The allure of the speakeasy is that it's hidden in plain sight, but only those in the know are invited inside. What better metaphor for our first Buffalo Elite Event, hosted exclusively for Yelp's Buffalo-area crew of fun-loving urban explorers?
It's also apropos that Pearl Street Grill & Brewery hosted Yelp Buffalo's Elite Squad kickoff. Yelp's Top-Secret Sunday was held in Brawler's Back Alley Deli, their semi-secret basement space (once a former speakeasy!). Only those who knew the secret password were allowed entry.
Our Elites and their guests snuck downstairs to find tables spread with samplers of beer (brewed upstairs), sandwiches stacked high with roasted turkey, plates of hot pizza, and delectable, crispy chicken wings (obviously, it's Buffalo!).
Once our Elites and their guests had gathered and gotten a bite, we kicked things off with a game in which each person shared their favorite "Yelp-y secrets," from hidden blueberry farms to grapefruit-potato gnocci (Yelp reviews to come, natch!).
Then, our yelpers were led on a behind-the-scenes tour of the upstairs brewery by badass associate brewer Kat T, who regaled our super-users with tales of the Buffalo beer district's seedy history.
Afterwards, Kat and fellow drink-slinger Phil I slid behind the bar to pour us ample samples of their personality-packed beers. The standouts: Lake Effect Ale, Trainwreck German Amber and Street Brawler Stout!
After the tour, the local virtuosos of Universe Shark struck up some bluesy tunes as part of Pearl Street's Speakeasy Series, a weekly music night hosted by The Good Neighborhood (a Weekly Yelp sponsor).
As some yelpers gathered 'round to groove, others made their way to the photobooth to grab '20s-inspired props (think feather boas and fake mustaches) and compete for "Best Yelper Photo." We had some serious contenders: check out Buffalo Elites Lindsay A and Heather W below!
(More photos coming soon on the Yelp Buffalo official Flickr page.)
A big thanks goes out to the staff at Pearl Street Grill & Brewery: they set the bar high for every Yelp Buffalo Elite venue to come! Another goes to Cleveland's lovely community manager Cara L, who road-tripped it out to help put her Rust Belt sista city on the Yelp map. And of course, to Ana J, our Elite photographer, for snapping pix of the night's best moments.
And finally, big ups to Yelp's first Buffalo Elite Squad, who brought their boundless enthusiasm and super-cool posses. Seems like everyone went home with a new favorite beer and a few new Yelp friends. And plenty of ideas for future reviews for Buffalo's other "top-secret" hideaways!
Did you attend this event? Relive the magic on Talk here, or pen your own version of events here. Wondering what Yelp Elite Events are all about? Check out this blog post by our CEO here. Want to know how you can score invites to parties like this? More info on Yelp's Elite Squad here. Interested in hosting a Yelp event like this one? Email email@example.com and say hello!
Until next time, dames & gents,
Yelp Buffalo Community Manager