BusinessWeek:

Want to drown your economic worries?

HowstheBar.com, a new social-network site that lets members rate bars in real time to find the most hopping places, may help.

Some 600 members in Illinois are already clicking on where to go–and where not to–says Randy Rantz, founder of the venture.

After working as a real estate investor for more than a decade, the 37-year-old entrepreneur says he’d spend evenings texting with friends about which bars were hot. Their back and forth led to the site, which he launched in November 2007.

Rantz lists some 15,000 bars in Illinois and plans to expand across the Midwest and the rest of the country.

“The purpose of the Web site is to join, meet people, and exchange information by giving and taking ratings when you are out,” he says.

Bars are listed for free, but they can pay for featured space and a link to their Web sites.

Photo by HowstheBar.

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