Yelp about Columbus, an obituary of dead restaurants

by Maureen McCabe on September 20, 2007

maureen_restaurant_sign_red_med_.jpgA woman “I know” in California is not a fan of Yelp. 

I had been invited, joined Yelp and forgot about it.   When the California woman mentioned Yelp and said “don’t ever do Yelp” (or something like that… ) I went online and did some reviews.   Perverse?  Me?  You bettcha.

I can’t say much about the CA woman’s beef with Yelp because she shared it semi privately.  I think it was mostly a misunderstanding…  It has to do with reviews she posted herself.  About herself.  It does not seem to be the point of “yelping.”  I think she may have run into “the Yelp Elite Squad” … more about them below.

Anyway her saying “don’t use Yelp” sent me to Yelp… to try to do a restaurant review while the experience is fresh in my brain.  I found  a bunch of old dead restauarants, some that I still mourn.   I did obits for those restaurants.

The Baja Fresh in Worthington was  my favorite place for lunch until they suddenly closed, two years ago?  Three years ago? 

The Baja Fresh at Polaris was one of my favorite places for dinner until they closed suddenly (same time as the Worthington Baja Fresh) a couple of years ago.

La Costa on Worthington-Galena… my other favorite place for dinner… I think it closed just weeks after Baja Fresh … a conspiracy to deny me of Mexican food? 

Those three restaurants came up with address on Yelp … or former address just by putting the restaurant name in.   So I reviewed them and did an R.I.P.

Yelp did not have the info on the Bone Fish Grill at Polaris…which is still open which I wanted to do a review of… but why should I look up an address… maybe I don’t really get Yelp.  Do I like… or dislike any restaurant,  service enough to do the research to do a review?  What’s in it for me?  Making Yelp a better place?

I did do reviews for two still very much alive (I hope) Central Ohio Mexican restaurants, including one of my favorites, La Hacienda Real on Sinclair. 

Pierre Calzadilla invited me to Yelp.  Pierre is with  a  real estate web 2.0 company. 


Yelp even has an “Elite  Squad” of “the coolest yelpers.”

“The Yelp Elite Squad is a crack team of the coolest yelpers. The kind of people who love to write colorful, witty reviews about the places they dig or detest and everything in between. They are the people that tip you off to the little hole in the wall eatery you never knew existed or a doctor you can trust. They are trendsetters and influencers, both on and off the site. We created the Yelp Elite Squad as a way of recognizing these star members.
Applicants always have lots of reviews of great local businesses and services, but more importantly the Yelp members that get in are known for having reviews that are insightful, irreverent and personal. “

I am not cut out for that, I don’t have that much passion about anything… really.  I’ll just write the Yelp Columbus restaurant obits.  

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1 Michael September 20, 2007 at 01:42 pm

Where is the link to your reviews?

2 MaureenMcCabe September 20, 2007 at 04:21 pm

There was no link to the reviews. Was I supposed to link to them for some reason?

I said the restauarants were closed. It’s not going to get the closed restauants any more business so I don’t see a reason for a link.

I am not sure about Yelp.

3 Pierre October 7, 2007 at 01:04 pm

So I will add some two cents here.

Why should you yelp?

1) you genuinely ate at the restaurant and you liked it or did not like it enough to voice your opinion.

2) you review companies/businesses that you NORMALLY refer out to your clients anyway.

Is it good for business?

Well, let me ask you this – Have you been eating at the same restaurant for years? Do you know the owner? Do you have a stack of business cards sitting by the counter with othe realtors cards? If you said yes to any of these than THIS is why you would Yelp.

It is simply a way to be known in your market, as a local expert. that’s it, will you get a deal from it? Who cares. But you might get that exposure to your name that everyone craves, you may even achieve “top-of-mind” status with local consumers – for WHEN they need a broker.

Why do you network offline? Do you go to the Rotary club? are you in Kiwanis? Do you go to local events, shows so that you can meet new people and make new connections on a NON-real estate level?

If you don’t you should. If you look around at your top-producers, they do these things. But in a world where communities are existing online – furthermore a world where the online world now spills over into real life interactions, being a part of sites like Yelp, purely for the connectivity and community is a must.

It is NOT a daily thing, you don’t need to log-in and check it everyday. You don’t even need to update things. All you do, is as you come along a great restaurant or gardener, or lawyer anything. You write a positive review about it and expand your reach and network.

The biggest thing is: NEVER review yourself COME ON! and do nothing gratuitous, keep it genuine and you will be welcomed!

4 Pierre October 7, 2007 at 01:08 pm

Oh gosh, i am sorry to add more. but I am familiar with the agent that you speak of… and I want to add that in MNAY, if not ALL OFFLINE, real life groups like Masons, Kiwanis, Rotary, etc… handing out your cards, or openly promoting your business is FROWNED upon, no one wants someone in their group whose sole intention is to gain more business for themselves.

So why is it so different online? Why would you expect any different reaction from yelpers for self-promoting?

I know of a particular individual who sold alarms in NYC that would only go to this groups events and hand out cards, while trying to sell alarms. – He was asked to stop, then when he didn’t, he was banned.


5 MaureenMcCabe October 7, 2007 at 02:09 pm

Pierre … I really, really feel bad now. If there had been a YELP I could have done my part YELPing and saved the dearly departed restaurants…. two to three years ago…

I could have done so much more…

I could have saved more

Thanks for the lecture about getting involved and doing my part on YELP! :-( I am probably not cut out for super YELPdom because I am not going to find addresses to do reviews. I’d post ‘em here or on my other blogs. If the address is there I might bother but with the speed with which restauarants turn over here it is hard to keep a favorite.

#2 Of course she did not read what YELP was about and was obnoxiously self promoting as people in the business often do and a rabid group of YELPers went after her and taught her a lesson.

I did not expect any different, just took the reminder about YELP to look at YELP and pitched in and did my part to post obits for the dead restaurants.

Then after this entry was posted the story was on Inman. Reading Inman I understood that she solicited reports from her clients who were able to go onto YELP and post raves reviews for her instead of her posting her own testimonials from clients. I don’t think I defended her behavior here or said don’t YELP.

I was reminded by her story so I YELPED about other businesses as YELP is intended.

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