Jonathan Vilma Backs Mobile App 'BarEye' With Future of Bar Scene in Mind

By Andrew Fisher
Jonathan Vilma
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Most people know Jonathan Vilma as a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints. But what some fans might not know, is that he’s also a very busy man off the field as well. Vilma is a part owner of Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, has a charity that helps build schools in Haiti and also owns a few bars. Now, he’s a partner in a mobile startup.

Of course as a bar owner he’s always looking for methods to expand his business and it looks like the new age way to do that is here. It’s a mobile app called BarEye. It’s an app that works for bars and clubs, much like Open Table does for restaurants. Patrons can ‘check in’ when they get to a bar or club, they can also buy drinks from the app and invite friends to join them. BarEye will combine the experience of going to a bar with today’s world of social media.

BarEye CEO Andrew Bennett has been piloting the app in Tallahassee, FL over the past year in 17 bars, and now the company is expanding to several major markets across the country including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin and Miami. It’s in Miami where Vilma owns some bars and where he’ll experience BarEye first hand.

This concept of ordering drinks from your phone made sense to Vilma because he noticed that the first thing people often do when they get to his bars, is check their phones. So from an owner’s perspective – why not have them get on their phones and ‘check in’ to your bar with the app? Bareye is therefore a great marketing tool. With chat features and Facebook available at the patron’s finger tips, it’s easy for them to invite their friends out to the same bar.

I believe this app will serve as the bridge from the old school bar scene to today’s plugged in era. With the ability to put a credit card on file and order drinks without ever speaking to anyone, going to the bar and just enjoying yourself will be easier than ever.


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