, I've gone back twice since the cruise happened.

Thank you Yelp and Johnny T, what an evening we did have. Great food, wine and gifts and of course GREAT COMPANY.

Matthew S


You REALLY outdid yourself on this one. 100% classy event - loved every moment of it!


Ericka A.

This was one of the best events ever! I can't remember the last time I was on a boat. The food was great, the people were good, and the time flew. Thank you so much for this!

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