For the third year in a row, I was nominated to the Yelp Elite Squad.  I’m not entirely sure how that works, but since moving to A2, we’ve attended a few Elite events which have all featured free food, drink, merriment, and Yelp swag.  Thursday night’s event at Woodruff’s was no exception.

Food: wee sandwiches, salads, soups, and OMG nanaimo bars from Beezy’s.  For some reason we’ve never been there for lunch – only for breakfast on the weekend.  Now that we’ve tried a few more of their treats, we’ll definitely have to make lunch a priority.

Drinks: Goose Island beers on the house!

Detroit Elite 2011 Karaoke Kick Off!
Photo by Yelp

Merriment: Karaoke! A photobooth! I did the former, and we took a number of silly photos (waiting to be scanned) in the latter. My karaoke song was REO Speedwagon’s Keep On Loving You.

Detroit Elite 2011 Karaoke Kick Off!
Photo by Yelp

I need a better song, but the binder needed better authority control, something which we commented on more times that was really necessary.

Detroit Elite 2011 Karaoke Kick Off!
Photo by Yelp

All told, a fun night – hopefully one of many Elite events in the coming year.

0722 Happy Hour at Cliff Bell’s

photo by Cigarette Girl Colleen C for Yelp

At some point in 2009, I became Yelp Elite.  I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant, but who doesn’t like being told that they’re elite?  Well, it turns out that being Elite is all about community involvement, writing reviews, connecting with other users, and basically being a great spokesperson for your favorite local places and things.  Sign me up!  Oh wait, someone already did.

Anyway, one of the side benefits of being Elite – apart from the satisfaction of a job well done – is the occasional Elite event, usually hosted by a local business and featuring free food, drink, and swag.  We attended our first event back in the fall at Café Habana, where we enjoyed mojitos, tacos al pastor, and a whole lot of this ridiculously good goat cheese dip.  There have been several events since then, but between our schedule and the fact that events often happen in Detroit, tonight was the first event we’ve made it to this year.

Cliff Bell’s, recently named one of the best bars in the country by Playboy (link totally SFW), was our host for tonight’s Elite happy hour.  Opened in the 1930s and recently restored to its former glory, Cliff Bell’s is exactly what you’d imagine if you heard the words ‘swanky jazz club’.  My grandparents lived in Detroit in the 1940s, and I can imagine that in their day, Cliff Bell’s was a place to see and be seen.  The event was cosponsored by local distillery Valentine Vodka, so we enjoyed vodka cocktails along with an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, most notably shrimp cocktail.

Shrimp cocktail!  This is actually the second time in a week that we’ve found ourselves at an old-timey kind of establishment, eating shrimp cocktail and drinking strong drinks, and I really couldn’t be happier.  Tacky as it may be, shrimp cocktail is a tasty reminder of another generation’s idea of elegance, and one I’m happy to embrace.

So thanks, Yelp, for a literal and gustatory flashback to a more glamorous time.  We’re looking forward to the next event!