Yelpers: Don’t narc on your favorite bars

Do cops search Yelp for lawbreaking bars?

I noticed the other day that a bar I liked started cracking down on a little thing called “to-go cups,” in which you’ll find a little something extra that you can only legally drink on the street in Europe (and party cities). A source told me it was because of the internets. “There’s a division of police where all that they do is look up this stuff online that’s going on and they bust people. On Yelp, people are writing everything, I mean everything, about this and that. So the cops read the reviews then go in and bust the bar owners.” Cops online, I’ve heard of, but sifting through Yelp? I put my best Nancy Drew cap on, but found that this is a hard pickle to prove. DCPI, the official NYPD mouthpiece, wouldn’t return my messages, and when I approached a bike cop, he didn’t know what I was talking about. So I waltzed myself over to my computer, typed in Yelp New York City, and had myself a little search-a-roo.  And holy crap, do you guys make it easy for the coppers. Take a little Yelp review journey with me, will you? 

Keyword: To go cups
Results: 3 (bars only)
Choice Review: “The bartender and the hipster looking folks were friendly. And margaritas to go!”
Keyword: Underaged 
Results: 200
Choice Review: “It was clear a bunch of the people in the restaurant were underage, so when a cop walked in to pick up some dinner, the woman started waving her arms around and talking about mexico and suitcases to clearly distract her from the people she was serving. when the cops sushi was ready, the woman walked it to the door so the cop would have to follow her to get it and then she literally PUSHED the cop out the door. it was quite funny. but anyways…”
Keyword:  Marijuana
Results: 15 smoking inside/ few of places to buy
Choice Review: “According to president Ronald Reagan, Marijuana is the gateway drug. And the good news is… I hear you can fucking buy it here!”
Keyword:  Cocaine
Results: 183/ A majority about sprinkling crack-cocaine on various foods.
Choice Review: “But, be wary of stopping in very late on a random Tuesday and meeting older married men who offer you cocaine, unless that’s your thang!”
And the TMI Trifecta:
“Lets just say that my friend pushed me onto an elevator with a socialite, there was cocaine, more alchohol, sex, and 20 more people in the penthouse suite. I blacked out somewhere around 9.
So whether cops are or are not sifting through Yelp, I believe the lesson we can all learn from this is to maybe put a filter on it. You don’t have to put everything and anything online, nor do we all need to know about your drunken cocaine induced orgy you had with a socialite and 20 other people in a penthouse. Unless you write for Thought Catalog. Then, and only then.

Now excuse me as I update my tumblr and Pinterest.

Follow Meghan: @Mdoherty04.


  1. Yeah, there’s a sign on the door of [REDACTED] bar about no to-go cups, it’s hardly a secret. Not sure why people are so desperate to keep the shady goings on there under wraps — if [REDACTED] is a place you frequent on purpose (and you are not either under 24 fresh off the boat from Pratt or over 45 and a lifelong hood wino), you have much bigger issues.

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