App-Led Pub Crawl Headed to FiDi Bars Hit by Hurricane Sandy

By Irene Plagianos on May 2, 2014 8:06am 

 A new app, created by Lower Manhattan-based tech company Aurnhammer, is bringing a "gamified" pub crawl to the Financial District on May 20.
A new app, created by Lower Manhattan-based tech company Aurnhammer, is bringing a "gamified" pub crawl to the Financial District on May 20.
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Aurnhammer/ Shutterstock/Valentyn Volkov

FINANCIAL DISTRICT —  Cheers to technology.

An app-driven pub crawl is on its way to the Financial District, leading drinkers through something of a techie scavenger hunt while also supporting local bars hit by Hurricane Sandy.

The new app, called Beaconcrawl, will give participants a bar crawl combined with a game experience, said Donn Gobin, the chief operating officer of Aurnhammer, a 5-year-old Financial District-based tech company that developed the app.

Drinkers will be directed to different Downtown bars where they will collect points by completing fun tasks that have not yet been determined, he said. Participants will be able to redeem drink and food specials at at least five bars in and around Stone Street through the app.

“It’s about showcasing the technology and supporting the businesses down here,” said Gobin. “We work in the neighborhood and live in the neighborhood and we thought it was a great, fun way to get people down here and trying something new.”

The crawl will serve as the launch for the free app, which is designed to add a twist to the traditional bar crawl. The app's creators hope to expand it to offer other bar crawls throughout the city and then to other cities across the country.

The Lower Manhattan crawl is scheduled for May 20 and will last about three hours, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Gobin said.

The name for the app comes from the technology that it employs. Beacons, or small bluetooth sensors, will be placed in the bars participating in the crawl. Drinkers will only get messages when they are near the bars, giving the event a “very 'Mission Impossible' feel,” said Gobin.

Andrew Breslau, a spokesman for Downtown Alliance, which is a sponsor of the app's launch event, said the organization is excited to support local businesses — both the bars and tech companies.

"It's a great chance to help grow new technologies and have people spend money in our Lower Manhattan businesses," he said.

Gobin said they're aiming to make the app available starting May 5 for the May 20 launch.

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