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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Beachwood man goes big with Facebook restaurant site

Posted By on Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 5:26 AM

It was Friday afternoon and Scott Himmel’s friends couldn’t decide where to eat dinner. Should we try out a new place, or stick with Lopez Grill? Have you heard anything about Crop, that new restaurant on West 6th? What do you know about Bar Cento in Ohio City? Himmel found himself consulting the internet – with varied results. One anonymous critic loved Crop, while another found it pretentious and over-prepared. Who to trust? “The best restaurant suggestions I get are from people I know,” Himmel says… So the Beachwood native, who’s family owns the East Side restaurants Paladar and Boulevard Blue, came up with an idea. Why not develop a Facebook site that allows friends to share their restaurant suggestions? Last November, Himmel and partner Adrian Wisernig launched My Restaurants. Users have access to a database that includes every restaurant in the country. People can rate and review their favorite places and send recommendations to friends. Since the site’s launch, it’s been named one of the ten best applications on Facebook by the Silicon Alley Insider. Earlier this month, Himmel was one of twelve finalists flown to California by Facebook investors, who are looking to give out $10 million in grants to promising developers. Himmel now has a new problem: There are too many new places he wants to try out. “I think I’m going to have to get a new job to support this new restaurant habit.” – Rebecca Meiser

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