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Two of NYC’s Biggest Restaurant Review Sites Just Combined

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The Infatuation has acquired Zagat from Google

Google To Buy Zagat Guides Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Zagat has found a new home yet again at The Infatuation, the New York-born restaurant review website which has just purchased the dwindling Google-owned brand for an undisclosed amount of money, the Times reports.

Infatuation co-founder Chris Stang called it a “huge opportunity” for the nine-year-old, recently profitable company, which he started with Andrew Steinthal as a way to recommend restaurants to friends and now operates in nine cities in the U.S. plus London. It’s a remarkably similar founding story to Zagat, which Tim and Nina Zagat started in New York for the same reason in 1979.

Zagat ballooned to an iconic worldwide brand, but since Google purchased it in 2011 to the tune of $151 million as a Yelp competitor, the technology giant basically killed it, stopping all book publishing and severely cutting back the number of user surveys. In recent years, Zagat has operated a small blog and kept its reviews up to date.

Now, Infatuation plans to keep operating Zagat as its own brand, but apply its social media prowess to bring the company back from the brink, including relaunching user surveys and creating a new platform for the brand. Infatuation has found a lot of success with the hashtag #eeeeeats (five E’s) and with sponsorship events, though the company has not been without its setbacks — a 2016 review received attention after Eater NY called it out as being casually racist.

Eater has reached out to Infatuation for more information.

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