The homegrown restaurant app that helps travelers eat like locals, and locals find their favorites, is getting a wider audience.
Developed in Raleigh, the CurEat app launched on iOS in January, but as of this week, it’s available to Android users. The free app aims to show diners a world beyond Yelp, where people post reviews and rate their experiences dining out.
Instead, CurEat developer Steve Mangano built an app without reviews or opinions, just people highlighting and listing the restaurants they like. The app is now in more than 60 cities.
Chefs and restaurant owners often have issues with Yelp, which puts the reputation of the business in a largely unfiltered forum. CurEat puts most of the control in the hands of those that run the restaurant, allowing them to pick the photos and information diners can see.
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Anyone can make lists of their favorite spots in a city to share with friends and family, but the driving force of the app are the CurEaters, prominent industry professionals making their own recommendations of restaurants and bars. There are no chains on CurEat, only local, independent restaurants.
Triangle CurEaters include Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner and other Raleigh restaurants, Cheetie Kumar of Garland, Charlie Deal of Juju and Dos Perros, John May of Piedmont, Sean Lilly Wilson of Fullsteam Brewery and Kevin Barrett of Dram & Draught.
“Our strong growth since launching the CurEat app in January has enabled us to release our Android version even sooner than expected, as well as a new value-added CurEater Experience program celebrating one of our most distinctive features – our CurEaters,” Mangano said in a news release. Oak City Labs developed the app, Purpose Ux handled the app design, and Registered Creative handled the web design.
The app is also adding a feature called CurEat Experiences, where diners pay for expertise and access to the CurEaters. For example, Videri Chocolate’s Sam Ratto offers quarterly chocolate tips. Wyatt Dickson of Picnic in Durham will offer barbecue tips, insights and recipes along with advance notice of barbecue events.
Other chefs offering experiences include Deal, Kumar and Inez Ribustello of On the Square in Tarboro. Some of the chefs will offer advance notice (and sometimes advance tickets) to food events they’re participating in.
CurEat Experiences are available annually – 1 CurEater for $10, 3 CurEaters for $20 and 5 CurEaters for $25.
The Sept. 1 event is from 6 to 9 p.m. at Google Fiber’s Raleigh office at 518 West Jones St. during First Friday. Mangano will demonstrate the app to show how users can find drinks and restaurants.
The North Carolina Museum of Art will be part of the event with CurEater Marjorie Hodges, who is the museum’s director of External Relations and Special Projects, screening a video created by UK artist Quayola.
Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson
CurEat is available for Apple and Android users. Find it in the iTunes and Google Play stores. Users can create a profile, make lists of restaurants to recommend, share those lists with friends, and follow others to view their restaurant lists. For more details, go to cureatapp.com.