Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Texas-based Cavalli Pizza is accusing the review website Yelp of removing over 20 four- and five-star reviews and then having their salespeople repeatedly call them up with the offer that "it would get better" if the pizzeria advertised. 
Posting on their Facebook page, Cavalli Pizza wrote:
Fans, just wanted to let you know that YELP has been removing our 5 star reviews for our McKinney location, we have talked to them and they have told us we can't do anything about it. YELP has been unfair and removed 24 reviews all of which were 4 and 5 stars. But they keep calling us to advertise, and told us it would get better if we advertised. It's all about making money, what a shame they used to be a great site.
The list of restaurateurs' grievances against Yelp runs veryvery long, and the company has been sued in the past for allegedly having their sales reps contact businesses looking for payment "in exchange for hiding or deleting" negative reviews.
But Cavalli Pizza's accusations are on the flipside: that Yelp is asking for payment to keep or reinstate five-star reviews that have been flagged by the automated filter. Said filter relegates suspicious reviews to a sad pop-up purgatory.

BoHenry's will never advertise with Yelp.
We will endure and survive their filtered review system and laugh at the crackpots who post fraudulent reviews behind fake names.


Another excuse to pop to crack open a beer! Alcohol makes men more likely to SMILE, study finds

  • Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh say men smile when drinking
  • In a study they found smiles were contagious in groups of men
  • However when women were in the group the smiles did not spread as much 
  • This was an effect they say is down to 'social bravery' in men
  • According to the researchers the findings show that social alcohol consumption is more rewarding for men than women.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Three Portland bars, Multnomah Whiskey Library, Pope House and Produce Row (sic), made the cut for The Bourbon Review's 60 Best Bourbon bars in America

Winning criteria for the bars was "simple," Justin Thompson of The Bourbon Review said. "The bar needed to prominently display Bourbon, educate patrons about Bourbon and provide a superior selection. The winning bars also have a reputation for creating both unique and traditional Bourbon cocktails."


Flavor of the season

Leaves aren’t the only thing changing colors during fall. It’s time to start imbibing some deeper-hued spirits. 

Here are five great liqueurs to spice up your autumn. 

They’re all certified organic, but that’s just an added benefit. 

Quality comes first, and these are all welcome additions to any cocktail.


Sunday, September 28, 2014


A pair of class-action lawsuits filed this month against craft distillers has exposed what many consider the worst-kept secret in craft distilling: Despite the marketing, most liquor is factory-made.
For several years, Iowa's Templeton Rye distillery promoted its $35 whiskey as "small batch" and "made in Iowa." Tapping its small-town roots, the distiller peddled its Prohibition-era recipe as the favorite drink of Al Capone.
In fact, the whiskey was made from a stock recipe in Indiana's MGP Ingredients factory, which distills whiskey for dozens of brands. 
The lawsuit accuses Templeton of duping consumers into spending more for its whiskey with an untruthful tale.
Another class-action lawsuit filed this month in California targets Tito's Handmade Vodka, arguing the Texas-based distillery cannot be hand-crafting — "in an old fashioned pot still" as the label says — the 15 million bottles of vodka it sells annually.
"The vodka was made, manufactured and/or produced in massive buildings containing 10 floor-to-ceiling stills and bottling 500 cases an hour using automated machinery that is the antithesis of 'handmade,' " reads the lawsuit filed by a California real estate broker.


Friday, September 26, 2014


Did Yelp add a star or two to that glowing restaurant review because the restaurant paid for an ad? 
Did it move the review noting cockroaches at another restaurant to the top of the list because the restaurant refused to buy an ad? 
Four small businesses are claiming in court that Yelp tried to extort ad payments in exchange for better reviews.
The mainstream U.S. media generally enjoy a long tradition of "church and state" separation between editorial and advertising, including electronic media. 
And for the most part the travel media have honored that tradition. 
Conde Nast routinely identifies entries sponsored by destinations. 
At SmarterTravel, we always disclose sponsorships of any sort. 
For consumers, the question now is how far to trust Yelp. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


There’s an obvious answer: Bartenders are interested in flavor, and vodka is legally defined by the federal Tax and Trade Bureau as a spirit distilled “as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.”


Lime or lemon? 

A little tonic or a lot? 

A scientist has researched how to make the definitive G&T


Ambitious beverage makers are combining distinctly different drinks to create 21st-century Labradoodle liquors. Think wine+vodka, beer+wine, rye+bourbon, tequila+cognac.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Pabst Brewing Co., the closely held 170-year-old American brewer, agreed to be acquired by the Russian company Oasis Beverages in a deal a person familiar with the matter pegged at $700 million to $750 million.

Needless to say, when current stock runs out, we will no longer serve PBR.


One Italian restaurant in the San Francisco area, however, has revealed what may be a much more insidious side to Yelp, and — if true — this could potentially mean that Yelp is basically the equivalent of the online mafia. 

Botto Bistro co-owner Davide Cerretini claims that at one time he was getting as many as 15-20 calls a week from Yelp asking them to advertise. 

Eventually they did, spending approximately $270 for a six month time period — but once the restaurant stopped, the positive reviews turned negative and a positive review even vanished.

Friday, September 19, 2014


The World’s Most Intimate Martini Bar is a part of the vodka brand’s campaign series of tangible experiences that invigorate the senses. 

Integrated branding agency Ragged Edgewas responsible for the restoration of the vehicle, and the design of the mobile bar popping up in cities around the UK.


A survey has just revealed that the average Brit spends the equivalent of 315 days of their life with a hangover - now there's a sobering thought!

But what's going on as we're hanging after a heavy night?
Heads, ears and eyes
You wake up with a banging headache, dry mouth and your tongue seems to have grown a carpet. You also have blood-shot eyes and find noise intolerable
"All due to dehydration," says Mel Wakeman, a senior lecturer from Birmingham City University's Faculty of Health. "Alcohol is a diuretic [makes us pee a lot], so our body essentially becomes dry."
Very heavy boozing can also lead to deafness.
Details of the night before are hazy. You also feel depressed and full of dread. "Alcohol affects brain cells and stops them from storing information in our memory bank, particularly short-term memories," says Wakeman.
Booze can also affect memory in the long term. A study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry assessed the mental abilities of almost 7,000 middle-aged people and found those with a history of drinking problems had a more than doubled risk of severe memory impairment later.
As for our moods, alcohol's a depressant, affecting neurotransmitters - brain chemicals - and possibly resulting in us feeling angry, teary, depressed and anxious for days and weeks afterwards.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Botto Bistro in Richmond is not very concerned about its Yelp rating. 
In fact, in an effort to undermine the reliability of its Yelp page, the five-year-old Italian restaurant is on a mission to be the worst-rated restaurant in the Bay Area.
To achieve this end, Botto Bistro is encouraging all of its customers to leave one-star Yelp reviews; it is even offering deals for anyone who pens a crummy review: 25% off any pizza and a chance to win a cooking class. (Hat-tip toRichmond Standard.)
Chefs and co-owners Davide Cerretini and Michele Massimo are veterans of the local dining scene, and say that their food is excellent and they run a busy restaurant. 
According to Cerretini, they simply grew tired of the constant advertising inquiries from Yelp and what he dubs “blackmailing” and review manipulation. 

(Sidenote: A judge recently ruled that Yelp has the power to manipulate reviews.)
“I don’t have anything against Yelp. The idea is fantastic, but the blackmailing thing is ferocious,” says Cerretini. “I think I should be the one deciding if I’m on the site or not. At least I can be there on my terms. The only power they have is they make you reliable to them. So, I’m going to be one of the most unreliable restaurants.”

Relying on Yelp is like relying on a government to look after its citizens.

Yelp may have won its legal case, but what came out of it makes everyone with a brain realize that Yelp reviews cannot be trusted.

The tide has turned against them.



In Korea the best hangover food is soup; everyone eats soup! 
Korean soups are brimmed to the top with various vegetables, meat or fish and served to you boiling hot. 
It’s eaten with a hearty bowl of rice plunged into the soup bowl itself.


What is it about Vodka that you wanted to get involved in?

Well it's more about why I got into the beverage industry at all and it's really quite simple. I have a beautiful lakeside house in Canada that my ancestors settled in 1826 and the front yard is a glacial lake, 20 miles long, 200 feet deep. We have people come by on their boats and I serve a margarita at my bar but I was working with inferior liquor. I tasted some vodka and I was very tired of the over-perfumed vodkas so I thought "man, that oiliness is so fake and the smoothness is so artificial, there must be away we can produce a less artificial product". So I looked at various vodkas and I found out the most common product, and one that is in pretty much all alcoholic beverages, is glyceride. They don't put enough in to hurt or kill you but glyceride is used in soaps and shampoos and I thought "could we have a vodka without glyceride?" and they said "well, you're going to smell the alcohol and taste it" [laughs]. I thought "well, i'm making a cocktail here, I don't want it to taste like fruit juice" so let's have a beverage where we take the glyceride out. The next thing was the sweetness, I was like "where is this sweetness from" and they were like "that's lemonine, a citrus oil" and I thought "well, wait a minute if I'm making a Screwdriver I don't need citrus oil in my vodka, I'm going to be adding my citrus, if i'm making a Barnard Martini which has vermouth, there's glyceride in vermouth, I don't need a vodka that already has glyceride in it. Let's make a vodka that's a virgin canvas, a blank slate." The next thing they put in is sugar. You don't need any more sugar in alcohol. So we ended up stripping out the sugar, the limonene and the glyceride and came up with a zero additive formula and we won the world spirit competition in San Francisco. Our notes were sweet, vanilla, dry, crisp with a quick flash of heat of the finish and I thought "that's exactly what I wanted to do".

What's your favourite way to drink Crystal Head Vodka?

I like to do the China Head which is two shots of Crystal Head, a shot of Soho lychee liqueur, a little soda water and a sprig of mint and that's a nice tropical drink for the summer. I like the Bartcart Martini, very simple, two ounces of the head, the vermouth just kisses the glass, a little olive juice and shaken - that's what would have been served to a Madison Avenue business man on his way to work in New York in 1955 on the Long Island Railway. And then I like to simply take two ounces of the vodka in a tumbler on ice, then slowly infuse fresh squeezed tangerine juice.

The Vodka is distilled three times through Herkimer Diamonds. What do they add?

I had heard other vodkas had filtered their spirit through diamonds so I was like "I have to do this" because diamonds like that have healing properties in New Age thinking. Now, a chemistry teacher would tell you "pouring alcohol over Herkimer Diamonds does absolutely nothing for the fluid, there's nothing it adds" however we've done tests where we've had people drink the vodka before we've filtered it through the diamonds and they prefer the beverage after. I don't know exactly what it is but it adds a satiny finish to it which I love.

What's your hangover cure?

I don't get a hangover because I drink my own beverage and I never do more than six to eight shots. A guy my size can do eight shots of Crystal Head and not feel anything in the morning because there's no glyceride in it and that's what causes a hangover. I also don't drink to excess. I can't because I'm in this business. I thankfully don't have a problem consuming alcohol but if I were to get a hangover which I had from time to time in my earlier life, I just hop on the Harley Davidson motorcyle and ride for about 40 miles. That usually sorts it out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


The company announced today that is has paid $450,000 to settle a suit that accused it of collecting the names and email addresses of children as young as nine without parental consent.

According to the suit filed by the Federal Trade Commission, between the years of 2009 and 2013, the San Francisco-based Yelp willfully gathered information from children who signed up for Yelp accounts and it failed to adequately test its age registration guidelines.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Do you get shirty  when met with the talk that whiskey is posh and all the rest is tosh? Well, with vodka steadily climbing up the super premium ladder, next time you meet those single malt bores, you can square your shoulders and down your drink with attitude. And when the whiskey type drones on about the quality of barley, you can go with the grain and talk rye and wheat. Or get fruity and talk grape and potato.

For all those who think vodka is a flavourless, textureless, colourless liquid that is only a great canvas for a heady cocktail and nothing else beyond, think again. Vodka’s image — from being the elixir of the masses that intoxicated generations of Russians to a refined liquor that could sit proudly at any aristocrat’s table — has been steadily climbing. But it’s since the mid 1990s when marketers came up with luxe aspirational brands that vodka drinking has become fashionable.

CranApple VODKA? (BARF)

Pinnacle Vodka, a leading imported premium vodka brand, has released a new flavor innovation, Pinnacle CranApple Vodka, just in time for autumn festivities. 

Wholesale vendors will be begging bars to stock it, and will throw it in as a freebie for ordering other merchandise they need to move.

The reality is, nobody wants this crap even if you sold it for $1 a shot.


According to the website, gosober.org.uk, there are lots of health benefits of a month of booze, and they appear to have been compiled by the Professor of Common Sense at the University of the Blindingly Obvious:
• Increased energy levels, higher productivity
• Clearer head
• No more hangovers
• Sleeping better / snoring less
• Weight loss
• Clearer skin
• Healthier bank balance / Save money
• Sense of achievement
• Fresh approach to alcohol consumption
• Generally feel healthier

(We'll drink to that.)

Monday, September 15, 2014


The average Briton spends over a year of their life nursing a hangover.


As vodka producers release ever-more weird and wacky flavours and general vodka sales have begun to slide, commentators have questioned whether the category has become cannibalised.

A resounding YES.

(Bored with vodka, generally.)

Saturday, September 13, 2014


If you bother to read the thousands of negative reviews, a clear impression forms that the company engages in extortion. 

It does so against businesses that either refuse to advertise with Yelp or that quit advertising with Yelp. 

Countless business owners review the company negatively for burying as many positive reviews of their business as possible — while leaving all of the negative ones visible — after they refuse or quit Yelp advertising.


Okay, you may not want to give up drinking just to save a buck. But if you're having trouble trimming your budget, add up what you're spending on wine, beer, and liquor. You may find the numbers sobering.

Would you give up alcohol to help balance the family budget?

“Yeah, right.”
“Gosh no – it’s what gets us through the week.”
“As if that would ever happen.”
But one other answer stood out, which got to the heart of the matter:
“I quit drinking – and it was like we won the lottery!”
And there’s the rub. We all tend to complain, in an era of stagnant incomes and rising prices, about how we just can’t make ends meet. There is just no place we could possibly find more savings.
But is that really true? 
Consider this: The average U.S. household spent $445 on wine, beer, and spirits in 2013, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That amounts to roughly 1% of our household expenditures, and it compares with an average household figure of $268 in 1993.

Barfly - Charles Bukowski

Friday, September 12, 2014



Beer. Depression. Cocaine. Typewriting. Suicidal musings. The late-seventies and early-eighties must have been one nightmarish smog for Stephen King, relying on his vices to keep the real horror at bay during a period where he it got so bad that he's since claimed he can't remember writing Cujo. Textbook alcoholic author, one of King's biggest anxieties was the prospect of losing his creative spark if sobriety were ever to win out, which of course, following an intervention at the end of the decade, it did, not sullying his fearsome literary output one bit. He later admitted, “I always drank, from when it was legal for me to drink. And there was never a time for me when the goal wasn’t to get as hammered as I could possibly afford to. I never understood social drinking, that’s always seemed to me like kissing your sister.”


Beer - his biggest vice of all - was almost always consumed at home. “I didn't go out and drink in bars, because they were full of assholes like me,” he told The Guardian recently.


It is the national drink of both countries and traditionally the finest bottles also originate in eastern Europe.

However the decision of judges at a recent competition to find the world's best spirits has left them spluttering into their shot glasses in the bars of Moscow and Warsaw.

A vodka from Suffolk was deemed to be the best in blind taste tests, beating entrants from scores of countries. 

What's even harder to digest for the Russians and Poles who returned home empty-handed is that the winner Longshore is made by a company which is better known for its beers.

We understand some folks take vodka seriously.

But what's there to taste?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

HST's WORDS on 9/12

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.
It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy. Osama bin Laden may be a primitive “figurehead” — or even dead, for all we know — but whoever put those All-American jet planes loaded with All-American fuel into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon did it with chilling precision and accuracy. The second one was a dead-on bullseye. Straight into the middle of the skyscraper.
Nothing — even George Bush’s $350 billion “Star Wars” missile defense system — could have prevented Tuesday’s attack, and it cost next to nothing to pull off. Fewer than 20 unarmed Suicide soldiers from some apparently primitive country somewhere on the other side of the world took out the World Trade Center and half the Pentagon with three quick and costless strikes on one day. The efficiency of it was terrifying.
We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? Not even the Generals in what remains of the Pentagon or the New York papers calling for WAR seem to know who did it or where to look for them.
This was originally published on Sept. 12, 2001.