Foursquare Special Bar Crawl: An Experiment

Let’s face it, the holidays have officially crept up to bite us in the ass. They do this every year, it seems. One moment we’re planting grass seed, then suddenly we find ourselves trapped in store aisles that are bleeding gaudy seasonal decor. Ok, so I’ve never planted grass seed. That’s besides the point. Christmas is here out of nowhere. Is it 2:00 yet? I need a drink.

If there’s one thing I appreciate, especially during the holiday season, it’s getting something for nothing. Even alcohol. At Evolve, a “foursquare special bar crawl” idea was tossed around; one would plan an evening out based entirely on the specials available on The idea is to hit up all of the places that offer free drinks when you check in.

This blog post plays out which route I would take, should I choose to engage in this stellar idea. And by “would” and “should,” I mean “will” and “when.”

Here’s the breakdown:

-Chuy Arzola’s: Free house margarita with purchase of fajita

-Cusamano’s: Free house shot

-Mike Shannon’s: Free domestic or cocktail

-Modesto: Free cocktail of the day (on Mondays)

I wouldn’t want to start on an empty stomach, of course, so the first stop on my frugal route would be Chuy Arzola’s. Mediocre comida? Si. But if an order of fajita’s gets me a free house margarita with a check-in, I’ll take it.

At this point, the night would still be young, the taste of tequila wistfully lingering, and I would quickly browse through foursquare’s specials to determine my next destination. Looks like I would head over to Cusamano’s. Their incentive apparently includes a free house shot with a check-in. Totally used them – but somehow it feels right.

Next up: Mike Shannon’s. Having saved this check-in for a special night, I would proudly display my Newbie Badge and toss back the free drink. Thanks, Mike. I’m out.

Back in the car, I would ask my driver (oh yeah, I have a driver) to pull over at Square One Distillery. I then would duck into the establishment to claim my free bumper sticker with a check-in. So I’m getting carried away. So sue me.

Onward, Jeeves! “Take me to Modesto.” My freebie night would have to land on a Monday in order for me to score a drink here. One check-in yields a free cocktail of the day! What will it be? A Manhattan? Vodka Gimlet? Martini? I’m not too picky. Free is free. Thanks Modesto. Feeling pretty good now. Time to call it a night.

This, of course, is a completely unrealistic suggestion – running all over the city just to unlock specials. Believe it or not, there is a point I’m trying to make with this post.

The point is, although these giveaways may not transform me into a brand loyalist, it is still worth a shot (pun intended) for companies to take advantage of specials on foursquare. I get a free drink out of the experience, and the restaurant/bar gets an opportunity to make a positive impression. Additionally, there’s a very small chance that whomever checks in actually leaves after the one complimentary beverage. It’s likely that he or she sticks around for at least one more. (Unless this post spurs a freebie revolution.) Foursquare is a nifty tool, and it’s becoming increasingly popular. Might want to jump on the idea if you haven’t already.