New Apps Let You Preorder Drinks, Build Community

Preo allows users to order and pay for drinks on their smartphones.

Preo allows users to order and pay for drinks on their smartphones.

Waiting at a Las Vegas bar can be annoying, what with squeezing past that bro too busy texting to move and the blonde who decided to ask the bartender for suggestions when it’s obviously crowded.  Thanks to Progression Labs, a business accelerator powered by the Vegas Tech Fund and Downtown Project, a new startup is hoping to save you time so you can get straight to boozing.

The Preo app allows users to order and pay for drinks from their smartphones. Once you’re in a venue that uses the app, you can select your spirit, mixer and garnish from a menu. When your beverage is to your liking, select checkout and the app will send you a push notification to pick up your drink at the bar once it’s ready.

If this setup sounds familiar, it might be because of Preo’s competitor Coaster, which premiered in the Bay Area several years ago. Coaster’s big problem was recruiting new venues to use the app. Preo CEO Richard Liang says he’s made the process easier for bars by allowing the system to print tickets at the bartender’s station—meaning employees don’t need any extra training.

Although Preo’s headquarters are in New York City, Liang and his team are testing the idea in Downtown Las Vegas at Wild pizzeria and Gold Spike. Liang is targeting bars that serve between 50 to 60 drinks per hour, and says the company is open to including more Las Vegas venues after they see how Gold Spike does.

Nomic Wants You to Make New Friends

Leaving aside the occasional Tinder date, how often do you actually meet up with strangers you encounter on social media? Nate Boyd, a transplant from the Bay Area, wanted to created a platform that improves cities by connecting community movers and shakers. Enter Nomic.

The mobile app is organized into lists, such as 18b Arts District, Downtown Families and Food Trucks & Popups. Subscribe to a list, and you become part of a group forum in which other users can message you, either privately or so that it’s visible to the entire list. It’s a simple idea, but effective. Within a few days of downloading the app, I met three users in person. That’s three more than I ever met with Twitter.

Boyd is testing the app in Las Vegas before scaling it up to include other cities. With around 1,000 users, the app started taking off within the last few weeks when they introduced the list feature, he says. So go download it and be an early adopter.

Nicole Ely covers the Vegas tech scene for Vegas Seven. Got a story tip? Email her at

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