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Bar Roulette - Planning your Night Out, but Not Telling You

Being stuck for somewhere to go for a night out is a fairly common issue (unless you live in London, if you're struggling to find things to do there, there's something deeply wrong with you), but now - say it with me - there's an app for that. Well, really there are dozens of apps which recommend bars, pubs and clubs, but only one which decides which one you're going to and sends you there without ever actually telling you where you're headed.

This is what Bar Roulette does. Combining the twinned functionality of Yelp and Uber, the app will order you a ride and bundle you off to some unknown waterhole reasonably nearby, and you'll only know which one when you get there (unless you ask the driver). It was developed during a hackathon, using rating data from Yelp and Uber's API to deliver the results (and make it more likely you end up somewhere halfway decent).

It goes without saying that if you aren't open minded about your nights out, this probably isn't the app for you. It's only available as a web app at the moment, but a dedicated, full app is on the way. What's particularly neat about this idea is that there's a lot of room for expansion.


Other review sites could easily be involved and you could even go so far as to add certain parameters, like specifying that you want to go to a club, rather than a bar. Going further still, if you wanted to go to a club that's putting on an event (but don't much care what it is), interfacing the app with, say, Resident Advisor, could land you in a car on the way to a DJ set you had no idea about, but will surely blow your mind.

That's all entirely speculative though and the version that's already available has more than enough to offer for the time being, especially if you're in the process of settling in a new town and want to get a feel for the area. I'd say this system is actually better than just using Yelp reviews in the standard way, since the actual text body can be very misleading.

The only trouble is that Yelp is rammed with people who give unfairly harsh reviews either because they had an isolated, negative experience or are just really hard to please. This phenomenon could well be keeping a lot of decent haunts off of Bar Roulette's radar, but with time perhaps they'll add more sites and that will account for it.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Bar Roulette - Planning your Night Out, but Not Telling You Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 Rating: 5

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