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The Enabler: Buy a round — from around the world

May 18, 2012
  • You can offer friends a drink via Slingr.
You can offer friends a drink via Slingr. (none )

It was Sunday and the Enabler was at Silver Lake's Red Lion Tavern with her band mates Charlie and Emily when she spied a placard for a new mobile app called Slingr. It promised to enable friends to "remotely send drinks and food directly to your table through Facebook and Twitter."

A social networking tool for drinkers? It was a dream come true.

We immediately texted our table number to Slingr and checked in at the Red Lion.

"It's Sunday!" The Enabler wrote as her reason for asking for shots in what suddenly felt like a Kickstarter campaign for her late-afternoon drinking habit. (You can also request a beer, a mixed drink, a martini, food and more.)

Soon our server, Greta, appeared with a shot of Patron for Charlie.

"This is from Manny," she said as we stared at the shot, dumbstruck. Manny was in Portland, Ore.

That was when the Enabler realized the folly of her strategy. "It's Sunday!" wasn't a great reason for anybody to send her drink, but if it were her birthday, that would be another matter entirely.

It turns out Slingr is brand new — invented by a team of computer savvy bar lovers, including company president Justin Malvin.

The Red Lion was the third bar to have installed the system. Michael's Bar & Grill and the Hollywood Way, both in Burbank, as well as the Pour Haus in downtown L.A. are also "Slingr Spots."

The Enabler has to hand it to Malvin: Slingr makes great business sense. As a bar you can sell and advertise to people around the world via their obsession with social network interactions.

And it was fun too. Was a drink going to appear? And from whom? It felt like a virtual fishing game. Cast a link and wait for a bite.

Now if only Slingr could deliver a taxi.

Jessica Gelt

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