Much like any State College bar patron, when Jake Lord goes out, he wants to spend his time in the bars, not waiting in line outside.
“Just from personal experience, there have been so many times I have planned to go to a specific bar and found out that the line was way too long when I got there,” Lord said. “It would be great to know this info beforehand, and I know people feel the same way.”
It was this frustration that inspired Lord and his partner Chris Pomerleau to create such a service after realizing the demand.
The site, psubars.com, allows bar-goers to find key logistic information about a bar before they leave their pregame or apartment. The three pieces of information are separated by bar: how many people are in line, how much the cover is, and the current “energy” of the bar. The site’s layout is straightforward, so even if you pregamed a little too hard, you can still understand the information.
The website utilizes crowd source communication by allowing users to enter their own updates as they travel from bar to bar. When a user visits the site, they can not only see the information for each bar, but also update the current line length (in 10-person increments), cover (in a dollar amount up to $10), and energy (users can choose between “dead,” “so-so,” “fun,” and “lit”). The website currently features what the duo consider the 18 most popular bars in State College.
“When you get to the bar, send us an update so we can continue to give you the most accurate information possible,” the site suggests.
According to Lord, the website is the second step in a three-part process to roll out an app that would serve a similar purpose. The website interface emphasizes that users themselves contribute the real-time updates, and Lord invites users to take action on the site and share what they’re experiencing with other bar-goers.
Lord and Pomerleau launched a version of their service last weekend with a text messaging approach. Users sent the message “LINES” to a phone number and got an up-to-the-minute update on the line-length of 12 State College bars. The text service was fairly popular — Lord reported more than 200 unique users texted in over the course of the weekend, with more than 400 texts total and 49 percent of texters asking about more than one bar each night.
“From the results of our text service, it is clear that a service like this is something State College bar-goers would really like to have at their fingertips,” Lord said.
The site will launch tonight and is available 24/7, so if you want to know how many people are waiting to get into Indigo at 7:46 a.m. on a Wednesday, you’re covered. You can also visit the service’s Facebook page for updates and to give feedback.