In the classic guy buddy movie "Swingers," they spend a lot of time discussing what bar to go to and when to leave the bar to head to another spot.
Sound familiar? With so many nightlife options in Chicago, it's easy to spend an evening aimlessly trying to find the hottest spot with the best music, and more importantly, a male-female ratio to your liking.
That's where HowstheBar.com comes in. The new Chicago Web site has a tool that gives users real-time first-person information about what's going on at a particular bar.
The founder, Randy Rantz, came up with the idea after spending many nights in bars texting information back and forth with his friends.
"There really wasn't anything out there that was available. There was plenty of publications and Web sites that would give you general reviews on how a Web site would be on a particular evening, but when you are actually out, there was nothing out there aside from calling a friend and asking if he or she might be at that particular bar you're going to," Rantz said. "It finally hit me that we needed to create something that more people can get involved in, not just people who know each other."
Users must have mobile Web service on their phone to access the information remotely, and in order to get information about the bars of their choice, they must first answer five questions about the establishment they're at.
"Just seems like over the years, the biggest factors we would decide on whether we went to a bar or not were what the crowd was like, whether it's a good band, whether there's a lot of girls or guys, the average age and the overall cost of the bar," Rantz said.
The database includes Chicago-area bars, but Rantz would like to expand the company to college campuses in Illinois, and eventually to the rest of the Midwest and nationally.
The tool on the Web site is free to sign up and use, which makes sense, because there's nothing wrong with letting the girls know that you're money and that you want to party.