Looking for bar specials in Athens? There’s an app for that

When it comes to uptown bar specials, some students know them like the back of their hands.

Others, though, might need to rely on an app to show them the deals of the day.

That’s exactly how developer Brian Presley, a fifth-year senior studying biological sciences, thought up the idea for the Ohio Uptown app.

“My friends and I frequently disagreed about which bar we should go to, and I remember thinking it would be great if I had a list of all of the bar specials right on my phone,” Presley said.

From there, Presley took the idea and ran with it, creating an app that shows bar specials for the day. The app officially launched in the App Store July 14 and is free.

“I immediately started putting together the Ohio Uptown app and gathering the drink specials from the uptown bars,” Presley said.

While Athens bars aren’t directly participating in keeping a list of specials running for the app, Presley said he relies a lot on their social media accounts when updating.

He added, though, that bar crawlers and app fans have been more than happy to help with the task.

“Users have also submitted specials online via the Google form linked in the Ohio Uptown Twitter bio,” Presley said. “In the future, the Ohio Uptown website will have an easy way for users to submit events and specials.”

While liquor pitchers at Lucky’s or dollar shots at the Cat’s Eye might be on everyone’s to-do list during the week, Presley maintains that a lot of specials go underutilized.

“Ohio Uptown is made for anyone that is looking for the best drink specials on Court Street,” Presley said. “Bars frequently have specials that go unnoticed, and Ohio Uptown aims to address that problem.”

Presley said he’s received mostly good reviews on the app, and though the app isn’t particularly well-known, some students seem to like the idea.

Camille Fine, a freshman studying photojournalism, said, while she hasn’t heard of the app, she thinks it would be helpful.

“You get to see the specials ahead of time, so you save money,” she said.

Oliver Hamlin, a freshman studying journalism, said the app was particularly helpful for new students or people from out of town.

“I’m not from around here, so it’s a good way to figure out what’s going on,” he said.

Along with times for liquor pitchers and discounted booze, the app also includes the temperature and weather so bar-goers can dress for going out accordingly.

For those who might have had a little too much of a good time Uptown, the app also includes a “call a cab” option, which will link users directly with services such as Green Cab, CATS Late Night and Athens GoTo Cab with the click of a button.

For some, that’s the app’s selling point.

“That’s convenient, especially for around here,” Hamlin said. “Lots of people hit the bars and have a little too much for one night.”

Fine said using the app would be far easier and faster than finding the number for a cab.

Though the popularity of the app hasn’t skyrocketed yet, Presley said he believes this will change with the start of the school year.

“I expect that as the word about the app gets out and students return to campus, thepopularity of the app will continue to grow,” he said.

So far, Presley said the app has more than 300 downloads, about a third of which have happened since students returned to campus.




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