Last weekend I attended my first Yelper party, which is a free event put on by Yelp, the social networking site that uses customer reviews to rate local businesses. This was called Yelpy-Con, a play on the popular comic-book convention and was held at Geppi's Entertainment Museum (owned by Baltimore publisher Steve Geppi).
The party featured more than 25 local businesses giving out food, drink, and information about their companies. I love that these parties feature a mix of off-the-beaten-path places like Nalley Fresh (loved the spicy rice bowls), as well as new spots (Gordon Biersch Brewery) and old stalwarts (Chaps Pit Beef).
Bartending was provided by John Reusing, owner of Bad Decisions in Fells Point. I had an addictive punch concoction made with Jim Beam's Black Cherry Red Stag bourbon and a sparkling wine. Very delicious.
People certainly got into the theme, as there were superheroes and Stormtroopers walking around among us. Towards the end of the night, the place got packed with hundreds of people, which made sense since the event was open to anyone with a Yelp account who RSVP'd. Though the party was free, donations were being accepted to Cool Kids Campaign, a nonprofit fighting childhood cancer.
The whole idea is a win-win, as party go-ers got free food and drink, businesses got those sometimes critical Yelpers on their good side, and a good cause was being supported. To check out future events, visit Yelp Baltimore's site.
[Photo by me]